I was fortunate to have been invited to the US Potato Safari 3, along with select Manila and Davao bloggers. Throughout the trip, we were introduced and showered with insightful US Potato information. Of course, we were also treated to US Potato appetite whetting goodness, the first of which is at one of the most famous fine dining restaurants in Davao.
Helmed by husband and wife duo, Chef Claude and Tess Le Neindre, Claude's Le Cafe de Ville has been a culinary institution in Davao City. Claude's, as it's lovingly known, was the first to offer authentic French regional cuisine in the area. However, it's not only its dishes that entice patrons. The restaurant itself has a rich history as well.
Apart from serving guests for 19 years now since May 1996, Claude's operates in the rustic and charming Oboza Heritage House, which was built in 1929 by Engineer Alfonso Oboza, the first municipal mayor before Davao was chartered into a city.
Claude's Le Cafe de Ville has been one of the top rated restaurants in TripAdvisor for many years now. And while I'm sure their regular menu is excellent, for the US Potato Safari 3, Chef Claude Le Neindre has personally walked us through his specially-curated menu that showcases the innovative us of US Potatoes.
It was 7-course of French goodness that started off with their basket of Focaccia bread, with butter and salsa on the side. And to kick off the meal, we each had our serving of appetizer.
|Chili Potato Cheese with Shrimps|
Perfectly-cooked plump and juicy pieces of shrimps, cheese tater rounds and logs... Who can resist this bomb of a meal starter? Savory, spicy with a real depth in flavor, this appetizer had our palates excited for the dishes to come.
|Creamy Onion Potato Veloute|
We then had a bowl of French onion soup loaded with sweet caramelized onions and topped with potato croutons and brie. Sweet, savory and hearty, this is a certified comfort food!
For salad, we had this colorful plate of Davao's freshest mangoes, pomelo and greens, mixed with cheese and US potato wedges, and drenched in sweet and tangy vinaigrette. For those on a diet yet still wants to feel full, this is a salad I'd recommend.
|Pepper Steak in Hash Brown|
For the main course, we enjoyed this beautifully medium-grilled steak sandwiched in two crispy US potato hash. Served with peppered gravy on the side, this is a hearty and really filling dish that can already pass off as a complete meal in itself.
|Potato Cheese Souffle|
Our desserts were probably the most interesting portion of the meal for me. First off, we were served this light and airy ramekin of souffle which had a nice balance of potato, cheese and egg flavors. Although it didn't properly fall into the dessert category (it's more savory than sweet), I personally liked it and can see this dish as a breakfast offering.
|Potato Durian Pie ala Mode|
And for the most creative dish of the meal, at least for me, we had this beautiful slice of potato durian pie. Durian, for a lot of people, is a fruit they either love or hate. No in betweens. As for me, I surprisingly like it, and this dessert has made me love the fruit even more. Served with cold, creamy vanilla ice cream, this warm and smooth pie with subtle hints of durian is perfect harmony in every mouthful. (I'm actually craving as I write this!) σ(ﾟｰ^*)
Overall, our experience at Claude's Le Cafe de Ville for the US Potato Safari 3 is a memorable one! The place itself is magical and very Instagrammable. The servers, courteous. And the food, delectable and creative. Not to mention, portions are very hearty that we instantly found ourselves full to the brim even before the main course!
If you ever find yourself at Claude's, check out their dishes that showcase the innovative use of US potatoes. I'm sure it'll also be a hit for you! (๑ゝڡ◕๑)
Claude's Le Cafe De Ville, Davao City
Oboza Heritage House, 143 JP Rizal St.,
Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines