Bukid Feels in the City at Arbor Farms

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Davao City is a huge city with parts that can be considered rural. The southern parts of Davao are more residential than commercial but the area is dotted with agribusinesses that have dipped their toes into the restaurant industry. We enjoyed the food offerings of Pasol Mo Luto Ko at Lindo’s Farm on Valentine’s Day and just last weekend, we sampled the culinary offerings of Arbor Farms Restaurant and Grape Farm on Mother’s Day.

I have been reading about Arbor Farms on Facebook for some time now. I mentioned my curiosity to Jun so he went ahead and made reservations for the commercial holiday for mothers. The place is 10 minutes from our village so it was perfect.

Farm in the City

Arbor Farm’s main draw is its location. They boast of a provincial vibe in the middle of the city. The restaurant/farm is located in Greenland Village, Toril, Davao City. True enough, the place exudes an atmosphere quite unique in the city. A third (just a guess) of the property is a grape farm where several varieties of grapes are grown. Dining tables are scattered all over a large lawn under the canopy of very old trees.

Child-Friendly Place

One of the first things you will see when you enter Arbor Farms is a playground with kids running around. As I mentioned earlier, we visited on Mother’s Day so there were plenty of children with their families. Unfortunately, it rained the previous night so the area was muddy. I was planning on going elsewhere after lunch so I did not allow the little one on the swings and slides.

But the girls still enjoyed exploring Arbor Farms. They had a photobooth setup for Mother’s Day and B was fascinated with the grape farm which I will talk more about in a bit. There were no huge rocks to run into and the lawn was very wide so I would say the farm is suitable for children diners.

Food at Arbor Farms

Since it was a special occasion, food at Arbor Farms was served buffet-style. The day’s menu included egg-drop soup, fried chicken, noodles (pansit bihon), fish fillet, beef with chayote, seaweed salad, and biko (sweet sticky rice) for dessert. It was a controlled buffet with staff serving portions to guests.

Considering the online hype about the place, we were quite excited to sample their food. However, while the service and ambiance are top-notch, Arbor Farms falls slightly short in the culinary department. It was a special occasion so I was expecting more than the usual fare that we eat at home. We also found some of the flavors off-balance, particularly the beef and chayote which was too sweet and the noodle dish lacked seasoning.

Having said that, it is important to note that these culinary missteps are not a constant at Arbor Farms. There are moments of brilliance in their kitchen, where a dish is perfectly balanced like their biko. The sweet sticky rice was not too sweet and would have been perfect with coffee. Also, I have to give them props for using old-school bowls and plates. The tin plates and coconut shell bowls were a nice nod to things typically used in the provinces.

Arbor Farms’ Grape Farm

One of the reasons why I wanted to visit Arbor Farms was their grape farm. The photos of people holding bunches of grapes were intriguing plus the kids love munching on them. I was fascinated by the fact that grapes can now grow prolifically on Philippine soil when a few years ago, these were 100% imported from China and other countries.

Their grape farm was small but had a few hundred vines. Unluckily, it was not harvest time when we visited so we were not allowed in. There was just an area where we could take photos and see the growing globes of juicy goodness grow. Maybe we can go back for grape-picking next time.

Overall Experience

Although we did not particularly enjoy the food, our experience at Arbor Farms was still positive. We place stayed true to their promise of “bukid feels in the city” and on a different day, B would love to run around and play with other children without getting grubby. I would also give their food another chance.

Service at Arbor Farms is nothing short of remarkable and that to me is more important than everything else. They were polite and accommodating from the moment we booked the reservation online until we stepped out of their gate after our meal. Their attention to detail for the occasion was impressive as well.

Have you visited Arbor Farms Restaurant and Grape Farm in Davao City? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!


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