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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Sunday, January 17, 2016

entry arrow10:51 AM | Food Roundup Dumaguete 2016: The Cakes of Royal Suite Inn

I am an accidental foodie: I used to write a food column for a local paper and have written extensively about the Dumaguete food scene for national magazines and newspapers -- until I decided to discontinue the enterprise about four years ago. Still, people I know who visit Dumaguete keep asking me about the best places to go to eat, and I've found I no longer quite know the scene. A lot can change in half a decade. So I've decided to try a new approach this year and go about sampling the local food culture once more and document everything online in the course of twelve months. The city has grown and expanded enough in the years since 2011, and a significant part of what's happening food-wise has become unfamiliar to me. Consider this a personal adventure.

Here's another one of Dumaguete's culinary institutions, but not the regular kind: it's the small restaurant attached to the small hotel known as the Dumaguete Royal Suite Inn, located along the northern end of Rovira End, near St. Paul’s. The place — an intimate affair of just six tables — is known for its wide array of the usual Filipino favorites -- the crispy pata and sizzling bulalo, most of all -- but our singular focus for now is its surprising reputation for being the place to go if you want to savor a quick selection of the city's best cakes. And it's not even a cake house. I guess that's the secret to Royal Suite's singular claim to fame. Because it is not obliged to create dozens of pastries and cakes to dazzle us with choices, it has come close to perfecting what few cakes it has on its menu. Notably, for me, this includes the Quadruple Chocolate Cake, the Japanese Cheese Cake, and the ever popular Choco Dome. Others swear by the tiramisu, but the former three take me to now familiar levels of glee, which still surprises me for the consistency with which it provokes pleasure. The Quadruple Chocolate Cake, for example, is a fine combination of the four kinds of chocolate hinted to us by its name -- and it wows without overwhelming our sweet tooth: there is a subtlety to its flavor that is unexpected. The same goes for the Japanese cheese cake, which is soaked on top with a syrup of strawberry that sets off the moist pleasures of the cake itself. People love the best-selling Choco Dome, and it's easy to see -- and taste -- why. The cakes are priced reasonably. (I had too much fun in the eating, I forgot to take note of the price.) Placed our order at 9:00 PM. Order received at 9:05 PM.


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