As promised in my earlier post on arriving at Davao Airport, I now bring you my recommended best eats while enjoying your stay in Davao, especially during Kadayawan 2011.
As explained before, I love eating but I am not a foodie. I don’t even remember the exact names of the food I eat! All I know is I like photographing food as much as I like eating it. I enjoy good company, atmosphere and superb service as much as I enjoy savoring the last bite and eating the last rice grain. These said, expect that my recommendations are not just because these food tasted greatly but also coz I had a great time while having what I am about to share with you. So, if you are in for a gastronomic armchair traveling and/or bent on trying Dabaweño food while enjoying Davao’s King of Festivals or just chilling while in your well-deserved vacay, GET READY TO FEEL HUNGRY AND DROOL. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Hehe 🙂
This post features the food at Ahfat Seafood Plaza, an immensely popular Chinese restaurant among locals and tourists alike. It’s located at Victoria Plaza. Don’t worry about not finding it coz all you need to do is ask anybody where Ahfat is and chances are, they’ll point you to the right direction.
Ahfat is probably one of the most popular restaurants in Davao. They already have three branches that are literally just a stone’s throw away from each other. Ahfat 1, being the oldest, is also the smallest. Ahfat 2 seems mid-range, with a lot of round tables with a rotating glass table-ish something in the middle like a typical Chinese restaurant. Ahfat 3, being the newest, is also the biggest and modern-ish looking of the three. Think Hong Kong Emperor at MoA minus the super high ceiling plus a more homey atmosphere. I am not sure but I probably am right that due to its popularity, it’s always better to get a reservation prior to arriving at the restaurant. Even if Ahfat already has three branches in the same place, it might still be difficult for your group to get that round table.
I’ve eaten at Ahfat Seafood Plaza, if my memory and math serves me right, for maybe about 5-7 times already: once at Ahfat 1, thrice at Ahfat 2, and thrice at Ahfat 3. The first time I had Ahfat was, I think, on my first work travel to Davao on May 2009 at Ahfat 2. If my memory is failing me, then it would be at Ahfat 1 during my first vacation in Davao to celebrate Tita Hazel’s birthday. Back then, Ahfat 3 is not yet existing. My first experience with Ahfat 3 was probably in June 2010 for another work trip. Except for Tita’s birthday lunch, all of the times I ate in Ahfat were during business trips, wherein the very warm and welcoming staff of NIA RIO XI show their hospitality by making sure we get to taste the best that Davao has to offer. So now you know why I love Region XI people so much. Hehe
Anyway, Ahfat Seafood Plaza’s specialty is, well, seafoods. Every time we eat there, the steamed fish with garlic soy sauce and I think green onion or leeks is a staple dish. Same is to be said about the Butter and Garlic Shrimp. We sometimes order the Chili Crabs which are really nice, though they are really spicy (well, I’m not a very spicy-savoring person so my definition of spicy is very subjective). But definitely, another staple on Ahfat’s round table is the seafood chopsuey-ish dish. The vegetables are still quite crispy and ‘sweet’, a sign of true blue freshness.
By the way, did I mention that Ahfat is expensive? If I haven’t, then that’s another testament to its popularity. Despite the fact that it’s much more expensive than other Davao restaurants, tourists and Dabaweños alike still flock to Ahfat like it’s a regular-priced one. Well, on a general note, food prices in Davao are cheaper than here in Manila. Not to mention that the portions and servings are way more than in here. As my officemate said to me when she got a plateful of chopsuey instead of the saucer-size she expected from the good-for-one serving at the hotel , “I guess if they tell you it’s good for two, that means it’s good for four”.
I guess at Ahfat, you’ll truly get what you paid for. In my case, somebody else paid for me and I really got what they paid for since I devoured each and every dish served before us like there was no tomorrow. And I always end up finding it difficult to stand up after dinner coz I might throw up after that blissful gluttony.
Anyway, I was hoping to show you more pictures of Ahfat coz I know I have a lot. Unfortunately, I just can’t find them right now. Oh well, that would have to wait as I have gotten hungry now and I am also quite sleepy already. For now, I’ll leave you in a gastronomical trance.
What other restaurants or places to eat at in Davao can you recommend? Watch out for my next post: Lyndon’s!