I had to take a 9 am flight from Manila to Davao, luckily the Torre Venezia Suites staff were very accommodating and agreed to open the cafe at 6 am, 1 hour earlier than their regular breakfast hours.
Although it was only ~ 6.10 a.m, the sky was already rather light , it felt like about 8 a.m in KL. There was a choice of continental or local breakfast, but I have to have the local breakfast. I ordered chicken tocino which came with eggs ( 2 of ‘em too) and garlic rice. My meal was great, I love the chicken tocino , the chicken were boneless , well seasoned and tender with a sweetish twang to it and as it was fried, there were some crunchy crust to it which makes it even more appetizing, the garlic rice was fragrant and I hope that I don’t burp garlic and contaminate the aircraft…yummy ( yummy tocino, not yummy burp) …I am glad they open the cafe for me..
The flight to Davao took 1.5 hours ( and I didn’t burp garlic..hurahh) . When we land in Davao and got out of the air-conditioned terminal, the hot temperature just hit us, it was soo soo very the hot. When we got into the hotel , the rooms weren’t ready, so we decide to go for an early lunch. Hurahhh
The moment I stepped into the Marina Tuna, I inhaled fish, the fishy smell wasn’t unpleasant, it was fishy, that was all.. On each of the tables were a bunch of bananas. While waiting to the dishes to be served, we enjoyed the FOC bananas. I think Malaysian restaurants should do that too, much healthier than peanuts and fried titbits.
First up was Tuna kinilaw, kinilaw is Filipino raw fish salad, this is considered as a side dish . The cubed tuna ( big eye tuna / yellow fin tuna) meat were accompanied by raddish, cucumber and lettuce. From a brief browse on the www on how to prepare kinilaw, this include vinegar, juices from calimansi, lime and lemon, plus onions, tomato, ginger, garlic, salt and peppers The tuna tasted fresh and sweet and the texture was firm, i guess the vinegar may have slightly ‘cooked’ the tuna , so that it didn’t felt overly raw for me. I am not a raw fish fan but I think I like kinilaw
Tuna eye ball soup – before I described my experience in eye-balling the tuna, I would like to share that at Marina Tuna, they have 10 ways of cooking the tuna including ; Sashimi ;grilled/ sizzling belly, sizzling bihod ( roe) , sizzling bagaybay ( from the various blogs , bagaybay is translated to be either : pancreas, testicles and egg of male tuna, I don’t know lah) , sizzling/ grilled tendon, steak, caldereta ( stew) , crispy buntot ( tail) , grilled panga ( jaw) and eye ball soup , looks like all part of the tuna has been put to use.
Ok, back to the soup, the soup was rich with yummy fishy taste plus some ‘hot’-ness to it ( due to ginger?) and sourish. My kind host poked his spoon into the eye socket and dug out a chunk of whatever thingy that inhabit the eye ball . I was given the honour of officiating the eye, err..i managed to steer away from the eye ball and got a piece of gel-ish stuff around the eye, hey, this was smooth, light and not at all gooey, can la, I can learn to like this..
Oh, I forgot to mention one of the appetizer, they looked kind of like little brown worms but my host said that these were a type of seaweed, I hope he wasn’t bluffing me. The texture was like a hard jelly , this was seasoned with some garlic and vinegar . The seaweed didn’t seemed to have any flavours or taste on it’s own
Grilled swordfish belly – the texture of the meat was fine and soft, without the usual flaky fish meat texture. The belly was lightly grilled and served with soy sauce, simple but wonderful - the fish was fresh and thus oozes the sweetness of freshness . The skin had a roughish feel to it, like scraping your tongue over a 2 day old stubble ( or maybe 1 or 3 depending on the healthiness of the hair follicles )
Mixed vegetables- there were sweet peas, cucumber, cabbage, broccoli , carrot plus squid and prawns. This taste like regular stir fried mixed vegetable with a plus point for the squid
Prawns – the deep fried prawns had just a light seasoning – maybe salt, pepper and some garlic ? ( hey , I am no cook lah) and sprinkles with spring onions. The prawns were crunchy and the deep frying didn’t camouflage the freshness and sweetness of the prawns, which again confirm that one can seldom go wrong with deep fried dishes.
Overall an enjoyable meal..and for the record, four of us ate a total of 11 bananas, they taste like our pisang berangan but with a finer and lighter texture.
J.P. Laurel Avenue Davao City, Philippines
082 233 2666