In June, my churchmate and Mango Radio DJ Tito Bern invited me to visit a food establishment owned by his friend, Ms. Vicky Villarino.
Located along General Luna Extension, 495 Kitchen is a quaint open-air food establishment offering comfort food. While they do not have a specific cuisine, the flavors of their food are mainly Indian-inspired.
The restaurant was not easy to spot. It is located at this block near the roundabout in Mount Apo St. near Davao Doctor’s Hospital. Once you enter the block, you have to walk for several meters until you spot a garage that has been converted into an open-air restaurant.
495 Kitchen opened sometime in 2016. Ms. Vicky recalled that they were a small shop then but eventually grew following their popularity among Indian students in Davao City.
She said it all started with just three Indian students who then shared about them with fellow Indians. Pre-pandemic, 495 Kitchen’s waiting list during peak hours could reach up to 25, composed of mainly Indians.
Ms. Vicky also shared that an Indian businessman once told her that the flavors of her food are what made Indian students keep coming back to the restaurant. He shared that it reminded many of the Indian students of home.
Despite the current pandemic, I did observe that there was a constant stream of Indian students coming to the restaurant for lunch or dinner.
Despite not being a heavily designed restaurant, I find 495 Kitchen to be quite charming.
Much of the garage is the dining area. There are electric fans placed around the restaurant to ensure that customers are kept cool. I also find the place to be quite breezy in the evening.
There is also this large wreath on the wall that adds some personality to the restaurant. Ms. Vicky shared that she would regularly change the decors placed on the wreath. For example, she would take the flowers out and replace them with hearts or roses during Valentine’s.
I also loved the plants hanging on recycled water bottles. Most of the decors of the restaurant are its plants. It gives 495 Kitchen a relaxing vibe.
For those who are coming here with cars, parking can be difficult.
During the first visit here, Ms. Vicky had me tried their Garlic Cheese Rice (P90), Chicken Kebab Rice (P100), Garlic and Cheese Omelette (P85), Chicken Parmigiana (P110), and Dynamite (P70).
Then during my other visits, I also tried their Chicken Kebab Rice Jumbowl (P125), Garlic Cheese Quesadilla (P110), Chicken Quesadilla (P125), and Fried Taco (P115).
I love all of their food. I was satisfied and happy with each dish that I was able to try. However, my top choices here have to be the Garlic and Cheese Omelet, Chicken Parmigiana, Chicken Kebab Rice Jumbowl, and Garlic Cheese Quesadilla.
I forgot to take a photo of the Garlic Cheese Quesadilla because I had it for take-out. Anyway, this was a yummy quesadilla.
The Chicken Kebab Rice Jumbowl is my favorite. This dish is their signature rice generously topped with chicken kebab, onions, and drizzle with their very own garlic sauce. The rice is flavorful, while the chicken kebab was tasty as well. This bowl of food is just bursting with flavors and spices. I also love how tender the chicken is. I had mine mildly spicy, which added another layer of flavor to it. The spiciness made this dish all the more delicious.
The Chicken Parmigiana is their signature rice topped with fried chicken, cheese, and tomato sauce. I think this was a great dish, which I also mildly spicy. The spiciness, the tomato sauce, and the cheese worked well together.
The Garlic and Cheese Omelet is a great side dish to have with your rice meals. I love how cheesy and garlicky this was. The garlic sauce drizzled on top of the omelet also made it all the tastier.
Another good thing to note about their food is how generous their serving portions are. The fried tacos, quesadillas, and rice bowls are already to fill you up.
The service I experienced after my first visit was pretty okay. The staff were polite but needed to smile more.
I also like the system they take your order. The staff would fill out this form for your order. You can also indicate the level of spiciness you want for your dish.
For payment options, they accept cash and GCash.
They also deliver. You can order through 495 Kitchen’s official Facebook page or call them. I will be putting the contact details below.
495 Kitchen was a delicious discovery in this part of Davao City.
Overall, their food was delicious. I have no complaints. After my first visit here, I found myself craving their food regularly. Not only was it delicious but it was very sulit for its price, taste, and serving size. I was also able to bring some of my friends here, and they enjoyed the food too.
I would recommend 495 Kitchen as your option for lunch or dinner.
LOCATION and OTHER DETAILS
Location: General Luna Extension. I am bad at giving directions but here is their location on Google Maps: https://g.page/495-kitchen
Business hours: 11:45 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Monday to Saturday
Contact details: 0939 407 5177