Wednesday 16 July 2014

Oscar's @ Conrad Singapore – Tantalising Flavour of Davao

Davao Cultural and Food Festival
Thank you very much to Conrad Centennial Singapore Team for the invitation to sample such wonderful dishes of Davao and to enjoy a night of cultural performances.

Davao city in Mindanao Philippines is the largest city in the island and also one of the largest city in the world. With such a large area, Davao region is a melting pot of different culture especially different tribes in the area. Davao is also famous for its local produce such as pamelos, mangosteens & durians and fresh seafoods including tuna. From 15th to 20th July 2014, Conrad Centennial Singapore and Philippine Department of Tourism, presents to you Davao Cultural and Food Festival.

Kalumon Dance Troupe from the native land of Davao

During Davao Cultural and Food Festival, Chef Eduardo Tuazon and his team from Marco Polo Hotel Davao in Philippines will be showcasing the Ten Tribes of Davao Philippines Cuisine in Oscar's Restaurant.

Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, Ambassador Antonio A. Morales

The Davao Cultural and Food Festival was officially open by Philippine Ambassador to Singapore, Ambassador Antonio A. Morales. In which the guests are also entertain by the Cultural Dance Performance by Kalumon Dance Troupe from the native land of Davao.

Lechon Baboy (Whole Roasted Suckling Pig - Davao Style) 

Subsequently, we proceed to Oscars to experience the Davao cuisine. We started our dinner with a combo of Davao appetisers: Tuna Kinilaw; Squid & Shrimp Salad; Eggplant with Salted Egg; and Green Mango with Shrimp Paste and Pork Crackers.

Green Mango with Shrimp Paste & Tuna Kinilaw

Tuna Kinilaw is Davao version of cured raw fish salad. Surprisingly, it is more subtle than what I expected. The same can be said with the Squid & Shrimp Salad. Fresh, but very subtle taste to entice your appetite. The eggplant with salted egg has a slightly more bold taste. For the Green Mango with shrimp paste, shrimp paste seems to be similar to the rojak paste that we have but with a bit of chocolaty taste and it is actually pretty salty if not for the green mango. The crispy Pork Crackers (light and crunchy) can be very addictive when you dip it with shrimp paste.

Clockwise from left: Eggplant w/ Salted Egg, Green Mango w/ Shrimp Paste,
Tuna Kinilaw, and Squid & Shrimp Salad

In between the appetizers and the main meal, I went to explore the other dishes Davao dish on offer. I spotted Lechon Baboy (yes, the whole roasted suckling pig) and Manok Pianggang (braised chicken with lemon grass and coconut milk). The Lechon is just a beauty, the meat is tender, succulent and with a nice balance between the fat and lean meat, while the crackling is thin and crispy. The chicken is tender, juicy and flavourful, especially on the drumstick.

Manok Pianggang

Manok Pianggang & Lechon Baboy (serving portion)

Back to the tasting menu, we were served the traditional Davao cuisine that are normally cooked in a bamboo or banana leaf. We have the selection from Spiced Roasted Chicken with Bamboo Rice, Beef & Scallops, cooked in Bamboo, Shrimp & Tuna cooked in Banana Leaf. With the exception of the chicken, the rest of the dishes that were cooked in bamboo or banana leaf, produce dishes that has rich and creamy gravy. These dishes are just best to enjoy with flavourful bamboo rice. Each of the proteins are very tender and for the seafood it was fresh and not overcooked.

Spiced Roasted Chicken with Bamboo Rice, Beef & Scallops, cooked in Bamboo
, Shrimp & Tuna cooked in Banana Leaf

Bamboo Rice with Beef & Scallops, cooked in Bamboo
, Shrimp & Tuna cooked in Banana Leaf
Rice Cooked in Bamboo Tube (Sinaing)

Of course tasting Philippines dish won't be complete without Chicken Adobo and Braised Ox Tail in Peanut Sauce (Kare Kare). I personally find the chicken adobo lack of punch, it seems that it is missing the bold flavour of the Philippines cuisine. Meanwhile, the oxtail is very tender and melts in your mouth. The peanut sauce with oxtail, is just something that you need to get used to. Although it is a combination of savory and sweet, the taste leaning towards the sweet side.

Clockwise from Top Left: Chicken Adobo, Kare-Kare (Davao Cuisine)
Seafood with Lemon Beurre Blanc and Roast Lamb T-Bone with Rosemary Sauce (Chef Foo Speciality)

The above in serving portion

For the sweet ending of the meal, we have Durian Panna Cotta; Mangosteen Crème Custard; Coconut Cream Yam Porridge, Pomelo Crème Brulee; and Jack Fruit Sponge Cake. Each of these desserts represent the tropical flavour fruits that can be found in Davao. The Durian Panna Cotta has a smooth velvety texture. Pomelo Crème Brulee has a nice balance between the sweetness of the crème and the citrus flavour from the pomelo. The coconut cream yam porridge is Davao version of bobo cha cha.

Chef Eduardo Tuazon with his Team and Desserts

From Left to Right: Mangosteen Crème Custard, Jack Fruit Sponge Cake, Coconut Cream Yam PorridgeDurian Panna Cotta, and Pomelo Crème Brulee

 Pomelo Crème Brulee

The presentation of Mangosteen Creme Custard got my two thumbs up. They extract the meat of the mangosteen, turn it to crème custard and serve it back like in its original version. While the sponge cake is light, the crème jack fruit is served on what looks like part of the branch of the jackfruit tree.

Mangosteen Creme Custard

While some people end the meal there, I just can't get stop myself from trying Sisig (Broiled Pork Mask and Liver with lemon and chilli). The taste is just deliciously intense. While the Lemon and Chilli suppose to cut through this intense flavour, I find that it is slightly tone down to adjust to everyone's taste buds.


Overall, I really enjoy this opportunity to experience the Davao & Philippines cuisine. To ensure a memorable dining experience, you will be serenaded with Davao traditional songs, performed by Kalumon Dance Troupe when you dined in Oscar's during this food festival.

Oscar the Bear with the Tasting Menu

So if you never been to Davao or Philippines, do stop by Oscar's @ Conrad Centennial Singapore between 15th - 20th July 2014 to experience Davao Cultural and Food Festival, on top of delicious food served in Oscar's (See below for the rest of the photos). Who knows, you might be the winner of 3D2N Holiday Accommodation for 2 person in Marco Polo Hotel Davao Philippines inclusive of round trip tickets by SilkAir. Cheers!!!

Food & Drinks: 8/10
Value: 7.5/10
Service: N/A
Ambiance: 8.5/10
Budget per Person: $81 & Above

A Taste of Davao @ Oscar's
2 Temasek Boulevard
Lobby Level, Conrad Centennial Singapore
Singapore 038982

T: +65 6432 7481
Open 24 Hours for A la carte menu
Buffet Breakfast: 06.00 – 10.30
Buffet Lunch: 12.00 – 14.30
Buffet Dinner: 18.00 – 22.00
Sunday Amazing Graze Lunch: 12.00 – 15.00

Some more food photos for Chubby Botak Koala reader to salivate further:

Sushi Selections

Sashimi Selections. Rating 7/10 (can be better)

Fresh Seafood. Rating 8.5/10 (especially the oysters)


Healthier Choice Desserts - Fruits 

Sweet Ending - Thanks for Reading.
from Chubby Botak Koala

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