Thursday, November 29, 2012

AHFAT Dapat or Dapat AHFAT

Still in Davao, I was into my second dinner on this latest weekend visit to the city. Remember the choices offered by the Pinnacle Front Desk Crew? Well, I was bound to follow what we agreed was best for me. Last night it was Penong’s, so I told myself tonight it should be Ahfat! But a business contact invited me to dine with her and another of their associates from Manila that attended our activity. Thus, I thought Ahfat was therefore out of my itineraries.

Lo and behold… the business contact asked if we were fine with Chinese food as she intended on bringing us to the best Chinese Restaurant in the city called Ahfat. I managed to keep my excitement clipped a bit to maintain a business-like rapport and said “yes, I am fine with that”. But in my brain I was truly silently screaming “yes, yes, YES. LET’S GO”! Hehehe, business… sometimes you have to ridiculously fake things for the sake of a reputation - whatever!

And so we went!

Along the way, business contact was kind of priming me and her associate from Manila about this restaurant called Ahfat. Like she told us the place would rather be a bit crowded at dinnertime especially that today was a Saturday when most families and friends would opt to go out together. In my mind I was connecting things like ‘if there were a lot of local diners, then that only means the place must be a real value for money; if the business contact suggest's we eat there, then that probably means the food is a real must-try for the visitor”. Hmm, that early, as we traversed the roads towards Victoria Plaza, I was already dead sure that the suggestion of my hotel’s front-staff was a real best option!

As we alighted from the business contact’s vehicle, she pointed to us that there are actually 3 branches of Ahfat in the very same vicinity! Yep, the square of big eating places behind Victoria Plaza Mall. I said OMG, three branches in the very same place! I looked at all three from the parking lot and they all looked big restaurants to me. Each should probably be able to fit hundreds of diners at any one time, I think!

We all laughed though when I said “so hindi Ahfat, tatlo lang”!

We walked to Ahfat III – full to the hilt with some folks waiting to be seated. We walked to Ahfat II, there were 2 empty tables but they were too big (capacity 10 persons each) for just the 3 of us. A waitress pointed to two joined square tables behind the door near the cashier that we might like. Not a really prime or fantastic area in the restaurant but we went for it just the same (as if we had any other choice anyway hehe)!

Game! So came the menu books (actually photobooks but obviously too worn-out due to constant use), I just took a picture of that one given to me and I told the 2 ladies I’d go for whatever they choose. I know Chinese Restaurants, it will be a miracle to spot a menu item that is good for just a single diner. Each order is usually good for a squad hehe! So I told my companions, whatever you like, I will like it – with a qualifier saying “as long as there is rice”!

As the ladies got busy choosing what we should have, I turned my head just to scan how the place looks. Well, bustling! I was sure I wouldn’t dare take a pic of the entire dining area as some in the hundreds of folks eating might get offended hehe. Glanced outside and I could see signage of Ahfat I and Ahfat II. Awk, weren’t we supposed to be inside Ahfat II? Why did that next building also had Ahfat II on the roof? Waiters were too busy I did not bother them with my question but it looked to me like Ahfat II is actually in 2 buildings. Meaning there are two? It looked so to me. Therefore? There (probably or technically) are four Ahfat restaurants in this area! So apat na Ahfat?! Looks like!

Soon our food came. Compared to many Chinese restaurants I have been to, it was rather fast. And OMG ohlalalala! We only had soup, steamed fish, shrimp, a vegetable dish and fried rice, but I was very sure we wouldn’t be able to finish them all! The bird’s nest soup (small) was more than enough for the three of us – but that was the smallest we could get. The house-tea came late though, and we all wondered why. Just the same we still sipped cupfuls!

Am not good at describing food, am better eating them. So all I could say now is, I liked how they (Ahfat) got me to burping with real satisfaction! I felt like looking for a hammock and gently swing myself to snooze! Amidst all the friendly talk, when none of us was touching any food anymore, my companions told me to eat more. I did “re-attempt” to have more of the delectable steamed fish. But, eventually, I declared…  “Ladies, my apologies please, voracious glutton as I may truthfully be, I can only finish food fit for a squad, not a battalion”!

Whatta dinner! While I have been to Davao many times, this was my first time to see Ahfat and eat there too! Probably because I avoid the banquet quantity food per serving since I usually travel alone hehe. But what about the times I was with friends to watch Kadayawan? Well, we always look for eating places not found in the metropolis. So we probably crossed Ahfat out when someone learned it was a “chinese resto”. Indeed, it is just like eating at any of the many Chinese restaurants in Manila and Cebu.

But am thankful I had this chance to try Ahfat (or is it Ah Fat?). Good value for money if there were like 4 or more of you going to dine! Now imagine if I was not brought to this place by the business contact! I would still have looked for Ahfat anyway, right? As suggested by the Pinnacle front staff? But I now reflect, I must have backed away if I went to this place alone. It’s a fine place for ahfat (I mean apat) or more!

And you guessed it, after that dinner, I lost the energy to still paint the town red! I slept early instead!




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