Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Yummy family tradition

“A ‘Yummy’ family tradition”
Sun.Star Davao, April 25, 2015

For over 25 years, Yummy has never failed to meet the discriminating taste buds of Dabawenyos and their families.

Who can ever resist their Yummy Fried Chicken, considered to be the restaurant’s flagship product which is deep-fried chicken served with homemade gravy and rice; their bestselling Lasagna Bolognese with Creamy Bechamel Sauce; Breaded Pork Chop; and Chicken Barbeque with Java Rice? During our high school days, these were our must-order dishes whenever we would hang out at the original Yummy along C.M. Recto Street.

Yummy is the brainchild of Alor Lim-Despabiladeras and her siblings who all shared a passion for preparing good food and indulging people with their mouthwatering creations. Back in the 1980s, Mama Alor would wake up in the wee hours of the morning to cook. This passion eventually became the catalyst for the opening of Yummy.

Today, Yummy stands proudly along F. Torres St. It recently unveiled its new look beautifully created by no less than Ms. Annie Paz-Lim, Davao’s premier party organizer who loves to dabble in interior design on the side for choice clients and dear friends.

Annie describes the newly-renovated Yummy as “fun, modern, exciting, chic and eclectic”. Well-loved pieces from the Despabiladeras such as their old dining and garden furniture sets were tastefully integrated with other existing pieces from the restaurant. Whimsical touches include inspiring quotations about family, life and work as well as dainty tea sets.

The restaurant has a homey and inviting feel; as if you are a kid again at Mama’s table, eating meals prepared with love. Whatever mood you’re in and whoever you may be with that day, you will surely find your own little corner – a nook to share an anniversary meal with your significant other, a couch where you can spend some quality time with your little ones, a lounging area where you can sip a cup of coffee with a friend or a good book, or a long table to hold business meetings in.

Good food

Yummy (version 2.0) is now being run by Mama Alor’s children, James Despabiladeras and Diana Despabiladeras-Chua Chui Hian, who are equally passionate to carry on the family tradition of serving nothing but the best from their kitchen.

“The word yummy connotes good food. It’s the first word or expression that would come to mind after having good food, or when you are craving good food. It is the experience that we strive to give our guests every single day and it is how we want our food to be remembered”, explains Diana.

“Our grandparents, Mama Alor’s parents, ran a bakeshop (Honey Bake House) along Acacia St. in the early ‘70s until the mid ‘90s. Thus, we (James and Diana) were exposed to the food business at a very young age. The bakery served as both playground and training ground for managing a business related to food. Yummy is more than just a place to work and earn for us. It is our life, as it has been part of our lives from when we were children”, Diana continues.

Diana studied Pastry Arts in 2005 at the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management (ISCAHM) in Manila. At that time, she was a Project Manager in Accenture, but the passion for food that she undoubtedly inherited from Mama Alor prompted her to take classes on weekends. In addition, she took private lessons on pastry art with a pastry chef in Singapore.

The mom of one details that the “food in Yummy (and Alor’s) may best be described as comfort food; food that will bring back good memories, and generate new ones. These are dishes that many Dabawenyos grew up with and will make them remember tastes from home. It is food that you turn to in order to lift your spirits when you’re feeling blue, or celebrate an important milestone in your life”.

Never compromising quality

Families who dine at Yummy – or take their food home – usually love their signature Fried Chicken, Pork Knuckles, Mama’s Pork Ribs, Oven Crisp Pork Belly and 40 Cloves Chicken. Over the years, the Despabiladeras kept their core value intact while evolving to accommodate the changes that have occurred in the food industry in Davao City.

“The one thing that we stood by since we opened our doors in 1988 is ensuring that we serve only YUMMY food. Quality is something that we never compromise. This is the core value that we live by and instill in our employees. That is one thing that will never change”, assures Diana.

“To this day, Mama Alor and I, always work together. A day at work will mean standing in our home kitchen all day, perfecting old recipes and developing new ones. We would set aside time for research and development, which for us means traveling together to try new things and bring home new inspirations and, of course, share quality mother-daughter time and make new memories”, enthuses Diana.

Mama Alor is now 64 years old, but her drive to still learn truly amazes her kids. James and Diana may now be running the business, but their Mama remains to be their guide.

"Never ever compromising the quality of our product and using only the best available ingredients are the two most important thing that we learned from Mama, and is the cornerstone of what Yummy and Alor’s is today”, assures Diana.

Innovation and growth
At the same time, Yummy continues to create, innovate and grow. Their original 1988 menu has grown over the years, and the dining experience that they provided their patrons has also evolved.

They started out as a fast food chicken and burger joint, at a time when popular fast food chains were something that could only be enjoyed through a TV commercial. They also operated a catering service, serving mainly entrees and providing service.

Presently, Yummy is a full-service restaurant where one can have the old Yummy favorites from the good old college days, entrees that in the past could only be enjoyed at events catered by Yummy, and new dishes that may be developed down the line.

“Through Alor’s catering service, we will continue to be part of special events, wherever these events may be. Our services, however, go beyond just entrees; we also have a pastry line, and can provide dessert and cocktail catering services”, Diana says.

“There is another thing that never changed in Yummy, aside from never compromising the quality of the food we serve. It is the fact that Yummy has always, and continues to be, a family affair. I may have received formal training in ISCAHM and Singapore, but the best training will always be working with Mama Alor in our home kitchen as a little girl in grade school”, Diana stresses.

The Despabiladeras are extremely grateful that Dabawenyos have embraced Yummy for generations. “Thank you for the past 25 years. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your life journeys, for allowing us to share what we love and are most passionate about – good food, Yummy food – as you gather for a family lunch or celebrate an important milestone. It is what inspired us through the years, and what continues to inspire us to cook and to serve you. We hope that you will allow us to continue to play a part as you make new memories for the next 25 years – and beyond”, Diana ends with a warm smile.

Yummy is located along F. Torres St., Davao City (infront of Assumption Church) with telephone numbers 2225577 and 2225599; and mobile number 0917-623-3446. E-mail them at

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