Sundays: How Dabaweños eat

The nearly hidden gem called Sundays is a family restaurant located at the newly opened GoHotel in Lanang, Davao City.

What makes it unique is its take on Davao food. No one has really been able to define exactly what this cuisine is (yet). But it is safe to bet that like the city, it is a fusion of influences and, therefore, of flavors and textures.

The ambience is slightly brick and tile with wooden chairs among divisions looking like bookshelves and wine displays. Smart snd homey but not tacky.

But of course, we go there for the food.

The kinilaw is a refreshed take on an old favorite: slivers of fresh tuna or marlin dressed in a slightly spicy and tangy vinegar-based dressing. Unlike your usual ceviche, it is loaded with various vegetable and aromatic accompaniments, turning it into a nice flavorful salad.

The pork humba was gloroius, braised with a sauce that captures that sense of home for many Visayan Davaoeños. What makes it special is that it is mainly lean, opposed to the gummy fat-and-skin combinations of many.

The prize for me was pansit Satemi, very popular in the city yet virtually unknown outside of it. The few internet references on it intrigue most people, who cant quite figure out the taste, its thick noodles sauteed in the usual vegetables, shrimp and pork (or chicken), mildly spiced with satay and a little curry thrown in. A bit more heat with a side of fresh chilis would be nice.

Yes, it is a more complex yet robust flavor reminding you of the Malaysian Char Kway Teow or mainland Southeast Asian Pad Thai. This is Mindanao's own noodle dish making itself known.

As the city enjoys an increase in visitors, so does the need to expose more of its homegrown fusion cuisine to the world. The mix of ambience, good service and flavors makes it a go-to for entertaining friends who need to know Davao more. Sundays does it well, and is therefore worth one’s visit.