Their rice and noodle bowls will fuel you for a day of sightseeing around town, or a hike up Mount Apo
Something new is livening up Davao City’s restaurant row — chef Kenneth Villaluz, one of the partners behind downtown watering hole Huckleberry Southern Kitchen and Bar, recently opened Cuencos Rice and Noodle Bar along Tulip Drive. The 25-seater casual dining restaurant is, as Kenneth tells us, “a kind of showcase of locally available produce, and a tribute to comfort food that’s both satisfying and filling.” Filling enough to fuel a hike up Mount Apo, perhaps? Here, he breaks down what’s in every bowl.
“We get the freshest catch from the Davao Gulf, and high-quality beef, chicken and pork from nearby farms. Our bowls pack in a power-serving of protein.
Locally sourced ingredients
“Davao is rich in agricultural produce, from small organic farms to very large plantations that stretch into the nearby provinces. We source our raw ingredients locally. Everything else, like sauces and chilies, we make from scratch.”
Nutty and fluffy rice
“I like the nuttiness of brown rice; it adds so much flavor and texture to the bowl and it’s healthier. We also use sinandomeng, a variety of soft and fluffy rice, to balance out textures in a dish.”
“To liven up our rice dishes we flavor it with sauces like adobo, bagoong (local shrimp paste) and squid ink. They give the rice a nice Pinoy kick and some color.”
“The spices we use are predominantly Asian, and I use a variety of regional chilies and root spices like ginger and turmeric. Davao is a port city that welcomes a lot of visitors from other Southeast Asian countries.”
This story first appeared in the November 2017 issue of Smile magazine.