Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sarungbanggi - Davao City's Fine Dining Option

Davao City is a beacon for foodies. Flights to this southern Philippine city may be limiting due to the cost of airfare, but once you're there, your peso could go a long way. Food is inexpensive, fresh and delicious - and options abound. However, "fine dining" is a different matter. After all, why spend a fortune in a place where there are relatively cheaper fares without sacrificing quantity or quality. This is why "buffet dining" is a dime a dozen in this city.

But we wanted to try "Sarungbanggi", a fine dine option in the vicinity of SM City Davao (Davao's first SM mall). True, they got food preparation right and their Caesar's Salad is delectable. However, you soon realize that while food isn't bad, the serving is limited, except for the lechon kawali. One entree is good for one. A must-try is their roast chicken which has crackling skin and tender, tasty meat.

Curiously, the restaurant's name could be a homage to a song. The term "Sarung Banggi" is a Bicolano term for "one night". It's a popular folk song, if a tad ponderous and wistful, written by Potenciano B. Gregorio, Sr. A loose translation of the song:

                                               One evening as I lay in bed
                                                I heard the sad song of a bird
                                               At first I thought it was a dream
                                               But soon I recognized your voice

                                               I opened my eyes and arose 
                                               And strained in the darkness to see 
                                                I looked about and up
                                               Then  saw your radiant face.

The more popular Sarungbanggi branch is a traditional steak house located in the dining haven of F. Torres  Street near J.P. Laurel. Though labelled as "casual dining", their rates don't really cater to casual foodies. This particular branch near SM Davao is probably a second branch. If you're tired of buffets, you could give this a try. Don't forget their roasted chicken.

This is the Eye in the Sky!

Just cross the street from Sarungbanggi and you're already at the SM City Davao compound.

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