I received a message inviting me to a soft opening and tasting event for the menu of  "The Epicurious Gastropub".  As I lounged inside our living room, preparing all my things for the said event, all I could think about was --- what does EPICURIOUS mean and how I get so lucky to taste their food!



I eventually get my dictionary and look for the meaning of it. Ok, Epicurious from the word EPICURE or a person who takes particular pleasure in fine food and drinks and CURIOUS ...Hmmm..sounds perfect to me! A full of understanding before going to the event.

Found this eatery a bit new to me and intriguing. When I arrive, the place was full of invited guests. And I'm amaze with the interior and the concept they have with their gastropub.

A Contemporary Euro-Asian Gastropub that has a bar and a restaurant that serves fusion dishes and drinks.

Credit photo The Epicurious Gastropub

Credit photo The Epicurious Gastropub


Guests and Relatives are waiting for the Soft Opening to start


Brian Uy, Ainah Charina and Kagawad Jocelyn Tapic of Brgy 34-D

A dedication ceremony was first presided over by a Pastor followed by a birthday celebration, and the whole reason why #TEAMDDI was invited by Cheska Jopson (the Chef and one of the corporate owner) was because The Epicurious Gastropub wanted food and lifestyle bloggers to taste their dishes - the idea that we can help them shape and improve their menu.

Menu and the Price are subject to change. As the management is trying to upgrade and do some changes with the taste and pricing.

For the soft opening they want us to try their three-kinds of menu from their Blackened SpecialsClassic Comfort and Silog Combos list. 


BLACKENED SPECIALS
(main course)



Blackened Spare Ribs with Sauce Duo


Dry-rubbed then grilled spare ribs, served with buttered vegetables and rice.
PHp165.00
~BEST SELLER~

This is my fave. I enjoyed this dish more than I did with the Chicken Mole Adobo. A must try!



Blackened Salmon with Honey Lemon Sauce


Dry-rubbed then grilled salmon fillet, served with buttered vegetables, rice and sauce
PHp290

Honestly, I love salmon so much. 1. What happened here is that the sauce used here for dipping doesn't compliments with the salmon (there's an after taste) and 2. I like salmon more when it is served alone, even if without the sauce, because the fish itself is marinated and it has already the taste of perfection you want for a dish.



Blackened Rib Eye Steak with Sauce

Dry-rubbed then grilled NZ Rib Eye Steak,
served with buttered vegetables, rice and sauce.
PHp299

This dish made me really appreciate finally being able to taste the NZ Rib Eye Steak! I like the way they cook the rib eye, so appealing to the palate and the sauce really compliment with the steak. Absolutely yummy same with the spare ribs!


Calamari with Tartar Sauce

Fried calamari produces tender pieces of  squid in a light, crispy batter + with tartar sauce
PHp188

(photo credit to The Coffee Chic)

I like the white dipping sauce (Tartar Sauce) a perfect tangy condiment for this fried calamari. When you taste it you will imagine every bites it taste crunchy and soft in the inside --- well probably because squid is almost always delicious.

CLASSIC COMFORT
(main course)  



Chicken Mole Adobo

Served chicken (cut in to strips) in mole adobo sauce with dark chocolate twist.
PHp120

Well, here it goes...my curiosity hits me with this dish. First time to hear about Mole Adobo. So what does mole (Mexican sauce) means, it contains about 20 ingredients, that includes chili peppers and chocolate, the two works together to counterpart the heat of the chili peppers, but the chocolate doesn't dominate it just helps to darken the sauce. While adobo is a Filipino fave dish, a chili-based marinade or sauce that has vinegar, onion and garlic and contain other herbs and spices.

I love this recipe, mixing chicken adobo with mole is a fusion dish that Epicurious serve at their gastropub. The taste is very unique far from my lola's good old fashioned take.

It is just savory - has a semi-sweet, semi-bitter richness! A Mexican spin on our National dish indeed!

PASTA

Lasagna

Layered and baked ground beef , pasta sheets and special tomato sauce,
topped with bechamel sauce, served with Ciabatta bread.
PHp197

Who doesn't love Lasagna? For me, this is one of my comfort food and it is cheap. If you're on a budget and you want to stay full in a day - this is your go-to meal. Try this dish and for sure you gonna love it!

BAR FOOD
(Shareable)

These is good for "pulutan" (appetizer) pair with alcoholic drinks.


Pork Sisig

PHp150



Crispy Pata

PHp465


Other services:


1. For me, the place is good for gatherings though the place is not that spacious, well if you want to make it exclusive like birthday parties or family reunion - you can. They have A la Carte and they also have BUFFET every Sunday, a lunch for only PHp399 and dinner for PHp499.

2. A small function room for your exclusive meeting. Good for 10-15 pax.



  

Indeed the food was eclectic with everything from blackened spare sibs, rib eye, calamari, and chicken mole adobo. The portions was generous and the price is very reasonable.

We have this dessert, Panna Cotta - it's so good, creamy and I like it because it is not so sweet. Perfect for my taste bud!



Menu for drinks and cocktails is not yet available. But for that night, they have this lemonade that's so simple, fresh, delicious and refreshing!

Cheska Jopson, the Chef and co-owner of The Epicurious Gastropub said that they are changing the menu and they are in a transition stage as they are just starting up their business. So expect for more dishes to come!



BUY ONE DRAFT BEER GET ONE FREE at the Bar starting tonight, Monday (May 22) till Friday (May 26)




VERDICT:

1. Indeed the menu has interesting items, though it is not final but I think they need to add more dish/meal that are not typical run of the meal selections that we usually see and eat here in Davao.

 2. Cool atmosphere. Well it's a gastropub expect that the place use dim lights - not so dark and not so bright!

3. Parking can be a bit of a challenge, but with patience not a problem.

4. Food is uniquely prepared with interesting spices. I ended up being in love with the food, especially the Blackened Spare Ribs, Pork Sisig and Chicken Adobo Mole. A must try!

5. Just use proper ingredients, so that it will not affect the recipe. Customers are very sensitive, especially if they know the right taste of the dish.

6. The quality was admirable.


Me and the Chef and Sous Chef's
(Starting from right: Cheska Jopson, 
Mark Tayabas, Me, Emmanuel Samumbot,and Rashenna Navarro)


7. For the staff, they all are down to earth and very attentive.

And I have to say, I'm definitely coming back to this trendy spot! 

You can visit Epicurious Gastropub now!


Located at the ground floor, Dover Lanes Bldg., Bonifacio corner P.Gomez St.,Davao City (near Humberto's)



For Reservation, please call (082) 321-5613

Open from Monday to Sunday
Operating Hours:
11AM to 2:30PM
5PM to 12MN


Follow their Social Media Accounts




Special thanks to Sofia Jopson for the invite.


And also to the owners: Chef Cheska Jopson, Mary Joy Bangay and Allan Cruz 
An ancestral home converted into cozy "lutong-bahay" (home cooked meal) restaurants, always a good option for provincial visit or a venue when you're in a large group or big family gathering. The Bagoong Club Resto is no exception.


Photo credit Rhiz De Leon

For a developing city like Davao City, I'm glad that there's a new restaurant to offer good comfort food and spacious setting to accommodate family or even out-of-town guests craving for authentic and unique fusion of Filipino dishes.

THIS IS HOME

The restaurant occupies two floors, first floor is divided into two areas, BINAGOONGAN and BULALO room. Same as with typical house, the furnitures and fixtures are made of woods.


BINAGOONGAN ROOM

BULALO ROOM
Photo credit Rhiz DL

KARE-KARE ROOM (2nd Floor) and beside is UKOY ROOM
Photo credit Rhiz DL

The interior is very laid back, which I like very much. There were some resemblance of my Grandpa's old house -- the photos on the wall and magazine clips and other publications where Bagoong Club was featured. A few interesting pieces of decorations that ultimately matched the old fashioned home decor incorporated with a good ambiance of the place.



There is a Pasalubong Corner  near the counter, according to the management they are still planning to put what they have in their other branches, the likes of Bottled Bagoong and other delicacies, that I'm sure they taste good!

HOMEMADE FOOD at its best!
   

Honestly, I thought that all their dishes contains bagoong (shrimp paste). But I discover that bagoong is not applicable to all dishes.

SINGKAMAS 

A complimentary treat with two kinds of bagoong - the sweet Bagoong Pag-ibig (love) and the spicy Bagoong Umaga (morning).



I love singkamas (Jicama) so much that I feel addictive munching it to the last bite even if the main dishes were served to us.

PATIKIM-TIKIM (Appetizer)


UKOY (Best Seller)
A best seller indeed and we love the taste of their Ukoy dish. Not the traditional ukoy that my mom usually cook at home. 

A crunchy shrimp with strips of Kalabasa and Kamote (sweet potato), it has unique taste dashed with their very own bagoong powder ---it is savory and crunchy.

NASA KALYE (Street foods)


ISAW 
This is my first time to eat ISAW in a restaurant. And to tell you honestly, it is very yummy (well for me this is my fave!).


BASTA BINAGOONGAN four different kinds of bagoong sauce infused dishes.


Crispy Pork Binagoongan

A nice twist to a classic binagoongan, the crispiness of the pork is more tastier than the common pork binagoongan I've tried. So easy to chew and the sauce is perfectly blended!


PURO KABABUYAN 


Crispy Pata
Crispy Pata is traditionally present in every Filipino meal, especially in a special occasion. A tummy pleaser indeed, its crispiness and delicious taste after dipping it in a vinegar with a soy sauce, I can't resist the delicious taste of the pork.

An added dish to their Davao menu - Crispy Dinuguan.


Crispy Dinuguan

Davao palate is very different from Manila, we do have different appreciation of taste and flavor. This time Bagoong Club introduce their Crispy Dinuguan to all Dabawenyos to try.

The Dinuguan or the bloody porcine dish, with crispy pork cook with sauce thick, rich and creamy. Despite the numerous versions of it across the country, I can still love this dish depends on how it cook and presented.

KANIN NGA!


BAGOONG RICE


KATAKAM-TAKAM NA MINANDAL


Pancit Inasal

A new fusion of Filipino dish, a pancit mix with the recipe of Inasal. Inasal is a local variant roast chicken or pork marinated in a mixture of lime, pepper, vinegar and annato grilled in a coal. 

This time Bagoong Club combine the two recipes in one dish. I like this dish because it tastes good and can be a complete meal by itself.  


SISIGA-SIGA KA BA?


MULA SA PUSO ( Puso ng Saging Sisig)
I know everyone will raise their eyebrows upon reading the name of the dish. Yes, you got it right! A Puso ng Saging made into sisig. The banana blossoms are cooked crispy sisig style with onions, liver and chili peppers as a topping.  Who doesn't love sisig? Oh, well if you doesn't like it better love this recipe now! It taste like pork sisig.

KANYA-KANYANG KARE-KARE


TRADITIONAL KARE-KARE (Buntot at Twalya)

My all-time fave Kare-Kare dish. A Filipino stew complimented with a thick savory of peanut sauce perfect with spicy bagoong (shrimp paste). You can request, for a separate plate for the vege if you don't like to eat it with the sauce.

What I like with Bagoong Club Kare-kare is that they used a well roasted peanut that is well processed, when you taste it you can still feel the grainy texture of it - so delicious.

As I can see it the color of the dish is so bright, but I'm not that sure if they add "annatto" or atsuete powder to make the food reddish, though this ingredients cannot affect the taste of the dish, it just add brightness!

HIGOP MUNA     


BULALO SA MONGGO

The soup dish is one of the best-sellers, Bulalo sa Monggo was Bagoong Original recipe, just like most of their dishes.

I love bulalo and I love monggo...so better try this dish and let me know your verdict.

MGA PANGHIMAGAS (Dessert) 


Maja. Mais, Turon


ENSAYMADA PUDDING

A turon with maja blanca and corn filling and a pudding recipe made in to a Pinoy favorite ensaymada.

First time to eat these desserts, the best dessert recipes so far, so yummy plus it's a healthy dessert! Thumbs up!

MGA PANULAK


Fresh Fruit Shakes
PABORITO

Gulaman lang (walang sago)



VERDICT:


Eating here is like eating in our own home, but with a twist - a taste of fusion!

Their menu is very simple, no frills at all. What is very unique with Bagoong Club is they serve authentic and unique home style food.

Very reasonable priced, ranging from P100-350.

Food Serving is good for sharing, either share it with your group and/or family gathering.

Serving time was quick too.

Waiters are very attentive, but some are lacks of smile on their faces.

The ambiance is very cozy and "homely".


Photo credit to Ian Garcia


Overall, it was a very good time for us #TeamDDI to be invited for a food taste at the new cuisine in town - The Bagoong Club Resto, the innovative Pinoy fusion restaurant that features bagoong on most of the dishes.

Looking forward for the Acoustic Bar to open and more offerings of new menu for the Dabawenyos.


Bagoong Club Davao located at 123 University Ave. corner Talisay St., Juna Subd., Matina, Davao City


FOR Table or Room RESERVATION
(082) 298-5968

OPEN
Monday to Sunday
10AM to 10PM







      
Max's Restaurant started in 1945 after the World War II. The owner, Maximo Gimenez - a Stanford, educated teacher befriended the American troops stationed at Quezon City. And because of its friendship the Gimenez residence becomes a "tambayan" (hangout) of American soldiers wherein they eat and drink. Then Maximo decided to open a cafe to accommodate big troops. The cafe initially served chicken, steak, and drinks. Ruby (Maximo's niece) who managed the kitchen, created a special recipe for chicken, that become famous and instantly love by the GIs as well as with the Filipino who tasted the delicious, chicken-tender, juicy, and crispy and Max's Restaurant was born!

Over the years, Max's become the growing food empire that serves Filipino family all over the world! And now they have this new menu that everyone will surely love, especially the millennials and people the on-the-go.

Favorite Classics Go #SarapToTheBowls



I was invited for a tasting event of Max's newest dish Kare-Kare and Crispy Pata at Max's Restaurant located at the 2nd floor SM Lanang Premier (Near Sky Garden Entrance).

The dishes presented to us are the two classic all time favorites of Pinoys in Max's Restaurant when dining with friends and family.


These two dishes considered as the holiday dishes and usually served in any occasions. But here in Max's, you can enjoy these food anytime, every day even if you go solo!

INTRODUCING THE ALL-NEW Max's Crispy Pata Rice Bowl and Kare-Kare Rice Bowl!


Kare-Kare Rice BowlsPlain rice topped with big chunks of beef, oxtripe, native pechay and string beans and served with thick peanut saunce, ground peanut, spring onions and Max's bagoong alamang + a FREE ice-cold Pepsi drink.

CRISPY PATARice bowl of golden brown slices of fried boneless Crispy Pata and fried banana, garnished with light golden brown fried garlic bits and chopped spring onions + a FREE ice-cold Pepsi drink.

This is the first time Max's Restaurant served "All single" meal for individual cravings, giving you a taste of home, at a truly affordaBOWL price for only PHp199!

THE VERDICT


For deliciously cooked home-style Filipino meal Max's Restaurant got you covered. For me, everything tasted just as it should. For Crispy Pata still as the best- crisp on the outside, so tender, juicy, very succulent on the inside. But the Kare-Kare, simply fantastic - the sauce is rich and creamy yet light, tasty, it compliment with the bagoong! Truly a well-executed Filipino Kare-Kare we have in our own home cooked by our elders. It was everyone's favorite!

It's nice to know that Max's came out with this idea, to have a meal perfectly served for single/solo meal. Though there are lots of food chain popping out, there are some things that remained unchanged and that Max's is still one of those places we can run to if we want to eat food that we like eating when we are at home, cooked "authentically" and "traditionally" but now with a twist suited for the millennials.

Max's Crispy Pata and Kare-Kare Rice Bowls are available at all Max's Restaurants nationwide and valid for dine-in, take-out and delivery.

For Delivery Max Abreeza, please DIAL this number :  285-0558

For updates, please do visit Max's Restaurant