FeaturesRoyal Suites Restaurant

Royal Suites Restaurant


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If you have the budget, you should go dine at Royal Suites Restaurant.

Some of their food are good, and some are really delicious!But what makes people come back here again and again is their sizzling bulalo (beef marrow on a hot plate) — something that Anthony Bourdan referred to as “God’s butter”.

If you ask me if I can finish one huge, I will tell you without batting an eyelash, of course, I can! Hurot jud na tanan!

But what I’m going to share with you now is not about the food per se — although it is really consistently tasty, to be honest — but my topic today is about ‘Anticipation and Showmanship’.

If you come to think of it, these two words play a big role in anyone’s restaurant dining experiences. Do you remember your first time encountering the sizzling bulalo? Was it then and there? Or was it through a friend’s Instagram Story?Was it through other people’s reviews?

For me it was through a friend’s review and IG story.

When I first saw the Story, I said to my self, “Wow, DAKOA animal.” You can actually hear the sizzle, even while it was simply captured on video; you could immediately have an idea of what it could taste like.

After that vicarious experience, it was time for my family to go eat there.

“Ma’am, unsa gani tong sizzling ninyo na mag aso-aso?,” I shyly asked the waiter.

“Sizzling Bulalo, sir!”

“Sige, ma’am, order mi’g duha!”

Then the real Anticipation for it begins….You begin to think about your friend’s review on IG. After that, your family begin talking excitedly about it.

And then a waiter comes out to actually place a long coaster on the table, for the big sizzling plate. (And we had ordered two!). Now you know cooking must be almost done….You just can’t wait to hear that slight sound of the sizzle from the kitchen….

Then the Showmanship begins!

The door to the kitcen swings open, like the waiter is rushing to put your orders on the table.

“Oh…it’s [just] the lumpia.”

“Wala pa ang bulalo, sir!”

After a few more minutes, the door swings open again.And now, you see those BIG JUICY SIZZLING BULALOs being brought to your table.

Your mouth is almost salivating like a hungry dog. You change your sitting position from being relaxed  to an “attack position” aggressively ready to dig in, and indulge! Your utensils are ready in your hands, and to your breath, you say, “Nia na at, last!”

Then the waiter changes direction, before you realize that the sizzling bulalo he was carrying was meant for the table next to you which had been there before you came in. It was their order, not yours.

Now, more Anticipation is building up. Just looking forward to it was already making you ‘hangry’ (hungry and angry at the same time).

So all you could content with yourself was the aroma fo the sizzling bulalo from the next table. Get a whiff from the rendered fat from the sizzling plate, creating Maillard-reaction-smell out in the air, the amora of burnt ends, and the aroma of gravy.  Now, you just can’t wait to have it already!

Minutes go by, you just wait, and wait, and wait. Then out of the blue, boom! Patience is truly a virtue.

The moment when you least expect it, the sizzling bulalo (two orders for us) on hotplates are expertly served on our table. They are barely placed on the table, and you’re caught off guard. Sszszszszszszszszzzzz

“Okay, let’s pray first….”

“….in the mighty name  of Jesus, we pray, amen!”

And everyone digs in in to the bones. It was as perfect as we had imagined it. The fat/beef collagen just melts in our mouth; the gravy is appropriately salty, and so umami. The cartilage parts are tender and chewy at the same time.

You take a bite and another and another. Then you pair it with garlic rice and Coke Zero.

And then you burp. And go back for seconds. This time, you get more gravy. Then you notice, “Oh, there’s fries!” Sayang man pod if you don’t give it attention, so you get the fries, and wow, it’s even better than I expected it to be!

You scrape every crevice in that bad boy beef. You scoop out the bone marrow.You enjoy every last drop of the gravy.

Then you go for the meat again and again, and repeat the same cycle; until the bone marrow is no more.

Then you actually can feel your stomach bloating, and wanting to burst from your pants.

Wow, that was an experience! Although Dumagueteños might not even recognize it but I believe Anticipation and Showanship play a big role for them when they dine out.

For some people, perhaps the bulalo could just be a mere bone for their nice pet dog. Well, nope! When you are a genuine foodie, you will always love the sizzling bulalo for yourself, and only the one at Royal Suites Restaurant.

The taste of sizzling bulalo is so fancy and seemingly-elaborate but I can imagine it’s prepared quite simply:

Braise the beef legs or shanks with salted aromatic water. Make the ready-made gravy. Chop a few veggies like beans and potatoes. Season correctly. Assemble on the sizzling plate. And let science, magic, and emotions take over!

Sizzling Bulalo is the only dish that makes me want to go back to Royal Suites again and again, nothing else.


Author’s email: samuellebawasanta@gmail.com


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