Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Flavors of Davao: Escape to Paradise Island

Sun. Sand. Awesome food. And a cold beer. My kind of paradise...

Just a leisurely ten to fifteen minute drive from The Marco Polo, and a short ferry crossing away, Paradise Island is the city's gateway to sun, sand and sea.

After short ferry ride to Samal Island, one is greeted by Paradise Island's festive welcoming committee with cold fresh drink, a serenading band and am ornamental necklace. All this, just a short drive and ferry ride from the city.

Nothing like chilled fresh coconut to get into the island vibe. And then, lunch is served on tables set on the shaded sands of the beach...a buffet reflecting the various flavors of Davao and its many culinary influences.

Imbao, a classic soup from Davao, and now a personal favorite, is served. Large, plump clams cooked in a simple broth enriched with ginger, tomatoes and lemon grass brings a refreshing taste of the ocean with its briny note and subtle sweetness.

Kinilaw na Malasugui, the local version of ceviche, with fresh fish flavored with ginger, chili, onions and calamansi. Like many of Davao's local dishes, freshness and the abundance of marine and agricultural produce combine for deceptively simple yet flavorful cuisine. Fresh, raw or grilled, the real flavors of the ingredients come through in every bite.

Mixed Vegetables with Seafood and Quail Eggs in Oyster Sauce, a medley of fresh vegetables with squid, shrimps and tiny quail eggs for added flavor. The fresh vegetables have a deliciously fresh crunch for texture, and the sweet oyster sauce rounds out the flavors.

Grilled Panga ng Tuna, no beach picnic would be complete without Davao's iconic tuna. No part of the tuna is wasted, and the tuna cheeks are some of the most popular cuts in Davao. Simply spiced and seasoned then grilled, the tender and moist meat near the bone are concentrated with natural flavors.

Longganiza and Pork Barbecue, a local grilled sausage and tender skewered pork, fresh off the grill, served with a side of pickled vegetables. Extra rice? Definitely.

Beef Kebabd with pineapples and peppers, tender chunks of beef grilled to perfection along with fresh pineapple and peppers for contrasting sweetness. Kebabs, made popular by returning OFWs add to the richness and diversity of Davao's local cuisine.

Lato Salad, a fresh seaweed salad tossed with tomatoes, green mangoes, onions, red egg and calamansi, with each bite releasing a subtle briny flavor of the sea. A refreshing salad, with simple yet bold flavors.

Vegetable Tempura, fresh vegetables in crisp batter, and another dish reflecting Davao's many cultural influences.

Seafood Canton Guisado, a flavorful noodle dish tracing its roots to Chinese cuisine, yet another of Davao's many culinary influences. The freshness of the seafood and vegetables provide the flavorful base for the dish.

Chopped Chicken Barbecue, a popular chicken dish of the region, simply seasoned and grilled.

Pineapple Fried Rice, mixed with another of Davao's iconic fruits, topped with spring onions and shrimps, and a perfect pair with any of Island Paradise's dishes.

Fresh seasonal fruts including pomelo, pineapple and watermelon round up the lavish buffet spread, and freshness once again takes center stage.

Fresh pineapple juice, just can't get any fresher than this.

For dessert, Rainbow Cassava Cake topped with coconut caps the beach buffet. Coffee and and few cold beers followed. Nothing like a cold beer on the beach...

Paradise Island also offers accommodations ideal for groups and families as well, situated in lush gardens for that cool tropical vibe.

The island cottages are well-appointed, perfect for that quick island get-way. Other amenities include a well-stocked Souvenir Shop, a Pro Sports Shop offering various water sports equipment, including scuba diving gear, a spa and massage center, a cool ice cream kiosk, a restaurant and even a children's playground and aviary.

Just a few minutes from the city, a perfect beach get-away is just a short drive and ferry ride away.

Sun, sand and awesome food. This could very well be paradise...special thanks to Julian Rodriguez, owner of Island Paradise, for an awesome buffet by the beach..

Paradise Island is located at Samal Island, Davao. For more information, visit their website at www.paradiseislanddavao.com.

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  1. Now, I'm craving for Grilled Panga ng Tuna.. Waahhh.. Nice photos! ^_^

    1. Hi Rackell, nothing like a great lunch by the beach...great to hear from you!


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