If It's Delicious, It Must be Kumpletos Rekados
Ida Damo | Jun 17, 2015
Davao has a new venue for good to the heart and palate Filipino cuisine with twists in between.
Rekado Filipino Comfort Food Cuisine has all the trimmings of your grandma or your mama’s cooking which brings you back to your own kitchen or dining room.
Strictly speaking, Rekado means ingredients like “flavoring”, “spices”, “seasonings” that bring out the taste of food and added to a dish. This time, it could mean the place where good food is.
Chef Pauline Benedicto prepared vegetables, fish, pork, beef dishes and desserts for me and the Maayong Buntag Mindanao team. The feast began with Vegetable and Seared Tuna Salad, then Pesang Isda (Pompano), Crispy Pork Binagoongan, Cocido de Rabo, then wrapping up with desserts of Churros con Chocolate and Ube Langka Turon.
The vegetable salad had lettuce of different varieties and talbos ng Sayote in tangy Kalamansi-Olive Oil dressing, which complemented well with the seared tuna that was juicy enough.
The Pesang Isda is, as Chef Pauline said, an acquired taste. I cannot describe how it tastes but it reminded me of the Pesang Dalag that was an offering to me while on a trip to the foot of the Sierra Madre range.
Crispy Pork Binagoongan is always a treat for me no matter who cooks it. But this one had an extra punch that brought back memories of my mama’s burong manga. Yes, Rekado’s Crispy Binagoongang Pork has burong manga. It’s a salty and sour delight that melts-in-your-mouth fat and crispy meat. It is that good.
Cocido de Rabo, or oxtail stew, is not Kare-kare because it has a different sauce base. It was interesting for me because it had one of my favorite ingredients—chorizo bilbao. Try it.
In the midst of all the meat came Vegetarian Sisig. You won’t believe it is vegetarian because it had the consistency of meat, the look of meat and the taste of meat. Tofu never tasted this good. Ara, Maayong Buntag Mindanao’s host, loved this dish.
And then there’s dessert. The Ube Langka Turon was creatively presented in an old flat iron. It was not just beautiful, but also delicious as the filling was gooey. It was like eating binignit or ginataang bilo-bilo enclosed in crispy turon wrapper.
You know what’s comforting about Rekado? It is enjoying home-made cooking in a laid-back ambiance. It is as if you’re just eating in your dining room at home. It captured the heart and the taste of Filipino comfort food but with delightful twists.
Big thanks to Ms. Lena and Chef Pauline Benedicto, who opened Rekado for us; Jinggoy Salvador for making it happen; Maayong Buntag Mindanao Team of Dennis Casas, Ara Casas, Fredzon Sagarino and Kuya RezPablico.