May 6, 2007

Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries

sans rival bakeshop

Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries

I mentioned before how my family would spend summers in Dumaguete with the rest of the clan and it was a time of year we always eagerly awaited. Under one roof, four big families were squeezed in and when we were not at the beach or by the river, we found ways to entertain ourselves in my grandmother's house. My older siblings eventually formed other groups to hang with, made up mostly of cousins (it seems everyone is related to each other over there) who they would go to discos with. Not long after I followed suit. I spent less time in my grandmother's house and more time on the streets with my group.

We did a lot of things together, moved around in our posse of motorcycles and jeeps letting the wind take us where it wanted. We enjoyed the company so much it didn't matter where that day would take us. I especially loved riding on the backseat of a motorcycle cruising along the coast or climbing mountains and chasing sunsets. But mostly we just kind of happily hung around.

Silvanas

delicious silvanas

Without trying, we formed a daily routine. In the mornings after breakfast, time was dutifully spent playing with the younger cousins, making a mess helping out in the kitchen, reading, chatting on the front porch with family and restlessly pacing the house. After lunch with the family, usually by 2:30, my 2 cousins and I would stroll out the old wooden gate and head down the boulevard towards Speedmeals - my grand-aunt's cantina which had become our meeting place and hang-out. But first, we would buy packets of my grandmother's peanuts from her restaurant North Pole which was just 2 houses away, stuff them in our pockets and continue along.

Usually we were the first to arrive at Speedmeals but by 3pm, the rest of the gang would show up. Their motorcycles and cars would noisily pull up outside, each arrival announced by a slam of the screen door. For the next few hours we'd be surrounded by laughter and a constant stream of food: flan, spaghetti, burgers, and avocado or mango shakes. Then we'd hop on the bikes and cars and drive to Silliman University to hang out outside Luz Auditorium for a while.

Sans rival

Still the best sans rival I've ever tasted

Before dark, we'd all head back home with a promise to see each other again after dinner. But not before making a quick stop at Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries, my tita's bakeshop which is only two blocks from home. We'd peruse the glass cabinet for whatever would tickle our fancy that day, but more often than not, we'd walk away with either a slice of sans rival or a sylvana wrapped in wax paper or foil which we would put away before we reached home. We were still dependent on our parents for money, so we had 'signing privileges' in all three places. At the end of our vacation, they'd send the bill over for our parents to settle.

cake cabinet

Though Speedmeals and North Pole now exist only in our hearts and memories, Sans Rival still remains. What was once a tiny take-out bakeshop by the garage is now a homey and bright cafe that now also served lunch and merienda (afternoon snack). I was impressed with the variety of cakes on display and with the efficient ordering system they had in place, and then pleasantly surprised when I saw Annie, my tita's loyal staff, still behind the counter taking orders. Being the creature of habit that I can sometimes be, I ordered silvanas and sans rival. Yes, both. I can never decide between the two, I love them both equally! Silvanas are the cookie verison of sans rival, both are made with delicious layers of crunchy meringue, rich buttercream and cashews.

Inside Sans Rival bakeshop

Tita Trining Teves-Sagarbarria first opened her shop in Dumaguete in 1977. She always loved to cook and bake for her family and friends and her passion was evident in the cakes and pastries she would create. Her children inherited this passion and helped in the success and expansion of the business. Her daughter Chining now runs and operates Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries in Dumagute. Her son Cholong moved to Manila in 1978 with his wife Mary Anne armed with his moms recipes and took orders from their San Lorenzo village home. This was wonderful news for those of us who lived in Manila! I still recall visiting my cousin and how we would sneak silvanas from the chest freezers and take them up to her room. Because there was a large clamor for their cakes, they expanded with more branches of The House of Silvanas around the city and eventually opened 3 branches in California where they have since taken up residence.

If sans rival or silvanas isn't your thing, try their Brazo de Mercedes or Blitz Torte, cheesecake, Concorde or the amazing Date and Walnut Dacquoise! I loved the Dacquoise so much I bought an entire cake as a present for my cousin on her birthday and brought half a cake to a picnic by the river the next day.

date & walnut dacquoise

Amazing Date & Walnut Dacquoise

Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries
#3 San Jose st., Dumaguete City ; Tel. 225-4440 / 422-9482

The House of Silvanas branches in the US:

Daly City: 2055 Gellert Blvd. Ste. 3, Daly City, CA 94015 ; Tel. (650) 878-8700
Carson City, CA: 21822 S. Main St. , Carson City, CA 90745; Tel. (310) 522-4509

For other branches in the Philippines, click here.

39 comments:

katrina said...

I've never been to Dumaguete, but all of us in my family have been loyal fans of the House of Sylvanas for a very long time. So yes, I absolutely agree they make the best sylvanas (a must in several of our family gatherings)and sans rivals. Have you tried the chocolate sans rival? Oooohhhh!!! Do they have the Date and Walnut Dacquoise there too? I've got to try it!

By the way, would you know where the L.A. branch is? I've got cousins there who request the sylavanas each time they're in Manila. They'll surely be beside themselves when I tell them it's now available where they live!

christine said...

Hi Katrina! Yes, I've tried the chocolate sans rival, it's great too! I'm not sure if they have the Dacquoise here, but omg you have to try it. It's unbelievable.

And I'm sorry I made a mistake, I said LA instead of SF. I've added the link to their website on my post, and also the addresses of their 2 branches in Daly City and Carson City. So sorry about that!

oggi said...

Oh, yes, these are the best silvanas. We used to buy them regularly at their San Lorenzo home. I found out 3 years ago that they have stores in California and that they ship all over the US, thank God!

M.Tan said...

I'm going to have to try the dacquoise! Dumaguete seems to be the queen of sylvanas and sans rival, the cafes there have such rich offerings of both!

christine said...

Ohh Oggi, I didn't know they ship all over the US, that's great news! I can probably even order and have it delivered to friends there as presents. I know many who would love that! Thanks for letting me know. :)

Mila, you have to try it when you go! It's amazing!

in-JeN-iosiTy said...

Hello Christine!!! I love your post! I've never been to dumaguete--I wish I have a reason to go there and most definitely visit your aunts pastry shop! Why don't they put up a shop here????

neil said...

Wow, great looking cakes and btw, lovely memories too!

Senor Enrique said...

What a life!

Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anne said...

Sorry about that! My fingers were pretty fast :)

I love your post :) You're pretty lucky to be able to eat all those good stuff...hmmm... your post made me miss Sylvanas and Sans Rival even more *sigh*

christine said...

Hi Jen! Dumaguete is a beautiful place to get away from it all. Landing in Dumaguete is like stepping back in time. It's beautiful, slow-paced and friendly with lots of good food. You don't need much more reason than that. :) As for the cakes, you can try the ones of House of Silvanas, slightly modified recipes but just as excellent!

Neil, thanks! I thought I went a little overboard with the "intro",but I always get carried away when I reminisce. But I'm glad it didn't bore you! :)

Hi Eric! haha Don't I wish life was always that sweet and simple. That's why it's nice to look back and relive those memories. Especially during stressful times like now! :)

Hi Anne! Why don't you try making either one. I'm sure it would come out great. Have you ever thought about it?

Socky said...

Is there such a thing as comfort dessert? That's what sylvanas and sans rival are to me.

carlotta said...

huwaw, my mouth is watering now! now i have another reason why i want to go to dumaguete. (the first one is i wanna see silliman u. ü)

dropping by way of tutubi! =)

the philosphical bastard said...

interesting story. i miss the rural life.. where everybody seems to know everybody. ah the simple life :)

christine said...

Socky, there is definitely such a thing because that is what silvanas and sans rival are to me too! Along with chocolate ice box cake, flan and other things my mamaita used to make. :)

Hi Carlotta! Thanks for dropping by. Silliman University is really worth visiting, it's a huge campus with so many interesting departments, I especially loved their marine lab/research facility, it's what lit my dream to be a marine biologist. :)

Hey philosophical bastard, you said it! We need that once in a while, no? The simple, laid-back rural life and the familiarity of it all. That is why I keep coming back.

canDIshhh said...

Ooooooooh!! I love Sans Rival! I've heard that Sans Rival in Bacolod and Dumaguete are THE best. I wish I can sample some! Craving for one right now.... Hahaha..

christine said...

Candisshh, I can't vouch for the ones in Bacolod since I've never tried those, but in the meantime you can satisfy your cravings with the silvanas and sans rival from House of Silvanas. Then you can start planning your vacation to the island of Negros! ;)

Christina said...

Kumusta Bb. Christine. Would you believe I had never eaten sans rival (or not that I could remember anyway) until my trip to the Philippines just now when I accidentally had it in Baguio? Holy crap that's good! I had no idea it was a meringue inside, I thought it was sponge.

Really unique dessert! I'm going to have to learn how to make it as none of the Filipino restaurants I've seen here make it.

christine said...

Hey Christina! So good to hear from you. :) Oggi mentioned that House of Silvanas in CA ships all over the US, so if you really want it bad enough and are too lazy to make it, why don't you click on over to their website and place an order. BTW, next time you come that's the first thing we're doing - hitting one of the branches here!

ANNE CASTRO said...

i loooooove this place. I vote sansrival and caleya bakeshop in bacolod as the best pastry shops in the philippines!

christine said...

I've heard so much about Calea bakeshop, wish I knew about it when I went to visit my brother there a few years ago. I've heard the cheesecake of Calea is to die for!

Lori said...

My god, bring this bakeshop to Manila -- or is it reincarnated in House of Silvanas? If so, I'm there in a flash!

ScroochChronicles said...

Yummy! I've been obsessed with finding the best Sans Rival for the longest time now. I was actually talking "sans rival talk" with my sister just yesterday. Yes, we're big fans of House of Silvanas. I'm a suki of their branch in Shangrila. Love their silvanas. Taught my kids (aged 2 and 4) to love them too.

Also plan to visit Dumaguete with the family. I actually inquired at Antulang. Everything has to be carefully planned because of the kids. Cheers!

christine said...

Hi Lori! House of Silvanas is somewhat the reincarnation of Sans Rival Bakeshop though I believe the recipes have been modified by Mary Anne somewhat though I could be wrong. Anyhoo, House of Silvanas is excellent as well! :)

Hi Scrooch! Antulang is beautiful! But I've only seen pictures because we ran out of time on the last trip. It's a little further away from the city compared to the other resorts we went to while we were there. When are you going?

ScroochChronicles said...

Hi Christine! Hopefully we can go during the semestral break. Tagal pa. My best pal was suggesting Bais for the whale watching. I'm sure my kids would love that. He says that he would choose Dumaguete over Bora anytime. At least I've got a few months to plan.

christine said...

Scrooch, your best pal is a smart one!:) I would choose Dumaguete over Bora anytime! You just get so much more from a trip to Dumsville, it's leaps and bounds more rewarding. I'm really excited for you, please don't hesitate to let me know if I can be of help in your planning. :)

joy said...

i visited Dumaguete last weekend. and yes i went to Sans Rival Cakes & Pastries as I was actually curious about the pride of Dumaguete. But unfortunately i did not had time to taste the sans rival and sylvannas since i was about to leave for Cebu. i planned to buy these cakes for pasalubong but was told it could only be traveled for 4 hours. afraid that i might be still on the roads beyond 4 hours, i decided instead to buy kiddy finger merengue and jam squares for pasalubongs, which are also delicious.

christine said...

Hi Joy! Sayang you weren't able to taste the sylvanas and sans rival. You'll just have to make sure you return to Dumaguete in the future. :) I've never even tried those jam squares, now that you tell me they're good, I'll make sure to try them next time.

Anonymous said...

wow! mouthwatering shots!!! am searching for a recipe for sans rival... and got to your site.. thanks for sharing!

christine said...

You're welcome! Hope you found a recipe you like. :)

Anonymous said...

hi.do you have the recipe for sylvannas?

christine said...

Sorry, no I don't have a tried and tested recipe yet. But when I do, I'll make sure to post it here for you. :)

Bonmiranda said...

I haven"t been back to Dumaguete since 1986. I do remember going to Sans Rival and having their Spaghetti. Can anyone tell me how to get that recipe?

christine said...

Hi Boomiranda, I'm sorry I can't help you there. I doubt they'll also give out their secret recipes so easily. :) But maybe if you ask them they can give you some hints?

catherine pasilan javier said...

hi christine!!!this is khat from cadiz...ive been to dumaguete once when i was in highschool but i have no chance to try the famous silvanna however just this year i meet a good friend from kabankalan and had a boyfriend from dumaguete...he brought silvanna as a pasalubong for us...hmmmmmmmmm what i can say since i love sweets...i got to love silvannas...everytime some friends would visit dumaguete i ask for a silvanna pasalubong!!! it is really delicious...melts in your mouth...hehe
and by the way what a nice memory of your vacation in dumaguete...

christine said...

hi Catherine! I'm glad you found access to the sylvannas without having to go to Dumaguete! haha. I wish I had the same. :) Thanks for dropping by!

rhealyntan said...

hi! my favorite is the Date and Walnut Dacquoise! waaahh! i just recently bought a whole piece. heheh! anyway, i love those stuff so much i want to put up a franchise here in Cebu or become a distributor. I was wondering if you could give me a name and a number I can contact, to discuss if my idea is actually possible? im checking out their website as well. You can send any info to my email rhealyn.tan@yahoo.com

thanks a bunch!

christine said...

Hi! I posted some numbers above. You can ask to speak to Chining Sagarbarria-Bustamante.

Anonymous said...

hi po...........
i just want to ask if there a franchise of this cakes and pastries in dumaguete....

im interested....

i went there this april in dumaguete i taste there cakes and pastries
so delicious .......really....

i hope someone can help me with this one....email me plz...
mmontelayola@yahoo.com or
montelayolamarc@yahoo.com
tnx...godbless