Downtown Davao City was similar to Manila’s busy district, but not as hurried nor invasive. Most vendors would just man their stalls and assist you when you need help. The area is full of different things to buy from cellular phone accessories to a variety of affordable eats.
Just a few blocks away from the San Pedro Cathedral is one of the two branches of Apung Kula. My beau and I arrived at this quaint dining spot around 5pm and the waiting staff was just starting to lay several silver dish trays overflowing with newly cooked food. One by one, the buffet table was filled with aromatic dishes, soup, side dishes, desserts and fresh fruits.
For starters, Seaweed Ensalada, was going to be the first of many encounters during my stay in Davao City. The city being known for Kilawin where fresh fish preferably tuna is soaked in vinegar is added with thinly sliced cucumbers, red onions, tomatoes and freshly caught seaweed.
I never really fancy Kilawin so I concentrated on the three main dishes that I liked, Chicken Afritada with its slightly sweet savory sauce and fragrant bell-peppers, Lumpiang Shanghai cut into two, though not as crunchy as I wanted to, but flavorful nonetheless and Pork BBQ lathered in rich BBQ sauce.
I had two servings of this trio,
Chicken Afritada, Lumpiang Shanghai and Pork BBQ
There was also a crabs dish, unfortunately I would prefer the steamed crabs so I opted for the Clams Soup made with a lot of ginger, quite refreshing for the throat if I may say.
For dessert, there were a number of choices from platters of fresh fruits such as watermelon, papaya and pineapple. There is also a tray of piping hot Guinataan but quite a little dark in color perhaps due to the use of brown sugar as sweetener, green Pichi Pichi covered with grated coconut and pale-colored Maja Blanca.
Pichi-pichi and Maja Blanca
All these and more, at Php99, Apung Kula is one of Davao City’s refuge to voracious diners like myself.
There are two branches of Apung Kula in Davao City. One along JP Laurel Avenue and the other in downtown, at Rizal Street corner F. Iñigo Street.