I'm happy to say that the latest Davao Food Trip was an affair of my arrangement: Emmylou Yap, proprietor and master cook of Honeybear Restaurant, is a long-time family friend; when I broached the idea of hosting bloggers to sample her menu, she readily agreed...and how!
We set the food trip on Saturday evening. There were seven of us: Blogie, Andrew, Ria, Gwing, Migs, Winston, and myself. I had been to Honeybear a couple of times before, and so had Blogie; but the rest were new to the place.
It was quite a spread that Emmylou prepared for us. For starters, we had the Honeybear cheese sticks and their fish and chips. What followed was her famous Honeybear Fried Chicken centerpiece, surrounded by her equally delicious beef stroganoff, kare-kare, bulalo steak, and honeycoated spare ribs. To cap it all off, we had their chocolate fudge sundae and Emmylou's magnum opus, Yo! a la mode.
The Honeybear Fried Chicken was, unsurprisingly, the big hit of the night. It's a whole chicken, a crispy golden brown on the outside, yet tender, succulent, and fragrant on the inside. All without the oily texture one comes to expect in the typical fried chicken. Migs was raving about it the whole night to the point where he asked Emmylou what the secret was. With a mysterious smile Emmylou told us that it would continue to be a secret.
Secret sauces seems to be what Honeybear is all about. The cheese stick appetizer was enhanced by the chili dip, as were the fish and chips with its tangy lemon sauce. The beef stroganoff had a generous helping of gravy, all laboriously made from scratch instead of from instant gravy mixes you find off the usual grocery shelf. The honey coated spare ribs, too, had an appetizing glaze of special barbecue sauce; and believe me, it tastes as good as it looks.
The evening's surprise was the Yo! a la mode, a thick, rich serving of chocolate fudge topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate swirl. The fudge is so full and creamy that your friends will have to peel you off the ceiling: it's that good. Emmylou tells us that it's one of the bestsellers at Honeybear.
As to the place itself, Honeybear is a classy spacious restaurant that can easily double as a coffee shop. The tables are small but modular so they can fit either an intimate date or a larger gathering. Honeybear also has a meeting area that can be partitioned off from the main dining space for privacy; the meeting area can easily accommodate fifty people. Honeybear is also available for larger functions. Oh, and lest I forget to mention: free WiFi.
Honeybear is conveniently located across Central Bank and The Venue. It boasts of ample parking space. If Venue gets too loud for your tastes, the Honeybear can be a welcome oasis.
All photos in this post courtesy of Andrew.