Soothing breeze. Relaxing atmosphere. Sumptuous food.
This is how I would imagine Gardena Fresca Garden Pond & Grill before we visited their place. After months of fickle-minded decisions, we finally dropped by the restaurant last week.
The place offered an al fresca dining experience, with the restaurant sitting at the center of a garden paradise. It reminds me of Eden Nature Park, although smaller and cozier. Unfortunately, its strongest edge also proved to be its slight downfall. We were disturbed by a few insects and fruit flies while eating.
When we asked the waiter for their specialty, he gallantly said, “Adobong Tahong”. While we were not seafood lovers, we reluctantly tried the shells. To be safe, we also ordered Grilled Spare Ribs and Sevilla Chicken.
As it turned out, we both loved their Adobong Tahong! Each shell was coated with sticky and mouth-watering adobo sauce. I could tell the freshness of the mussels, based on the aroma and sweetness of the meat. At P85 fit for two persons, this was a surefire winner.
The Grilled Spare Ribs was tender and succulent. Its flavor is similar to pork barbecue, which is great but not as memorable as Davao Ranchero Grill‘s Baby Back Ribs. It also paled in comparison to the superb mussels.
With all of the great things we have come to love about Gardena Fresca, it’s sad to say that the service was a downer. When we arrived, only about 40% of the seating capacity was filled. Despite this, our orders took too long to be served. We resorted to canceling our order for Sevilla Chicken, because it practically never came. Our bill also took an excruciating length of time to be issued. Gardena Fresca’s unique dining experience would all go to waste, if clients would be discouraged just because of crappy service.
Overall, Gardena Fresca offers a welcome departure from the city confines to serve delicious fresh food in the midst of nature.
Gardena Fresca Garden Pond & Grill
114 Morales Compound, Morales Village, Matina, Davao City
Phone (082) 297-4628