Habibi on board Food Hauz’ CDO Best Seller Kinilaw

I remember on one of my Cebu visits, I mistakenly thought the Kinilaw as Fruit Salad. You can’t blame me since it was contained inside a Tupperware Servalier Salad Bowl, the one that can actually accommodate up to 4L servings and it was about 3/4 full. I opened it and I still had no idea that it was a Kinilaw since there were actually a lot of colors–purple half-sized onions, red half-sized tomatoes–everything was in big sizes. Even the fish meat was sliced the same size of the rest of the ingredients and it was until I took a closer look and finally tasted it that yes it was Kinilaw and I totally forgot I was not anymore in Cagayan de Oro.

As a true blood Cebuana now permanently residing in Cagayan de Oro, I can definitely spot the difference of Kinilaw between the two mentioned cities. Though I can’t exactly remember the last time I ate one when I was still residing in Cebu but I’m getting the idea as to why, which I suspect it must be on how it was prepared. I also have a feeling that I wasn’t really into raw meats (Kinilaw) but not until I arrived in CDO when Kinilaw has now been one of my top favorite dishes.

There are actually two secret ingredients behind why CDO Kinilaw excels among the rest: tabon-tabon (wild fruit native to Northern Mindanao and Camiguin, responsible for the whiteness) and suha (lemon). Also, the fish meat is sliced in small chunks or thin slices and is served in just minimal amount. So… if there’s the best Kinilaw in the country, then, there should definitely be the CDO Best Seller Kinilaw.

Too bad, I just recently discovered it like last night when we were on search for new food ventures since the other day, I had friends from Cebu who visited the city. That feeling when you really want them to have a taste of the city’s tastiest Kinilaw but can’t decide as to where or which since maybe you haven’t exactly tasted yet the best. Well, I now have the answer and it’s just within the city proper at Habibi on board Food Hauz, CDO Night Cafe and Bazaar, Rodelsa Rotonda, Cagayan de Oro City.

CDO Best Seller Kinilaw

Just look for the image above when finding their stall.hehe

CDO Best Seller Kinilaw

Their fish meat are prepackaged so you can freely choose what you want at a very affordable price of just P100. Then, comes their additional unique “secret ingredient” still at your own choice whether a mango or guava. We were clueless and at the same time, excited so we chose mango.hehe

CDO Best Seller Kinilaw

CDO Best Seller Kinilaw

…nag-gamit mi ug florida mangga sir, ma’am para maiba naman.

I honestly can’t remember the exact words once the CDO best seller kinilaw was served but I’m pretty sure that he mentioned florida (first time to learn that type of mango).lol

I must say, it was the tastiest Kinilaw I’ve ever had. The mango did really a good job and greatly contributed to the overall taste like how sushi are mostly served with mangoes (now currently thinking of my fave California maki). Somehow, it’s aroma and trademark tart flavor kinda reduced the “langsa” (the raw fishy flavor). It’s tastier if you’ll eat the meat and mango strips together even including the onions and etc.

They also sell cheap barbecues: Atay (liver) for P15, Isaw (tinae/intestine) for P5 and more. Their rice, on the other hand, is only P10. Of course, the perfect pair for CDO Best Seller Kinilaw is none other than softidrinks (1L is available) since its acidic content helps pace up the digestion of raw fish.

By our next visit, next to try is the Guava.