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. http://www.gensantos.gov.ph/tuna-industry/
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 ..so…. 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 …