“You’re going off to Dumaguete? Don’t forget to try their sans rival and bring home some silvanas too!” That seems to be the tag line for someone off to see the Land of the Gentle People and we’re not exempted. I’m really not a lover of sweets but the fervor for this certain Sans Rival in Dumaguete was such that I was wont to try it, well, at least just once.
Opened in 1977 by Trinidad Teves Sagarbarria, Sans Rival has always been one of the most popular places to eat out in Dumaguete City. I cannot get past a forum discussing the city without its name getting mentioned.
The small pastry shop is located on a quiet niche in the city, away from where most of the restaurants are located. Its façade is pretty unassuming; azure colored walls, dark windows, an awning with their name and that’s it.
It was dark inside with most of the illumination being provided by the big windows out front. The blue-green theme permeates its interiors with its white walls accented by the color.
The shop is divided into three areas; the main one for the pastries and sweets, an inner chamber where hot meals can be ordered and an al fresco area for diners wanting to smoke and get loud. The pastry and bistro have separate counters and both of them are quite busy.
We promptly lined up and got ourselves a piece of their cookie cake, a slice of baked mac, two glasses of iced coffee (sorry no frapuccinos) and of course their sans rival.
The pastry shop has an extensive menu with very cheap prices, I’m unsure though if these are updated regularly as the ones we bought doesn’t seem to match the price written on it. We didn’t bother to ask though since everything totaled to a still small sum of Php239.00. That actually just equals two small-sized blended cups of coffee in Starbucks.
Their cookie cake, I ordered since it was outrageously cheap at only Php20.00++ per piece. Its price does not do justice to its taste though. It simply doesn’t compare to the cheap cakes found on local bakeshops; I can honestly match it up to the ones being offered by higher end cafés.
Priced a bit steeper at Php60.00++, the baked mac was pretty ordinary. The serving comes with two pieces of toasted bread but the dish itself was pretty small and quite uneventful.
Their iced coffee was a surprise. Floating with a heavy dose of whipped cream, doused with choco syrup and with an extra helping of a chocolate chip; it so exceeded my expectations considering it’s only Php60.00++. It looked like a serious Starbucks killer. The taste was just right, not too sweet with just the right amount of coffee bitterness.
And finally their famed sans rival; sweet, sticky, nutty, caramely, buttery goodness. It tasted as good and sinful as it looked. It deserves all the praises it has reaped and the best thing about it; it will only cost you Php26.00 per slice. This one should be eaten right away since it will melt if you let it be.
Sans Rival is what an ideal café should be; excellent pastries, fantastic drinks and a few hot foods to go at very very affordable prices. We were so impressed we even brought home a few boxes of their Silvanas. I’m just glad that I don’t live near this pastry shop, their sweets are so sinfully good it’d be pretty hard to resist such temptations.
Address: #3 San Jose St., Dumaguete City
Telephone: (035) 225-4440 | (035) 225-4393
Hours: Open Everyday 9AM to 7PM
GPS Coordinates: 9.307778,123.309109
Click to view location on Google Maps