The pandemic didn’t close Davao’s most beloved durian hangout – the shop just moved and improved.
In 2021, Rosario’s Durian Restaurant closed its screen doors for the last time, ending nearly 20 years of durian service. For us durian travelers, it was a favorite durian meet-up in Bankerohan Market, a step off the bustling street to shady tables and fresh durian available nearly year-round, with frozen durian to fill in the gaps.
Losing Rosario’s would have created a vacuum in the time-durian continuum. Luckily for mankind, it’s now reopened, on the family farm, with an amazing Davao Durian Buffet to offer!
That’s right, Durian Hungry Travelers. No matter the time of year, if you are starved for a good durian feed you can find an All-You-Can-Eat Davao Durian Buffet on the family farm.
Just like before, there is frozen durian available to fill in the gaps in the seasons, so you can always find durian here, and walk-ins from are 9am to 4pm are accepted.
But if you want the best of the best durian available, or are looking for specific durians, make sure to make a booking for this Davao Durian Buffet in advance through their Facebook Page.
Why Durian Buffets at the farm instead of the city?
We often bring groups on our Philippines Durian Tours here for a Durian Tasting Experience because the Belviz Farms has one of the best collections of durian varieties in the Davao area.
It all started with the family patriarch, Severino Belviz, a durian lover who started the family’s first durian orchards by planting over 300 durian trees with seeds he obtained from Thailand. He selected and named his own varieties, like the infamous Duyaya, but he also collected many varieties of Davao durians from other people’s farms. People who remember him say he believed durian was the future for Davao, and that his belief that was contagious.
Looking at Davao now, it seems he may have been right!
When Sir Severino passed in 2016, his son Emmanuel and daughter-in-law Mary Grace took over his Durian Dominion.
The durian farm isn’t just their business. It’s the living legacy of Sir Severino and his life’s work with durian. It’s a heritage space.
Because of that, the couple have decided to maintain growing a diverse variety of durians to share with durian lovers, a move that counters Davao’s sudden obsession with exporting one variety – Puyat – to China.
At Belviz Farms, durian travelers can still find harder-to-find types like the GD69, Umali, and Kembangan, as well as their 3 House Specials – Duyaya, Nanam, and Sulit-Ganyao.
The Belviz Farms Davao Durian Buffet
When you book this Durian Tasting Session or Davao Durian Buffet, the durian varieties are spread out on a table with small sign placards, so you know what each of them are.
Here it’s easier to maintain the durian freshness and quality, because the farm will always be cooler in temperature compared with an open-air shop in the city. The trees provide the shade, the gentle wind, and the ventilation.
The farm is just a more comfortable place to be, for both humans and durians.
The seating area is now the shadow of a new durian tree-house, completed in 2021. It’s built around the trunk of one of the oldest durian trees on the farm.
On the top floor is a small bedroom and patio, which they are planning to open up as a homestay in the future.
The tree and the upper level provides a deep shadow, keeping the sitting area cool even on the hottest, most blue-sky days. It’s a beautiful space to spend time.
Durian and Sikwate Chocolate
Every durian tasting comes with free-flow hot chocolate, a traditional Filipino drink that also acts as a palette cleanser between the durian courses.
The local cacao is rough ground into 100% cacao tablets, called “Tableya.” These are melted with either hot milk or hot water and beaten with a traditional wooden whisk until frothy. It’s usually served slightly bitter, and complements the sweetness of the durian perfectly. Dunking durians as you would a biscotti is a must try!
It’s a pairing that you only find in the Philippines, just like the durian varieties.
Sir Severino blessed the world with his “Duyaya,” and he felt that it was a blessing too. The name is portmanteau of 2 words; “Du” from Durian, and “-yaya” from the Visaya word for blessing, bisaya.
So the name “Duyaya’ literally means “Durian Blessing.”
It’s one of the most delicious durians in the world, with dark rosy-orange pudding-like flesh that is glossy and sparkles as you pick it up. Its seeds are typically tiny, blessing you with a mouthful of rich eggy custard that tastes like raspberry chocolate. A sweet, mild, but satisfyingly rich durian and one that is beloved by everyone who taste it.
It’s a local favorite, a favorite with our tour groups, and one of our best-selling durians for mail order in the USA.
Nanam is a sultry sweet, milky durian with the smooth gelatinous texture of soft tofu. It’s has very little fibers and when eaten frozen has a texture just like ice cream.
Sir Severino called it “Nanam” because that’s the word for “yummy” in Visaya.
Nanam was registered as an official Filipino durian in 2000, but is still somewhat rare to find. It likes dry weather the best, so try to ask for a Nanam when it hasn’t been raining recently.
With the thick, powdery texture of a Ganyao, this one has a buttery, biscuit-doughy texture that is quite a bit firmer than most of the sloppy-soft Philippines durians. It was also registered as an official Philippines Durian variety in 2000.
Sir Severino named this one for his wife, Rosario. Sulit was her maiden name, but it’s also a word that means “worthy” or “valuable.”
Sulit is a seedling of a Ganyao, and it looks just like it. It’s round and slightly heart-shaped with that characteristically long, long stem.
This milky, sticky, slightly bitter durian is a farm favorite. It’s sort of like D24, but not exactly the same. It has similar spikes, and a similar coin-sized bald spot on the bottom.
Any D24-lover approaches it with suspicion and confusion. It’s so similar, but it just doesn’t quite look and definitely doesn’t taste the same as a Malaysian D24.
It’s just “Not D24!” and that’s all right. It’s allowed to be it’s own creamy, butter-scotchy, salty and chocolatey deliciousness that you can’t find anywhere else.
The most bitter of them all, Puyat is the best durian to finishing or “closing durian.” It’s ultra-soft flesh oozes like honey-cream, and it’s intense mettalic, chocolatey aroma will fill your whole mouth and nasal cavity leaving no room for any other durian.
Tree-ripe Puyat is incomparable in intensity and deliciousness, which is probably why it’s a Filipino Favorite. But if you eat this one first, prepare for every other durian to feel a little washed out in comparison.
Tree-ripe Puyats don’t travel well, so eating them fresh on the farm is the best way to get that intensity of flavor and thick, syrupy texture so craved by us durian lovers.
Conclusion: Back to the Farm
I asked Mary Grace if people were willing to make the drive out to Calinan to do durian tastings, or if they missed the convenience of the shop at Bankerohan Market.
She said that people seem to like eating at the farm better. It’s a place to slow down, to unwind, and to focus on experiencing the durian. The All-You-Can-Eat style package has also been popular.
Since moving the Durian Tasting to the farm, Mary Grace and Emmanuel also have more more time to interact with guests, so if you book a tasting, you may find yourself sitting across the table dunking Duyaya in Sikwate and having a good chat.
At the end of the day, durian is meant to be a blessing for everyone.
Belviz Farm Tour Video
How to get to Belviz Farms
Belviz Farms is located in Lower Wangan, just 2km heading uphill from the bus station in Calinan City. If you take a jeepney or bus, you can walk or take a motorcycle taxi from the bus station.
It takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach Calinan from Davao City.
The farm is open to walk-ins 6 days a week from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm.
Book a Durian Tasting Tour directly through the Belviz Farms Facebook Page. Year of the Durian does not handle bookings and we are not directly affiliated with the farm. We just love it and hope you will too! 😍