Gourmet food spotting on the street

The third installment of the pop-up restaurants in the mall.

In case you missed the delightful fare during the Araw ng Davao weekend at SM Lanang Premier’s Fountain Court, fret not because you’ll get a shot (a second one to those who made it) at another serving of the street food at the pop-up gourmet food tent— The Davao Gourmet Collective: Street Food Fest—this weekend, March 21 - 23, Friday to Sunday, at 4PM onwards.

At the opening of the event- Debbie Go of SM with  Davao cheese maker Olive Puentespina.

Last week’s three-day run of the gig was well-attended with food lovers feasting on the offerings of the 13 “street hawkers,” most of them returning participants to this recurring mall event like Malagos Farmhouse Cheeses, Bangkok Wok, Cellar de Boca, JR Pastry, etc.

Constantly in search for fab and new dishes (not offered in these participants’ existing restaurants), I found a few of I-must-recommend dishes along the busy makeshift alleys (okay, I will throw in a couple of must-eat from a couple of restos) and broke my no-meat diet with good reason (thank God). Here they are:

1. Cabritos of Malagos Farmhouse Cheeses. This is Davao cheese royalty Olive Puentespina’s fabulous addition to her regular offerings of cheese in several variants and dark chocolates. The Cabritos is pita bread smothered with Chevre Cheese, lettuce and (young) Goat Sausage. This is one delicious wrap!

Olive Puentsepina of Malagos Farmhouse Cheeses & her new street food offering.

One delicious wrap! The Cabritos is pita bread smothered with Chevre Cheese, lettuce & (young) Goat Sausage.

2. Crispy Pata sa Chapati of Bistro Selera. This resto has been a great source of Pinoy dishes with a twist and came up with their street food version of the Crispy Pata, this time in an easy to handle pita wrap garnished with pickled carrots and red bell pepper. Yummy! They say it’ll be part of the main menu soon.

How to eat crispy para on the street by Bistro Selera.

Bistro Selera's other offerings.

3. Chicken Khao Soy of Bangkok Wok. Along with other regular Thai fare this stall offers—Bagoong Rice, Pad Thai, etc., this new dish stood out to me—chicken chunks and crispy noodles in curry soup. It’s a sweet and spicy dish.

Carmina del Rosario of Bangkok Wok with one of her stall's many delicious  Thai-inspired dishes.

Khao Soy- crispy noodles, chicken in curry soup. Spicy with a hint of sweetness.

4. Ice Cream Sandwich of JR Pastry. Beyond cupcakes, JR Pastry created this perfect summer cooler. I tried the homemade Pistachio Ice Cream sandwiched in chocolate shortbread. This cold dessert is mildly sweetened that it can pass off as a guilt-free treat (I wish).

Designer confection- the Pistachio ICe Cream Sandwich by Jonathan Ramirez.

5. For a light Pinoy snack, try Monica’s Pan de Sliders that come in three variants—longganiza, Pinoy Sloppy Joe with queso de bola and Kesong Puti with caramelized onions, served with crispy camote chips and aioli.

Mexican then, today it's Pinoy this time for this young participant.

Light merienda of Kesog Puti with Caramelized Onions. The Crispy Kamote is delicious even without the dip.

I was able to sample a few dishes that are available anytime in the restaurants of the participants.

1. The Ostrich Egg Vanilla Ice Cream of Sweet Spot (available at Crocodile Park). It’s pretty much the regular vanilla ice cream in consistency but this one is lesser on the sweetness (which I prefer). Other bestselling flavors are the Cookie Butter ad Durian Dynamite. You might want to try the Crocodile Durian or Crocodile Pandan.

Bianca Dizon's Ostrich Vanilla Ice Cream will tickle your sweet spot.

Artisanal ice cream worth trying.

2. Steak and Chorizo Empanadas of Cellar de Boca. What can I say? Both flavors are really good. While you’re at it, try their very refreshing Pomelo Spritz.

Empanada & Eggplant & Mushroom Brown Rice from Tricie Arcenas & Carlo Lorenzana of Cellar de Boca

Delicious Steak Empanadas.

Cellar de Boca's street food menu.

3. Yakitori of Kushiya. One barbecued skewered chicken bathed in teriyaki sauce won’t be enough for sure. Satisfy your Japanese food craving with several skewers of this stall’s grilled food.

Because one skewer of Japanese goody is not enough….

Take your pick.

These delicious street eats made it to my list but maybe you can come up with your own. Go to The Davao Gourmet Collective: Street Food Fest at the Fountain Court of SM Lanang Premier this weekend, March 21-23. Food service starts at 4PM.

For more lifestyle & travel stories, visit http://apples-and-lemons.blogspot.com/ and http://jeepneyjinggoy.blogspot.com/

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 21, 2014.