If you live in Dumaguete or just stay there for more than a week (OK, more than three days!) you’re going to quickly start running out of food options. I mean, there are plenty of little local Filipino eateries, but the food can’t really be considered high quality nor western standard (or even up to the amazing standard of Thai, Vietnamese food, etc.).
So when you find a hidden little jewel that offers great coffee or tasty pastries, breakfasts with good portions or healthy lunch items, you quickly add it to your culinary “heavy rotation” list.
The Rollin’ Pin in Dumaguete
That’s exactly what I did when I found Rollin’ Pin one morning with a local friend, as it’s a great little place for quality, consistent food that’s not priced too high. It’s also refreshing that it’s not right on the Boulevard, but a less-traveled side street (Katada Street – it even sounds cool!) near Silliman Univerity and the port, with a far more local and undiscovered feel.
The Rollin’ Pin definitely isn’t a big place, with only about six or seven two-top tables inside. But there are also a couple of tables outside, and it’s usually in the shade or under umbrellas, if I remember correctly.
The menu, too, isn’t extensive, but that doesn’t mean the food isn’t good. I like the salmon eggs benedict or the omelets, and they also have mini pizzas, paninis, chicken wings, and other comfort food that’s simple but delicious. Their freshly baked pastries are also yummy, including muffins, cookies, cakes, bread, cinnamon rolls, and others. But I do find their bagels to be a little lacking, and too often, they upsell you big amounts on little things like extra butter, etc. I haven’t tried dinner there yet, but I’ll rush to do so after writing this!
Unfortunately, the breakfast food – even something as simple as scrambled eggs – can also be inconsistent.
Their lattes (my favorite) are also not up to par, and it just seems a bland combination of milk and coffee. But they more than make up for it with their fruit smoothies, including their fantastic healthy smoothie that’s blended with wild oats (just make sure to always request smoothies or beverages with no added sugar in the Philippines!).
At night, the vibe changes, as it’s right next to a sometimes-raucous KTV (karaoke) establishment, and you’ll find more excited college kids drinking or eating in groups after their classes are done.
While the Rollin’ Pin is a chill place to eat, it’s not a great place to set up your laptop and work, I’ve found. It’s so small that you feel conspicuous taking up real estate for longer than just the time it takes to eat your meal, and the wi-fi usually connects, but not fast enough to do most online tasks. Furthermore, the tables are really wobbly – I had to keep an eye out so my drinks or coffee didn’t spill! And the chairs are equally semi-comfortable.
But all in all, the Rollin’ Pin redeems itself with the right menu items, moderate prices, and a great off-the beaten path location.
If you are looking for another restaurant in this area that I endorse, check out the Pasta King review. Yum!