Negros Oriental Diaries: Dumaguete City Food Guide

The best way to immerse oneself in a particular region’s culture is to eat like a local. And that’s exactly what we did during our recent trip to Dumaguete City. Its food scene offers a good mix of traditional and modern cuisine, catering to the myriad tourists that flock the city. Being a waterfront settlement, expect seafood to be abundant, readily available and affordable at Dumaguete.

First off, begin your day with a filling breakfast in one of the painitans at the Dumaguete Public Market. We chose Sison’s Painitan at the farthest end of a row of stalls. Painitan is a place where workers and just about anybody else can have something “mainit” or warm to fill their bellies and energize their bodies in anticipation of a long day of work.

GOPR4400
Sison’s Painitan
Food here is very basic — a shot of thick native chocolate drink, a cup of brewed coffee with condensed milk, a scoop of puto (sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and a little salt), a piece or two of kabog (similar to suman or steamed cassava roll wrapped in banana leaf) and maybe bread with either margarine or peanut butter.

IMG_3783
Breakfast of budbud kabug, puto and tsokolate
A word of caution though, this is not for the posh or luxe traveler but it’s probably the most immersive gastronomical experience that one could get in Dumaguete.

GOPR4396
Budbud Kabug
Don’t worry though, if this is not your thing, because there are many other restaurants in Dumaguete that serves good breakfast food. Head over to Sans Rival Cakes and Pastries, Gabby’s Bistro, The Rollin’ Pin, Jo’s Chicken Inato, Hayahay Restaurant for a variety of Filipino and continental breakfast meals.

When we arrived from our Manjuyod trip, we asked the receptionist at Golden Gate Suites for recommendation on where to get the best and most affordable seafood meals in Dumaguete. Without second thought, she said we should try Lantaw Native Restaurant, about 15 minutes away from downtown Dumaguete via tricycle.

GOPR4194
Lantaw Native Restaurant
One thing striking about Lantaw (“to foresee” in English) is its interiors embellished with Filipino decorations. The entire ceiling is covered with bilao (native woven tray) while the main counter featured the entire forepart of a jeepney. It’s a big, high-ceilinged restaurant that is perfect for casual diners or those holding an event.

GOPR4200
Inside the spacious interiors on Lantaw
GOPR4198
Our seat
We ordered a feast — grilled tanigue, cheesy baked oysters, garlic buttered prawns and kangkong adobo. Dessert, meanwhile, is moist and warm bibingka ala mode. We have nothing but praises for these amazing dishes. Quality, taste, freshness and price were all noteworthy. Every visitor in Dumaguete should put Lantaw Native Restaurant in their itinerary.

GOPR4223
Baked oysters
GOPR4220
Grilled tanigue
IMG_3750
Adobong kangkong
IMG_3748
Garlic Butter Shrimp
GOPR4225
Moist and warm bibingka a la mode
GOPR4209
Buko shake
After a savory meal, a good dessert should always be in order. For your sweet fix, have a slice of sans rival or a piece or two of silvanas at Sans Rival Cafe & Restaurant, perhaps one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Pair it with a cup of coffee and you’re good to go.

IMG_3771
Sans Rival Bistro
GOPR4388
A brief history of the restaurant printed in their menu
GOPR4390
Sans rival, silvanas and coffee
The night scene at Dumaguete is not as bustling as, say Boracay, save for a few bars that feature live acoustic music. In the evening though, Rizal Boulevard comes alive with stalls selling Dumaguete’s most famous street food — tempura and seafood roll.

IMG_3778
Tempura and seafood roll
Tempura is not the japanese dish that we are all familiar with. It’s more similar to kikiam, both in taste and form. The seafood roll, meanwhile, is a tasty morsel made of fish and vegetables. Tempura is Php4/piece while seafood roll is Php7/piece. Sauces are a choice of sweet, sweet spicy and spicy vinegar. There are tables set up at each stall where patrons can comfortably eat. Drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are likewise sold.

GOPR4394
Evening street scene along Rizal Boulevard
These are just a handful of restaurants to check out in Dumaguete. There are many more places to explore in the city, just ask around especially tricycle drivers who never run out of good recommendations. Just always remember to eat like a local in order to best experience the culture and uniqueness of the place you are visiting.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s