Saturday, May 14, 2011

Habra Covina Cafe Restaurant - Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur

About a kilometer from the fork of the road from Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, passing through Sta, Cruz Cemetery, straddling barangay Tuban, I found a seemingly misplaced restaurant in the middle of nowhere. The surrounding area are coconut plantations and a sprinkling of small houses. It's called Habra Covina Ihaw-Ihaw Cafe Restaurant facing the national highway that services Davao City to Digos road.

For just PhP99, you can have a buffet of endemic gastronomic servings found in the province - nothing too fancy, but it's the variety that's the catch.

On the buffet table was what they call "lokot", which is believed to be a digested seaweed; some calling it sea cucumber's (trepang) "shit". The whole serving looks like a greenish gelatinous noodle that others erroneously consider "fish shit" - which it isn't. Lokots are usually served raw with a sprinkling of onions, parsley and sometimes, a sweet-savory sauce.

The menu changes daily, but we caught kinilaw, boiled chicken parts, squid dipped in its dark ink sauce, tasty meatballs, clams, some fried fish, a fish-based soup, and my favorite - the sweetish "humba" (must have enjoyed three returns). There are desserts served depending on your day of visit.

This seemingly secluded restaurant is said to be owned by the Otbo family of Digos City, and is competently run by its friendly staff of three (waitress/cashier, cook, janitor). Its clientele are the well heeled denizens of the province who prefer serene dining here. We caught a mayor of a small town and a lady and her daughter on their way to Davao City. Though the restaurant opens at 7AM for a la carte servings, buffet starts at 9 AM onward. Restaurant closes at 7PM and has a "no leftover" policy for their buffet meal.


Lokot - sea cucumber's digested end product, served raw with onion, parsley and a sweet and savory sauce.


Humba - a Visayan pork dish thats sweet, sugary and reddish on sauce. Ingredients include pork hocks, crushed garlic cloves, packed brown sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaf, pepper, oil, salt, potatoes, and the optional hard boiled eggs. Humba used to be exclusively served in mountain villages and far flung towns but has since enjoyed popularity throughout Visayas and Mindanao.


Ola said...

I have some technical problems with blogging lately, so apologies if I send it once again:)
You made my hungry!:)

eye in the sky said...

@ Ola: We all did have blogging problems the past couple of ay.days, Ola, from Philippines to Poland and Portugal. It was a glitch in the Blogger system. Was frustrating.

@ Trotter: I got your comment too and published it but it's not showing here. Am not sure if it has something to do with the Blogger glitch yesterday.

nathalie said...

same here about an unpublished comment..sayang ganda pa namn sna..hehehe 'kala ako lang. :)

eye in the sky said...

It's frustrating because the one who wrote might think you didn't publish it. Ano kaya'ng akala mo? :->

nathalie said...

yun na nga...hehehe published ko nlang kya da fb sabay apologize..
or copy paste nlang to where the comment should be. :)

eye in the sky said...

Haha. Actually it's sweet how you think about something you have no control of. I don't think apologies are necessary though. I'm sure whoever is concerned knew of these "glitches". :->

nathalie said...

nakakahiya kasi baka sabihin di ko pinansin yung comment nya..hehehe