Dabawenyos love food! From daily meetings, family gatherings, to celebrations big or small, you can be sure that there is always food. Just last week, I was invited to experience the first Azuela Cove Food Crawl hosted by Azuela Cove together with other lifestyle writers and food bloggers.
I was pleasantly surprised that since the launch of Ayala Land Premier’s first mix-used development complex, Azuela Cove is now starting to become more vibrant with urbanites already using its spaces for sports and social events. Also buzzing with noise, and the main reasons for the Food Crawl, are the restaurants occupying The Shops, the development’s restaurant row, which offer a diverse array of food options to satisfy any craving.
We started the food crawl at Nord’s. Already famous in Manila for its brioche-based breads and pastries, Nord’s Azuela Cove also serves proper sandwiches and even rice meals with an Asian-fusion twist.
Coffee lovers in the north of Durianburg that find coming to downtown or to Matina too far for a proper third-wave coffee experience will rejoice at Nord’s coffee which uses premium coffee beans and which they roast in-house.
A bit of Japanese
With its traditional Japanese interiors complete with low-slung tables and floor seating, Bless Okiniiri Japanese Resto gives diners a glimpse of Japan.
Its menu is diverse, with many ramen options, sushi, Japanese-style salads, fried dishes and even Japan’s famous Omu Rice. I like their garlic ramen with its spicy kick and topped with crispy tempura.
Tagalog at its heart
For visitors who want authentic Tagalog dishes, then Cafe Laguna is the place to go. The restaurant, which has roots in Cebu but with owners who came from Laguna, serves many Tagalog delicacies such as Ox-Tail Kare-kare, and Lumpia Ubod among others.
Cafe Laguna is also famous for its Tagalog Afternoon Tea which features Espasol, Bibingka, and Puto with Adobo Flakes. Paired with Sago and Gulaman or the restaurant’s famous Pandan Tea and afternoons are sure to be a delight.
Off to the market
With its huge menu of International and Filipino dishes, it is clear how Union Market got its name. Dining at Union Market is like stepping into a wonderland of food that is sure to satisfy even the picky eater. Groups may choose to have one of Union Market’s many pizza flavours or choose to share a paella instead.
For something lighter, there are salad and pasta options as well with Union Market’s Carbonara as my pick. There are also an array or sandwiches to choose from.
If meat is what you crave, then go direct to Union Market’s steaks. Cooked on a stone grill, Union Market stone-grilled steaks are served table-side, ensuring that you get the perfect doneness of the meat every time.
To end the food crawl, the already full group made its way to Dulce Vida Cakes and Pastries. A local Davao favourite, Sweet but not overtly cloy, and having a nice balance of flavours, Dulce Vida’s cakes are a divine way to end the crawl.
A new discovery for me is the Frozen Brazo de Mercedes, which has the lightness of meringue paired with a rich custard and a base of ube ice cream. But if you ask me, I still go with their carrot cake which is stuffed full of walnuts.
For some Urbanites, especially the ones living in Durianburg’s south area may find Azuela Cove a bit far to visit, they can, at least be consoled by the fact that Azuela Cove is a destination where they can find delicious food to enjoy and make that trip special.