Location: J.P. Laurel Avenue, Lanang, Davao City
Known as one of the first luxury hotels in Davao, Waterfront Insular Hotel has always been a popular choice of tourists visiting Davao. I grew up in a village adjacent to the hotel and I know for a fact that it’s older than me (I’m 26) and it is still very well maintained. Last December 1, the USPB (US Potato Board) invited us to take part in a food sampling event together with some fine dining restaurants here in Davao City, one of them was Café Uno. Café Uno, located inside the waterfront Insular Hotel, is the hotel’s main restaurant which serves lunch/dinner buffets and a la carte.
In the food sampling event, Café Uno was tasked to create a full course meal that has one specific ingredient – potato. Chef Victor Barangan, the executive chef of Waterfront Insular Hotel Davao, came up with a 5-course meal that was totally brilliant. I, for one, love Japanese cuisine and coincidently Chef Victor prepared a full course meal that is inspired by it. I was in luck! The food tasting event became more exciting for me. Here’s a somewhat detailed rundown of the dishes that was served:
Customarily we see the Bacon wrapped asparagus, but look at these bad boys! French fries rolled in bacon are genius! The peaches also added an excellent flavor to the bunch. I literally had a clean plate 4mins after this was taken. Good job!
The corn soup was delicious, I also finished the whole bowl. I’m not entirely sure about the twisted potatoes though. Every time I see them the first thing that pops in my mind are “twister fries”, the one we buy from French fry food carts and fast food chains. The overall taste of the two combined was alright, it’s just the twister fries imagery that bothers me. (I’m a BBQ flavored fries addict, maybe I’m reacting this way because I see the twisted fries often than regular people)
OH LORD!! This is by far my most favorite salad in my 26 years of existence! I even mentioned how I loved it in my personal social media accounts. I’m a big salad eater, and this is one of those salads that I can proudly recommend to my friends and family. It wasn’t hot (spicy) which contradicts the name they’ve given it. Those crab meat you see under the cherry tomatoes gives out the flare while the criss cut pieces of potatoes brings a little saltiness and texture. This really is perfect! Words aren’t even enough to justify my appreciation 🙂
A medium well steak accompanied with prawn tempura. I personally didn’t like the quality of the steak used, it was not as tender as I expected it to be (in tagalog “maugat”). I had to double my efforts in slicing it in small portions. The tempura was superb! Unlike any other restaurants who adds a lot of breading to give an illusion of a bigger tempura, Surf and Turf’s huge shrimp won’t disappoint you. Taste wise, still gratifying.
For those of you who haven’t had a doriyaki, it is a Japanese dessert wherein a red bean paste is sandwiched in two castella pancakes. This one on the other hand had 2 different flavored ice creams (vanilla & durian) in between. The dessert resembles a crepe a la mode – Spongy and creamy. I’m not a dessert fan, therefore, I don’t get ecstatic with sweets easily. I tried chef Victor’s other desserts like tarts and cheesecakes, they were all delicious! But the doriyaki didn’t appeal to me the same way. 5/10
All-in-all, the full course meal prepared by Café Uno was excellent. The potato blended well in all the dishes. Honestly, I’ve been craving for the appetizer and the salad since I had them (Haha!). I would surely be coming back for another round of this set.