Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Guilty Pleasures Spent at Dumaguete

Guilty as charged!  

I always took the "guilty" in guilty pleasure to be a little tongue in cheek, more of an admission that you are going to be quoted as jumping on the bandwagon (amongst the foodies), or that we are going to get teased again a little when the relatives find out.  Well, we don't mind.  Lol.

To outline our short take on Dumaguete's food tourism, as what I have promised at our family's recent travel post, I've listed the following food joints found only in the flourishing city that's central of Negros Oriental.

This list is but a fraction of their ever-growing food industry.

1. Waldo's Bar, Antulang Resort, Siaton

Perched on a cliff with a view of the ocean, your worries will sure be left unspoken of.  Though a drive or ride at the dirt-road of  9 kms off the main road, once you reach the undiscovered haven, you will realize that what you will be having for lunch will all be worth the wait.  The P 200 worth of consumable fee included in your P 300 walk-in charge can duly fix up ones' hunger.  With dishes varying from Continental, Filipino and Italian dishes.  The staff are very accommodating and always right on your side for a good service.  With the staff speaking English and finally Tagalog- cause no one in Negros would speak in Tagalog, but they can understand you pretty well. 

Food is hefty enough for sharing and priced competitively.  There is also food packaged for a group of diners. Since our group is 9 we all had P1,800 worth of consumable amount for our lunch.

Top choice: One whole fried chicken, made the Visayan way.

My darling "bunso" enjoying a plate of Carbonara, one order was shared between the two girls.

Waldo's version of Ceasar Salad.

2. Gabby's Bistro, Rovira Rd, Bantayan, Dumaguete City

Dwelt at the chichi site of Florentina Homes which owns the tagline "a happy place" aptly describes the surrounding of the bistro.

After getting off the tricycle, we were instantly transported to a place with epic European designed buildings.  Florentina Homes also know with the locals as Florentina Hotel is an apartment-hotel complex which is said to comprise 3 European-themed buildings (Swiss, Spanish-Mediterranean, English Tudor), housing 10 apartment units, and a 12-room Mexican-themed hotel, that suit the discriminating tastes of travelers.  Upon seeing the big sign outside bragging about the big pool the hotel has, my kids were like killing me with words telling my husband and me why we didn't get this for our vacation.  It really got us thinking.  There is always a next time, don't you think so too?

We were all limited to have something for a snack only.  Daddy said so!  Well, I could agree though, since we were up to more food-tripping along the city's boulevard till the sun sets down.   We all had something cold and sugary.  Talking about a guilty pleasure.  I got so guilty, seriously.  Here are the reasons why, both Kuya and Ate (my two older kids) had big cuppies of  Tiramisu.

The youngest had Dirty Cup- a version of chocolate mousse with a gummy worm.

To get me going, I had my fix of caffeine.  can't remember this coffee concoction though.  Not in the photos are FIC ice cream cups the Dad and Dana had.

The newest kiddie-themed nook inside the bistro.

Our spot.

What we loved about the place was the artsy-craftsy side of the Dumaguenos expressed here.  Every spot has a different character to it yet all are quirky and captivating.  Best enjoyed of course with the plethora of dishes they have on their menu.  Which we still have to try in the near future.

3. Lab-as, Flores Ave. cor E.J. Blanco Dr. beside Hayahay, Dumaguete City

We initially planned to have dinner at Hayahay. Never did we expect that it will be full even at early 7 pm with drinkers.  Having read that they serve cheap but good seafood dishes, with a tree-top restaurant on the facade.  My kids didn't find the place kid-friendly and it was hot everywhere and dimly lit so opted to move to the restaurant next door.

Good thing Lab-as is air conditioned but still not enough sitting available.  We waited a bit to get seated and finally had us placed at the back most part in front of the comfort rooms.

We figured they serve great tasting food since like Hayahay it was jam-packed.   When you enter you will notice right away a guy playing the piano at one corner, so get to enjoy good music while you wait to be served.  Let me also warn you that people in this part of town are not welcoming.  You get to wait for your food for about 30 mins.  But let's judge the food instead.

Lab-as means fresh. So you may expect dishes to be made with fresh ingredients including seafood.  The menu has a wide range of seafood dishes, which included sushi and sashimi.

Here are what the pack had, Baked Oysters topped with cheese.  10 pieces come with one serving which was not definitely enough for all of us.  The same with the Calamares we ordered (was not able to take photos of that), I guess as an appetizer two can only share with each of the platters.  I can say that the oysters at this time were fresh but was served cold already.

Everyone also shared with the plate of fresh slices of raw shrimps, swordfish and tuna.

Make sure to also order their specialty, Dumaguete Express.  A mix of fish, squid, shrimp, swimming in creamy cooked gata.  what makes this dish extra delish is the shredded coconut meat mixed with the other green leaffies like "dahon ng sili" and spinach.  The specialty doesn't end there, it was then topped with bagnet and browned garlic.  Now were talking!

4. Breakfast at Island Leisure Boutique Hotel

Like any other hotel accommodation, Island Leisure includes a set breakfast meal.

They have three kinds of sets.

Bacon, egg and toast; and Corned beef with egg and steamed rice.
All the different breakfast sets come with either a glass of orange juice or a cup of brewed coffee.

5. Mooon Cafe, Robinson's Al Fresco Area, Barangay Calindagan, Dumaguete City

I guess you can now feel the exciting culinary flare Dumaguete has been displaying.  Now, one famous dining place, always present at every blog I have read is the Mooon Cafe (exaggerating much on the long "o" sound there).  This time, the Mexican vibe was mustered.

I love the splashes of blue, yellow and orange the main branch.  This time the staff have displayed the true Dumagueno character of being gentle, hospitable and cheerful.  

The menu was a spectacular show of festive traditional Mexican dishes and other cuisines with Mexican fusion.  With categories as, Appeteasers (A good twist for appetizers), Fresh Salads, From the Steaming Pot, Mexican Mooon, Pork, Beef & Chicken, Fish, Sausage Meal, Pasta, Side Orders, Pizzas.

Under Mexican Mooon, I got Chimichanga, which is an all-time fave.  Crispy flour tortilla folded neatly was filled with tender, mild-spiced beef, cheese, sour cream and salsa rojo. Topped with strips of lettuce and sour cream.

Beef Burrito was also another choice of mine.  Rolled tortilla stuffed with beef fillings, lettuce, salsa rojo, refried beans nad cheese. Served with sour cream.

Partnered with cold Lemon Mint Green Tea.

Danielle had Tuna Belly.  Grilled marinated tuna belly topped with onion rings and garlic, served with pickled veggies. Choice of native sauce or lemon butter sauce.

Darren had Mexican Baby Back Ribs.  500 grams Grilled Pork ribs marinated in herbs. Sidings: buttered vegetables, rice, and native sauce.

My two girls had Pasta Carbonara.  How can anyone go wrong with an order for my cuties.
Creamy white sauce with bacon and mushrooms topped with cheese.

Daddy had the Sizzling Chicken.  The Crispy sizzling chicken was topped with gravy sauce, by the staff.

We all shared with Karnes.  A pizza with assorted cold cuts of beef salami, Italian sausage, ham, bacon slices, onion rings and green olives, topped with mozzarella cheese and drizzled with subtle white cheese sauce.

Only Mooon Cafe has a fountain inside their joint.

6. Sans Rival, inside Robinson's Place.

After we had the most filling lunch we had for days, we decided to take a stop at Sans Rival to get more pasalubong.

7. Sta. Teresa Restaurant, Hibaard Rd., Dumaguete

We checked out a little late than our time.  Since our flight is not until 4 pm and we had checked our tickets in online, we paid a visit to a neighboring carinderia con cafe to get some snacks.

The restaurant has a cozy ambiance like a garden cafe look yet modern and chic.

Our girls had ice creams while we had their Fiesta Halo-halo.

Like the other restaurants famous here, the Turo-turo characteristic is defined here as well.  The same concept actually applies at Sans Rival Bistro.  You choose your kind of food displayed on the counter, they heat it up and then the waiters serve it at your table.  More of like an upscale version of a turo-turo (karinderia type) with an exemplary laid-back homey ambiance.


  1. Wow, you really had an amazing appetite, don't wonder why you have guilty pleasures :)) I'm glad to see that you have so much fun. As I read, I really would like to eat at Moooon Cafe because of the design of the restaurant. I want to try the icecream from Sta. Teresa Restaurant too :D

  2. Same thing here, am curious with Mooon Cafe's offering. Tell me more about the pizza? :)

  3. There's a lot of food choices here. Sans Rival would be an interesting place as it's one of my favorite desserts.

    1. Howdy Franc! You should also try their Sylvanas! It's one of their most saleable pasalubong!

  4. Weee! Would love to try these restos. I'll be in Dumaguete on November. Thanks for sharing this. The restos are well-designed too, bet I'll take a lot of pics. hehe

  5. I'm craving for that Baked Oysters. I love sea foods

  6. The chocolate mousse with the gummy worm is cute! This is a helpful list worth bookmarking and Dumaguete is one of my dream destinations. =)

  7. What is FOOD TRIP galore? Hehe.. gosh as much as I love food, I cannot allow myself become a real honest to goodness foodie tataba talaga ako nyan eh ang sasarap ba naman ng food dito sa post na to! haha. Kainggit! hehe!

  8. This post made me really hungry. Haven't been to Dumaguete yet but will definitely keep this in mind. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I was unable to go food tripping in dumaguete when I went there. The food looks great!

  10. http://www.rdacio.comJune 17, 2013 at 5:35 PM

    You're post made me crave for baked oysters now. It's one of my favorite appetizers. You should try Viking's baked oysters. It's the best.

  11. How was Dumaguete, Joy? Followed you back! Your post made me want to go back to Duma again! I love it there! :)

    1. Yeah I know if it's near, we'd always be there. Thanks for dropping by.

  12. Thanks for the great post, this covers some of the best restaurants here in Dumaguete. Try visiting our website You can book tours there, find more of the best restaurants, see listings on houses for sale. It's cheaper and easier for the people to get around and know the town. Thanks for sharing!!


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