“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber
Our two nights in CdO were filled with gastronomic goodness, thanks to two wonderful meals in the city. It was actually difficult to find a recommended restaurant, not that there isn’t an abundance of restaurants in the metro, but locals didn’t seem to know where to eat best. They ate Kagay-anon food at home, so there was hardly any point to taste local food in an upscale setting.
I read about Kagay-anon Restaurant while we were still in Manila, but took little heed of the review. When the name came up when we asked the staff of Bugsay where to eat sinuglaw in CdO, I was interested. We passed by the restaurant when we went to Limketkai Center, but didn’t want to plunge in just yet. We headed to the Concierge in the hope of finding more restaurants specializing in Kagay-anon cuisine, but since the mall staff recommended Gerry’s Grill, a chain of restaurants serving Filipino food, we finally opted to go to Kagay-anon Restaurant.
A grand staircase welcomed us to the restaurant. The walls were decorated with native pieces. We ordered sinuglaw, that famous Kagay-anon dish of grilled pork and raw fish dressed in vinegar. We also ordered grilled fish, buttered clams, pork humba (sweetened pork), and seafood soup.
Though it was my first time to try sinuglaw, it surely didn’t disappoint. The crispiness of the pork belly complements the tenderness of the fish. It was indeed a perfect match. The humba was almost like pata tim, though the meat was of a different cut. The clams had too much butter – it overpowered the taste of the clams. What I loved more was the grilled fish – it was tender and fresh and grilled just right.
We left Kagay-anon with content stomachs, and fantasized about our next sinuglaw encounter.
Fil Me Up
After our trip to Camiguin, we decided to check the restaurant advertised in Bugsay office, Fil Me Up. It is located in the city center, but as our driver also seldom dined out, he didn’t know the exact location of the resto.
I was expecting a very simple place, since they offered an eat-all-you-can feast for only P299, yet I was pleasantly surprised to find a quaint place in the middle of the city. It was open-air, yet was decorated tastefully. It’s like you’re placed in a cozy dining area of a boutique shop.
We availed of the dinner buffet of natives dishes – pancit canton, kare-kare, chicken barbecue. In fact, apart from the sinuglaw, there was no special dish, yet the taste was incredible. All that I tried were cooked just like they were from home. No restaurant gimmicks, purely delicious food.
If you’re craving for Thai food, you can try dishes from their Thai Me Up selection. I wanted to try their pad thai but decided against it as the Filipino buffet was more than enough. Maybe next time. 🙂
That ended our two-night feast in Cagayan de Oro. Watch out for our road trip to Bukidnon next time. Until then, happy travels!