I was in Davao City yesterday for a day trip and I specifically requested our driver to bring us to a place for lunch that was frequented by the locals, preferably a carinderia or streetside food stall and NOT a fast-food store. So he brought us to a place where he said presidential candidates Mar Roxas and Rodrigo Duterte once shared a meal when Mar visited Davao and the two were still friends. Ha, ha.
The place is known for its “sinuglaw” (a portmanteau of “sinugba,” Visayan for grilled pork, and “kinilaw,” Visayan for anything raw cooked in vinegar, something like ceviche). So we placed order good for sharing for three people. The way it is stacked is that the sliced grilled pork for the base, then sliced radishes and cucumbers, then the raw tuna on top with some more vegetables. This dish is seasoned on the table — we let the local driver do it for us — with fermented beans (taosi), salt, MSG, sugar, fresh chili, vinegar and, of course, calamansi juice, each giving the salty, sweet, spicy and sour hints to the dish. The place also gave free soup — “balbacua” or cow’s feet soup.
It was delicious! Total bill for this serving plus 4 cups of rice and drinks was 210 pesos, or roughly 5 U.S. dollars for a group of 3. Wow.