Ellen of Davao: An artist of a cook

Paksiw na Tuna

You might have thought my Davao stories have ended. Well, there’s more conversation-worthy food than one could ever imagine. At Ellen’s eponymous sophisticated carinderia alone, her famous “paksiw na buntot ng tuna” is not the only royalty. I also loved her oily laing! If you know what I mean, rice is so good with just a little of this kind of ulam. The boys at home were happy to see the hand-carried 250 pesos worth of laing (equivalent to 5 servings). The rest of the FoodPrints team bought multiple tuna paksiw.

Ellen's Tuna QueenKilawen

Tita Ellen cooks Filipino food with flair, like she enlivens her paksiw with this certain herb and incorporates gabi to her sinigang and throws in itlog na maalat to her fish kilawen. I’m Ilocano and I wasn’t disappointed with her version of igado.

I was too engrossed with the food that I failed to note down more details.

Sinigang na TunaFilipino FoodLechon KawaliChicharon-like pork paired with suka.

IgadoTita Ellen

She insisted on letting us try her halo-halo and durian pie. I’m a fan of langka (jackfruit) and ube, so her halo-halo gets a high rating. An excellent panghimagas to cap the very Pinoy food trip. The durian pie is reminiscent of homemade pies, very neat and straightforward. It’s also not too sweet.

At Ellen’s Tuna Queen, you get a lot for your money’s worth. The tag is what it promises.

The new season of FoodPrints with Chef Sandy Daza has started.  Sundays on the Lifestyle Network, folks, 8:30 pm.

Ellen’s Tuna Queen South Street DBP Village, Matina, Davao City CP #: 0922 814 7063

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Davao’s Tiny Kitchen is packed with love

Tiny Kitchen Collage

Did you watch Chef Sandy Daza’s Binondo FoodPrints last night? Reny, Alexa and I were like hungry kids awaiting our favorite eats from Chinatown. It was a mouthwatering premiere episode of the new season! It felt different just watching. Alex couldn’t help it, she brought out a plateful of Bee Tin ma pa (pork jerky) from Eugene and Brandon’s stash without them knowing.

Tiny Kitchen

Back to FoodPrints BTS, one of the highlights of the recent Davao food trip with Chef Sandy Daza and the team was the Tiny Kitchen experience with the Rodriguez family. Vincent does the marketing and cooking while wife Donna bakes the cakes. Their three cuties are the aprrentices. Adorable 10 year-old Anna is the very efficient cashier (when she’s not in school), according to mom and dad.

A constant stream of Davaoeños and tourists enjoy the paellas and other family-style grub from authentic Catalan recipes. The menu, consisting of comidas, sopas, salads, sandwiches and an array of beautiful Dulce Vida cakes and breads, potentially corrupt the mind. Servings are generous. You’d wish for a bigger pouch to fill in with memories by the mouthful.

The Rodriguez ChildrenPaella NegraPaella with Duck

We had two kinds of paellas, one was fideau negra with mixed seafood and cooked in lavish squid ink, and the other one was saffron-flavored and topped with soft, tasty duck. Paella-style angel hair pasta was also served

Paella Marinara  PastaBalbacuaMy initial encounter with Spanish-influenced balbacua of the Sothern Philippines.

Picture 511Donna’s frozen chocolate brazo de Mercedes was among the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s 25 Best Desserts of 2010. (Btw, I’ve tried at least two others from the list. The durian cheesecake by Melvin Aviles of Lachi’s, another Davao City cakeshop, here,  and the chocolate cake, from an old-fashioned UP recipe, by Chef Nic Rodriguez of Candon, Ilocos Sur, here.)

Frozen Mango Brazo

I’m not too fond of chocolate mixed with anything else.My pick, the frozen mango sans rival! It is like a subtle Filipino mango ice cream sandwiched in brazo yumminess. The moist carrot cake with perfect fresh buttercream frosting was likewise remarkable.

Frozen BrazoTiny KitchenVincent welcomes DoT Asec Art Boncato Jr and FoodPrints Excutive Producer Jennie Celdran.

Picture 525Bebidas

We went in for a second round! There was also a third:)

A Sweet LifeCake!SaucersTiny Kitchen CakesChocolate Crinkles

Watch the all-new FoodPrints with Chef Sandy Daza on the Lifestyle Network, Channel 52 on Sky Cable, Sundays, 8:30 pm.

Tiny Kitchen Torres St., Davao Tel. No.: 082) 305 9232

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

Lachi’s Sans Rival, atbp. when in Davao

Sans Rival

“Back to reality,” someone from the FoodPrints team said as we were walking down the plane at the NAIA Terminal 3. I told myself to avoid the dinner table for a while. The more I don’t see live food, the more I crave for all the food that I photographed and we attacked in Davao.

Lachi's Davao

Lachi’s in Davao City is known for its literally unrivaled Sans Rival cake. You’ll love it that it’s not overtly sweet, yet still loaded with devilish buttery frosting alternating with extrafresh crunchy layers. The whole time we were there, the place was packed. I checked what the locals were eating. Cake and Ulam.

Laing Pasta with Cholesterol

Plain laing as it is at Lachi’s was unforgettable. But for those who are courageous enough to try something different such as laing pasta, they have this laing sundae with lechon kawali as the cherry on top that looks deadly good (like my friend commented when he saw the pic on my FB timeline just awhile back)

Lachi's Ulam

The Chinese red pork belly (upper right in photo above) haunts me in my dreams. It has this character that’s unique on the palate.

Of course, don’t leave Lachi’s without trying the durian cheesecake. Yum! It’s the wonder cheesecake, go figure.

Durian CheesecakeLachi's BrothersTwin Mike and Melvin Aviles. Their mom in photo below.

Lachi'sFood for the GodsLachi's DavaoChiilerBittersweet OverloadYummy Chocolate PieAlexa would be torn to see their bitterweet overload and yummy chocolate pie.

Don’t fail to catch Chef Sandy Daza’s take on Davao eats on FoodPrints on the Lifestyle Network, Channel 52 on Sky Cable. Season 2 is premiering this Sunday, 8:30 pm.

Lachi’s Sans Rival, Atbp. Door 1-H Values School Building, Ruby Street, Marfori Heights Subdivision, Davao City Tel No.: (082) 224 5552 11 am-8 pm

Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014