cakes and pastries in PH

This BGC donut shop offers sourdough donuts in unique Pinoy flavors

Steph Arnaldo
This BGC donut shop offers sourdough donuts in unique Pinoy flavors

ROGUE. The donut brand, located in BGC, specializes in sourdough donuts.

Rogue's Instagram pages, Steph Arnaldo/Rapler

Online brand Rogue Doughnuts' first physical store in BGC also has a spacious al fresco seating area good for groups

MANILA, Philippines – Strolling around Bonifacio Global City with a sweet tooth looking to be satisfied? Donut miss out on this small, unassuming storefront located in the middle of High Street – that’s Rogue Doughnuts, a local online business that just opened its first physical shop last September 15.

Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

After “testing the market first online” in the middle of the lockdown in 2020, Rogue finally decided to open their first store in BGC a year later after seeing “a real need” for their artisanal items. The grab-and-go concept is perfect for BGC strollers looking to enjoy a sweet snack on-the-go, for takeout, or for dine-in at Rogue’s spacious al fresco seating area across. The patio is equipped with five wooden picnic tables, good for groups of five to six.

Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

Don’t expect your usual store-bought, commercial donuts here – Rogue specializes in handcrafted sourdough donuts in unconventional Filipino-inspired flavors that work, for those who are tired of the usual flavors and want something new and exciting to try. Hence, the name “Rogue.”

“We like to think of ourselves as rebels in a highly mechanized, artificially-flavored, mostly foreign category,” Rogue told Rappler. “It’s also the fact that we use only sourdough in our donuts, as well as all natural and locally-sourced ingredients.”

Everything – from the dough, glazes, and fillings – are made from scratch in small batches.

Sour power: The magic of sourdough

“When the category is dominated by cake doughnuts, we went sourdough,” they said. Rogue wanted to ensure a “key differentiator” in an already overly saturated category.

Baking sourdough bread is already very time-consuming and tedious, so what more making sourdough donuts in bulk daily? “Our doughnuts take two full days to mature, as this entails creation of the levain from our sourdough starter. The starter then undergoes another day of bulk fermentation before they are shaped, proofed, fried, and dressed as doughnuts,” they said. Basically, it takes over two days for a single Rogue donut to come alive.

“Sure, sourdough made our lives extra hard because of the process, but as we want to honor the time-trusted tradition of dough-making in a category dominated by things that are instant and available,” Rogue added.

It’s well worth it, too – the natural yeast of sourdough starter makes these donuts lighter, fluffier, but with a more pronounced chew than your average commercial donut. There’s a real, satisfying bite to it, just like a freshly-baked, homemade pastry.

Using sourdough also gives the donut a slightly “umami” flavor – not too sweet and a tad tangy – which helps to cut through that “umay” factor of a greasy donut. Sourdough’s taste is distinct, yet still subtle enough that it can complement other flavors and ingredients just as well.

Proudly Pinoy all the way

Rogue is known for producing donut flavors not exactly of the norm, heavily inspired by common Filipino staples and well-loved flavors, like their patis honey-glazed donut, spicy dilis, calamansi glazed, and ube cheese.

Bread, Food, Pastry
Steph Arnaldo/Rappler

“We like Filipino food, and we thought, why isn’t there an all-Filipino doughnut? It’s basically a gap in the market we saw and addressed, while satisfying our own curiosity,” Rogue said.

Keep an open mind and give these donuts a try, and you might just find yourself intrigued yet also comforted by the familiar flavors and well thought out combinations. The most basic donut they have is the Patis Honey Glazed (P95), a light donut glazed with a honey-patis syrup that’s mildly sweet and just a tad savory.

If you are biased towards citrusy desserts like me, don’t miss out on my personal favorites: the Calamansi Glazed (P95), which is a tangier version of the patis donut, covered in a sweet-acidic fresh calamansi glaze; and the Lemon Salt Meringue (P125). This donut is filled with a bright, zingy lemon curd that’s thick and creamy, and then topped with soft, fluffy torched meringue. There’s also a Dayap Cheesecake Crumble (P95) featuring the local citrus fruit, but in crumbled cheesecake form.

Bread, Food, Sweets

For the chocoholics, the 64% Mindanao Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs (P95) is an indulgent dream – the donut is dipped in dark chocolate from South Cotabato, and then sprinkled with sea salt flakes to cut through the sweet richness of the glaze. The cacao nibs are added for crunch. Feeling a bit more adventurous? You can try the Spicy Dilis (P95), which is a dark chocolate-dipped donut rolled in dilis.

The other two flavors, which can both easily be children’s favorites, are the ChocNutella (P125), a donut stuffed with smooth hazelnut cream and a fine peanut crumble on top; and the trendy Ube Cheese (P125) filled with real ube halaya, dipped in ube chocolate, and then topped with parmesan cheese.

You can get your choice of donuts in a box of three or box of six. Rogue also serves fresh brew in-store, because what’s a donut without coffee?

Rogue Doughnuts can cater to delivery orders via their Facebook and Instagram pages, or via SMS at 09150963879. Rogue Doughnut’s BGC branch is located along Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City. It’s open from Mondays to Saturdays, 10 am to 7 pm, and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sundays. – Rappler.com

No need to sour grape – you can also order your own sourdough from GrabFood! Use these promo codes for further discounts.

Steph Arnaldo

If she’s not writing about food, she’s probably thinking about it. From advertising copywriter to freelance feature writer, Steph Arnaldo finally turned her part-time passion into a full-time career. She’s written about food, lifestyle, and wellness for Rappler since 2018.