Dumaguete, known as the City of Gentle People, is also recognized to be the home of Sans Rival. The name of the bistro is a French phrase which literally means no rival. It has become the ultimate go-to for tourists looking for something to bring home for families and friends. I have visited Dumaguete a couple of times. Each time I always find myself buying boxes of Silvanas to take home.
What once was exclusively available only in Dumaguete is now in Cebu. Sans Rival recently opened a branch at Robinsons Galleria. But does the name still hold true in the big city?
A display of their delicious-looking cakes and pastries will greet you. This is when you know you’ll have to order dessert.
Their blue-themed interior is pleasing to the eye. In celebration of the holiday season, they added Christmas lights and mistletoes just above the photos of the bistro’s hometown. The wooden chairs are carved with little SRs on them. Their marble and wood tables go well with their Spanish revival floor tiles.
You will be served by these friendly and photo-ready waiters. They were a little bit shy at first but we asked them to smile and they did.
We got the grilled baby back ribs in smokey barbecue sauce. You will find the meat moist and it easily comes off the bones. They will provide a separate barbecue sauce which tastes like the ones you can buy in the grocery store. The vegetables on the side are cooked properly and are tasty. This came as a surprise to me because in other restaurants I often find myself discarding the side dishes.
If you decide to get their roasted pork, you will find the meat tender enough. Your friends who are not used to handling the dinner knife will be relieved. The sour cream gravy is too sour for us. I wouldn’t recommend this to my sister who practically hates everything sour.
For dessert, we tried their most popular cake. The Sans Rival. The wafer is made of meringues which are combined with cashew nuts and are held together by buttercream. A whole cake costs about PHP 450.00. A slice will be served in a parchment paper. These were probably meant to be ordered to-go.
The wafer was too chewy and hard to cut with a dessert fork. The urge to pick it up and just shove it in your mouth will be difficult to resist.
Location: Ground Floor, Robinsons Galleria Cebu, North Reclamation Area, Cebu City
Time: 10 AM to 9 PM MNL
Phone #: 032-231-4948
Cuisine: Filipino, Desserts
Other Features: Express Counter
Noise Level: Moderate