Kusina Selera: Davao City’s best new restaurant

Travelling to Davao City is such a pain for me. I figure I can already go to either Hong Kong or Taipei with the one hour and forty five minutes it would take me to get there. But there was something during my last trip that made me excited to go to Davao again. And the reason is this cozy little new restaurant called Kusina Selera.

Kusina Selera

In a city filled with seafood and grilled (ihaw-ihaw) places, the new resto comes like a breath of fresh air. It was opened only last May and seeks to specialize in Filipino fusion dishes. It forms part of a compound which includes a newly-opened hotel, a spa, a coffeeshop and a boutique among others.

It helped that we were really hungry when we went to Selera. Heaven was in the form of this pomelo salad (P150) in a sweet tangy vinaigrette. Completing the equation were julienned crisp radish (labanos) and not-so-ripe papaya, and crushed nuts as topping. The salad was a perfect complement to my tall glass of pomelo juice – I could order five of those in one sitting. Hehe

Kusina Selera

Adding to our roster of appetizers was this serving of gambas (P190), a Spanish-inspired dish of shrimps sauteed in olive oil and browned garlic. The size of the shrimps was rather disappointing, but the abundance of garlic bits saved it. I love garlic!:D

Kusina Selera

Sigasig (P85) is the house’s own invention of Sitaw, Gabi & Sigarillas in coconut milk.Rather mild in flavor and the gabi proved to be a bit slimy for me.Still, it’s a treat for vegetable lovers who want something new.

Kusina Selera

Their twice-cooked adobo (P165) was superb. Take note that Pinoys mean different things when they say “twice-cooked.” It’s either all adobo ingredients are simmered first, then fried. In the case of Kusina Selera, the meat is grilled first and then transformed into this delicious adobo.

Kusina Selera

We asked our server what the house bestsellers were, and he pointed to the boneless crispy chicken, the boneless crispy pata (hocks) and the crispy tadyang ng baka (beef ribs) (P200). We ordered the latter and didn’t regret it one bit. Slivers of beef fat blending well with the tender deep-fried meat. Best eaten with the soy-based dip.

Crispy Tadyang ng Baka

Service was excellent and our order didn’t take longer than 15 minutes. Having ordered five dishes, 3 cups of rice and drinks to go with our meal, our total bill amounted to P910 which wasn’t really much considering how the meal satiated our hunger. In Manila, it would have cost us more. We refrained from ordering dessert because we tried the san rival at Lachi’s.:D

Not trying their desserts (like the buchitaw: buchi + palitaw) was something I regret, and that is why I wanna go back again. This time to try the boneless crispy pata and their sweet treats. The restaurant promises to prepare something new on the menu, in time for the city’s Kadayawan Festival on the third week of August. Don’t know if it’s intentional, but I certainly would like to see more fish and seafood dishes on the menu.

Our gang of food trippers even had the chance to have a photo op with Kusina Selera Chef Anton Abad, who studied in the Culinary Institute of America. Somehow, we couldn’t help but thank him for an almost perfect meal.

Kusina Selera

Kusina Selera
Doors 9-11, 115 Paseo de Legaspi
P.Pelayo St. Davao City
Tele. No. (082) 221-2695

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Most of us miss out on life's big prizes. The Pulitzer. The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we're all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A full moon. An empty parking space.A crackling fire. A great meal. A glorious sunset. Hot soup. Cold beer. Don't fret about copping life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights. There are plenty for all of us.

20 comments

  1. mel beckham says:

    ate ajay, we visited the place this morning with my bestfriends. they only serve breakfast til 10am. ours was not a pleasant experience. eventhough our order was very simple it came an hour later and it was incomplete. hindi exaggeration ang isang oras ha. inorasan ko talaga. i’m having doubts if we’ll come back again. simple nga lang yung inorder namin kasi nga konti lang ang nasa breakfast menu nila and there weren’t too many people, how much more if it’s lunchtime or dinner. i’m so disappointed.

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  2. ajay says:

    Oh no. Sad to hear that Mel. That wasn’t certainly what they showed us when we were there. They were prompt and friendly. I guess the question here is consistency. Nothing kills a place more than bad customer service. Working on a Sunday is not an excuse. Uh huh

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  3. Monique says:

    Wow! something to look forward to when I go home…
    Bad yan mel ha… hmmm.. i’ll ask some friends back home kung kamusta itong resto na ito…

    Zipline and beach/ island hopping or go up the mountains ms. ajay. ok din yun na gawin sa davao.

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  4. vincent says:

    good to hear n gusto mo ang mga dishes na ginawa ng mga superior chefs namin.. jan ako nag work as a cook.. kaya lang wala na ako jan kasi ako at ang cold chef namin is planning na mag put up n rin ng samll business.,, ehehe anyways gusto ko pala idagdag na ang mga senior chefs namin ay sina Chef anton abad. and may tatlong magagandang chefs pa sina chef kay yao,wowie alipio and michella cacdac.. hehe sana magtagal pa ang selera till here n lng..^^

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  5. rezoi says:

    Ajay, Wow! im sure sarap mga foods d2 sa pix palang yummy.. expensive nga lang.. im a chef too.. my hiring kaya na hef sa kusina selera? sarap mag work jan ah..

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  6. Pingback: Adobo | Kumain.com
  7. john stewart says:

    Any overseas visitor must try this restaurant, it has some true Philippines food, very clean the courtyard has a slight spanish touch at night, try the red horse beer but be warned its strong.

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