Archive for December, 2010

On our drive from Gensan back to Davao, we took a break at the Cliff Hanger Restaurant  and Cafe . We got a great view of the valley below and also caught a glimpse of Mt Apo (at 2,954 metres, this is the  highest mountain  in Phils) amidst the clouds.

I guess we are at a pretty high altitude,it was nice and cool at the cafe. The guys had hot drinks while the Malaysian had an ice cream ( i got some weird stares from B) . We also ordered some crunchy titbits and biscuits from the display cabinet. By the time we reached Davao it was already dinner time. We went uphill,  a bit of a windy quiet road and then after a few turns, we arrived at a open area and it felt kinda festive, with colourful lights,  a lit Christmas tree , Christmas banners and decos.This is Jack’s Ridge.  The little roundabout with DAVAO made up from things that the city is  famous for  – and D is for Durian..

While waiting got T to park the car, we wandered about

There was a plaque that tells the significance / history of Jack’s Ridge- The land on which Jack’s Ridge now stand once formed part of the headquarter of the retreating Japanese forces towards the end of the World War II. The Americans had landed in Davao on May 1, 1945, forcing the Japanese to beat a path to Matina Hills where they had a commanding view of the Davao Gulf where the American ships were anchored. Fierce fighting soon erupted between the two forces, and as history shown us, the Japanese lost.
Today, more than half a century later, Jack’s Ridge is filled with reminders of its historic past. Caves dug by the Japanese pockmark the area, and once in a while people still find bullets and other war materials in the rocky soil. There is also talk that hidden somewhere in the caved are gold bullions and other treasure that the Japanese had taken from other countries and brought to Davao.

Whatever the truth is about the treasure, Jack’s Ridge maintains the feature that made it an important outpost for the retreating Japanese forces, a commanding view of Davao City and the Gulf, the same view within the premises is also refreshing, since the owner has made its mission to preserve the natural beauty of the place.
Jack’s Ridge was built to offer a completely new experience to dinners, and its not over yet, more development are under way to make it the premier dining resort in Davao City.
Indeed, Jack’s Ridge is making it’s own mark in Davao City’s History.

At Jack’s Ridge, you can get a good view of Davao city and also the gulf ( not to mention the memorial park) . Pix below show some unidentifiable objects captured on film  from the Memorial park There were some collection of big clams at one corner and a plaque that read – ‘Unbelievable as it may seem , the land you are standing on was under the sea millions of years ago . These taklobo shells right here at Jack Ridge are silent witness to Davao’s watery past.’ Wow, it was hard to imagine, we see Davao city below our feet and now they tell us this was under the sea ? Wow… ( at the right corner in the background, you can see the amphitheatre )

There were some  bronze statuettes at another corner under a ‘Lumad’ plaque ,  I was told they  depict the different tribes in Mindanao.We headed towards Taklobo Restaurant. This seemed to be a rather happening place, big crowd, filled with happy noisy people, great view  and the smell of food..Hmm…

We had rice

We had Panga ng bariles (grilled tuna jaw), and B tried to impressed upon me that if the jaw of the fish is so big, can you imagine how big is the fish ? well, must be rather big guarr. Yummm

Sinigang na Hipon ( shrimp in sour soup) – The flavour of sinigang can be from  tamarind ( asam) , green mangoes, pineapple  or those small sour-like-hell small belimbing ( called bilimbi / kamias in Phils), The sinigang can also be made with pork or beef. The soup was clear and quite sour ,  good soup to go with rice Mixed vegetables – long bean, bitterguord ( which interestingly wasn’t that bitter) , brinjal etc
While we were enjoying our meal, the table beside ours were serenaded by 3 singers complete with instruments. As D just celebrated his birthday a few days ago, we ask them to stop at our table to croon a birthday song and this was followed by 2 other songs.

Tiyan ng Bariles (grilled tuna belly) – this was oh-la-la wonderful ! At the same time soft, smooth , rich and yummy . I had this guilt feeling when eating this, anything that taste good must surely be not too healthy – you know, like deep fried food, ice cream, opium , chocolates …We asked for the dessert menu – B had coffee creme brulee ( D acted a bit juvenile and asked for a ‘bruce lee’ from the waiter ) while D and myself ordered a mango something. The mango in the mango something was rather sour and I had to remove the mango to be able to enjoy this dessert la, I wonder was this sour mango intentional ?Overall , an enjoyable meal. The menu is available here

After the meal, to wind down , we walked down the stairs ( too many steps)  to Kai’s bar and grill. It was a Friday and the live band was playing

B and myself had San Mig while D and T went for the heavier stuff.

The band did their thing and also accept song request from the crowd. We got them to sing a birthday song for D ( another one !) and later a note on a tissue from B  to request D to jam with the band. I knew that D was a good singer so it was no surprise that he wowed the crowd with not just his singing but his charm.  Then later in the night another note got to the stage for B to go on stage. And when B started to sing  I think I almost swoon ! I didn’t expect this –he was so good ! I think I would forfeit the grilled tuna belly any time for this ! For the record, the applause for D or B was way louder  than that for the band, so there !

     What a wonderful way to end the night…

And just in case there are some of your that are wondering about the unidentifiable objects in one of the pixs above, it was just a matter of bad photography !

Jack’s Ridge Resort and Restaurant Corp.
Shrine Hills, Matina, Davao City 8000

Telephone: 63.82.2978830 to 31


I would have gladly go for the Logganisa (pork sausage) at the hotel for breakfast that day but being the kind host that he is , D  wanted me try some other food, so off we went to Dencia’s at General La Luna Street .

 Dencia’s seemed to be the place to go to for Davao-Chinese type of cuisine. I wasn’t sure what was good and what D wanted me to try  so  I leave it to them to do the ordering. So nice lah , no worries in the world , with good company and just wait for food to be served. I must have done something right sometime somewhere 🙂T had this fried fish thingy plus 2 sunny side up eggs – served with rice B had beef tapa which he said was good.

And I had lugaw ( porridge) – the chicken lugaw ( plus 1 boiled egg as an add on) was good. The porridge was smooth and very tasty. Hey, now I know the Filipinos can cook a mean porridge !

And we also ordered  Tokwat Boboy to go with our lugaw . Tokwat Baboy is tofu ( tau kwa – i.e those hard tofu) with pork – tender piece of pork from the pig’s ear to be more exact. I checked  some sites for  Pinoy recipes – ingredients for  tokwat boboy normally  include soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, onions and garlic. This is the perfect partner for lugaw – it was full of rich flavours, the pork pieces were tender and tasty,  the braised tofu had absorbed the gravy and with each bite the release of the gravy whet your appetite for more lugaw. Yummm

Then, D said, you should try the roasted pork, nothing like what you get in Malaysia. So, we ordered more pork ( no one was complaining, definitely not me) to the table. And D was right, this is not like our siew yoke ( BBQ pork) , I am not sure how to describe it, but the pork tasted really good, the meat was tender and succulent. Mighty good pork !

Overall, a very enjoyable meal. Thanks D !

Davao Dencia’s Restaurant
General Luna Street, Davao City
across JS Citimall Ilustre
Telephone Numbers: (082) 227 6777;  226 4336

We drove from Davao to General Santos, the journey took us almost 4 hours- the others commented that trip they did this in two and a half hours the last trip , so, I guess maybe T who was driving took the scenic route . Not that we saw much as the sky was dark at about 5pm and at any one time probably 2 out of 3 of us will be asleep while poor T who make up the forth number,  negotiated the bends.

General Santos or Gensan in short is the Tuna Capital of the Philippines . The Philippines ranks 7th among the top tuna producing countries in the world, both in terms of fresh/frozen tuna and canned tuna.Read more about it here.

Gensan has a famous son – Maddy Pacquiao – a Filipino professional boxer and politician.  Extracted from  Wikipedia :- He is an eight division world champion , the first boxer in history to win ten world titles in eight different weight division   Currently, Pacquiao is the WBC Super Welterweight World Champion and WBO Welterweight World Champion .  In May 2010, Pacquiao was elected  to the House of Representatives  in the 15th Congress of the Philippines , representing the province of Sarangani. 

When we arrived at the hotel in Gensan , empty stomach ( and full bladder)  and found out that there were  some miscommunication about reservations and as it was fully booked, the hotel could not accommodate us (we carried our luggage all the way from the car park to the receptionist too !). We decide to relieve our growling stomachs first before moving to another hotel and stepped into Meilih Restaurant. 

Our food for that night :

Tuna salad -not sure is this the correct name, but as there were tuna and there are some salad…. I am not that into raw fish but in order to appreaciate Gensan as the Tuna Capital, I had to try this dish. The tuna squares were firm and didn’t have that fishy taste. The salad  :  pineapple + cucumber+onions + chili padi +lime juice went really well with the tuna, good combination. I actually enjoyed this and had seconds and thirds ( fourths and fifths too, but who is counting ) 

Chicharon bulaklak – when this arrive, I couldn’t make out what it was until the Filipinos enlightened me. Folks- these are deep fried pig intestine. And boy, these were tasty. Thin, crispy and  with a  bit of saltiness – good finger food and goes superbly with beer. I was told to try the dip– a  vinegar solution of some kind, butI prefer them without the dip lah

Bulaklak means flower. Summary of preparation of this dish – clean the intestine, preboil them in water and salt. Cook until the water evaporates , add garlic and oil to fry and fry until they turn golden brown . Drain to remove excess oil and there you have your intestine bulaklak. YUmmmm ( i dunno why, i just love to pronounce this over and over again, bulaklak, bulaklak) Soup – not sure what’s the name of the soup, in the soup there were : shreds of meat, quail eggs, ‘egg flower’ , the black hairy stuff is the ‘hair’ from  corn ( like the Chinese fatt choy) plus crabmeat  . The soup was not too starchy and  rather tasty.

Steamed lapu-lapu in soy sauce, Lapu-Lapu is the name for garoupa ( grouper) in Philippines .( Lapu –Lapu is also the name of a Filipino hero , extracted from Wikipedia : Lapu-Lapu (1491–1542) who is known as the first native of the archipelago  to have resisted Spanish  colonization. He is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.  The morning of April 27, 1521, Lapu-Lapu led his Mactan warriors armed with barong,  spears, kampilan  and kalasag, in a battle against  Portuguese  explorer and conquistador Ferdinard Magellan armed with cannons and guns. In what would later be known as the Battle of Mactan ,Magellan and several of his men were killed.). Back to lapu-lapu the fish. The fish was garnished with spring onions and ginger shreds,  Ahh.. the sauce was just simple uncomplicated  soy sauce, which  brought out the sweetness and the freshness of the fish. This was nice.Mixed vegetables – pretty much like the stir fried mix vegetables we get back home – asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, baby corns, black fungus,  shrimps , fried tofu squares,  quail eggs etc .Beef Adobo ( beef stew) – this was the last dish to arrive and by this time I was already kinda full and feeling a wee bit guilty about eating too much. But who can resist beef stew ? The beef chunks were tender, full of flavour and the gravy goes so well with rice. I wish I could start with an ‘empty stomach’ all over again. I likeeeeeeyy. Checked out the recipes for Adobo and the marinate include – soy sauce , vinegar, bay leaf ,garlic and peppercorns.  There is also another version of the adobo i.e.  the dry version. and using other meat like pork or chicken, I wonder what pork adobo taste like..must be good !

Meilih Restaurant, Phela Grande Hotel,

Magsaysay Avenue, General Santos CityTel :  (083)-5524925, (083)-552-4220 , (083)-5524240, (083)-5524230

Bulaklak bulaklak bulaklakkklkkkkkkkkk – aiyoo..i am sooo juvenile …