If taking home to Manila its famous fresh durian fruit is quite a challenge, the creamy durian delicacies of Apo ni Lola are also good enough to buy.
The 22-year-old brand—founded by Arnel Raakin, grandson of the late Abondia del Puerto Raakin, or Lola Abon, who concocted the durian sweets in the 1950s— specializes in durian yema candy. Unlike the hard, cheap durian candies we often see being peddled near transport terminals, Apo ni Lola’s version is more fleshy, soft and tasty. You can actually relish the creamy combination of fresh milk and durian meat.
Aside from candies, other popular durian-flavored sweets come in the form of bars, tarts, pies, cakes, ice cream and even coffee—served either hot or cold, frappe or smoothie.
If you want more variations, be more adventurous in trying durian mixed with butter, peanut, buko pandan, raisin, mangosteen, mallows, langka, mocha, yema and mango.
But, if durian is not your thing, Apo ni Lola also offers other treats using Davao local fruits, such as Yema Mangosteen Bar and Yema Langka Bar, among others.
As pasalubong, all delicacies come in colorful packaging with ribbons. What’s nice about visiting the Apo ni Lola store in Matina, Davao City, all walk-in guests get free samples of the products.
Apo Ni Lola is at 28 San Miguel Village, Matina, Davao City, tel. nos. (082) 2985099 and 0932-4371973. It also has outlets in Waterfront Hotel, Apo View Hotel, Royal Mandaya Hotel, The Pinnacle Hotel and Abreeza Mall.
Lachi’s Sans Rival Atbp.
Lachi’s is the home of the much raved-about Durian Sans Rival—layers of crisp meringue wafers cloaked in rich durian buttercream (made with real durian and not artificial flavoring), with a liberal sprinkling of cashew bits inside and out.
The durian sans rival has always been a favorite pasalubong from Davao for many years now, and Lachi’s takes pride in knowing that its flagship product has gone to many places, especially overseas.
But it’s not just the sans rival for which people flock to Lachi’s. Its owners, twin brothers Melvin and Michael Aviles, have expanded and created more delightful desserts for its patrons, including Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, Premium Dark Chocolate Cake, Crème Brulee Cake and Roasted Walnut Choco Supreme, among others.
Lachi’s is also a dining restaurant that serves home cooked-style dishes. The Unforgettable Grilled Pork Ribs tops the list—tender, juicy slab of meat brushed in a lightly sweet glaze; followed by Spicy Laing, another favorite takeout treat that’s securely packed in plastic containers.
The place gets full with locals and tourists both lunch and dinner.
Lachi’s Sans Rival, Atbp. is at Door 1-H Values School Building, Ruby St. Marfori Heights Subdivision, Davao City. Call (082) 2245552 or 0917-8814476.
For cheese lovers curious to know how it’s made, prepared and presented, meet Davao’s artisan cheese maker Olive Puentespina at the Malagos Farmhouse. She warmly welcomes you to her tasting room, Leon’s Lounge, where you can sample a variety of local cheeses that have been lauded internationally and are sought after by Manila’s top hotels and restaurants.
For private tasting sessions, she enthusiastically introduces guests to the origin of cheese and cheese-making, and how to create different types of cheeses from curds and whey.
During her talk, she brings out her own versions of kesong puti, feta, chèvre, blue pepato and ricotta, among others, all made from the farm’s own goat’s milk.
She cuts several pieces from small round wheels and rectangular blocks of cheese and lets her guests savor them with nuts, salads, bread and wine to compete the experience.
On the way out of the room, grab a pack or two of cheeses on the chiller to bring home to your loved ones.
Malagos Farmhouse is on Bolcan Street Agdao, Davao City. Call (082) 2264446 and 0917-7001205.