Union Market: Davao’s Newest Foodgasm Place
Ida Damo | Nov 05, 2018
When you are in Davao, there’s a new offering from the group that brought you Boiling Crabs and Shrimps and Antonio’s--- Union Market.
There’s a wide range of cuisines to choose from its menu. You can have French, Spanish, and Filipino dishes that are tweaked to give you a taste of the countries’ specialties and yet also taste familiar.
Take the Chicharones. Your usual chicharon is a thick layer of pork skin and fat that is smothered in salt, then deep fried. With the chicharones, the fat is scraped off. Here’s the story: Pork skin and fat is boiled, seasoned, fat is removed, what is left is dehydrated, then deep-fried. It takes a minimum of 4 hours to cook and less than 4 minutes to devour a slice. Dip it in Union Square’s house blend vinegar and you would be having seconds, thirds, fourths of the crackling Filipino favorite.
Gambas al Ajillo or Shrimp with Garlic. This is a simple dish yet it would leave you sated. Union Market uses only the freshest shrimps for the gambas. The basic steps for cooking this is to heat butter and olive oil and then the shrimps and garlic are sautéed in the butter and oil combo for just 2-3 minutes. This way, the shrimp retains the taste of the sea and yet imbibe the garlic and butter’s flavors.
Lengua Estofado. Not all would appreciate ox tongue but the way Union Market cooks it would have you changing your mind. Imported ox tongue is cleaned thoroughly, boiled with spices and herbs, and then cooked in brown sauce with paprika and mushrooms and olives. The meat is so tender, and the brown sauce so right, it could melt in your mouth.
Paella Marisco. Union Market’s Paella Marisco is the traditional paella from Valencia region of Spain that uses the freshest seafood like shrimps and mussels. It also uses herbs and spices from Spain and does not scrimp on the saffron needed for the dish. Even the rice used is the round and short Spanish rice that quickly absorbs the broth from the seafood.
The lemon wedges are not just for toppings. Squeeze the lemon on your paella to give it the tang it needs and you’ll get the taste of the sea in every spoonful you eat.
Stone Grill Steak. Watch your steak being prepared and cooked at your table. The stone grill is sprinkled with salt and pepper and the temperature is maintained from 240-260 degrees. The meat is then placed on the stone grill to sear it then watch it sizzle while the delicious aroma wafts to your nose. Medium rare cooking is just 2-3 minutes only for each side.
Your side dish could be green beans, or mashed sweet potato.
If you want the Wagyu A5 aged steak, every 600 grams is PhP24K.
When you are done with the main dishes, it is time to sample their desserts: Take a pick from their array of sinful cakes: Mango Symphony. Ube San Rival. Durian sans rival. Red velvet Cake or their French pastries of double and single flavored macarons. Petit cheesecakes. La boule passion la chouchous. Les cardines. Les tartes passion (chocolate tarts) les petit clairs (eclairs).
Union Market is still in its soft opening but when it launches by the end of October or in early November, they will also be launching their breakfast fare. By then, more Davaoeños would be able to enjoy Union Market’s international cuisine.
Thank you, Sir Chuck Allie Gepaya, Chef Christopher Tiglao, and Sir Anthony Ang.
How to get there:
Major airlines have multiple flights daily from Manila and Cebu to Davao. Union Market is located at Azuela Cove in Lanang, Davao City, just 15-20 minutes from the airport.