I love Bicolano food (spicy, often cooked with coconut milk) and I was glad to get a sampling …. in Bicol itself.
First stop was Sibid Sibid Food Park which was near our hotel. This came highly recommended, and true enough, the food didn’t disappoint. Servings were generous too, at a reasonable price.
I feasted on this Tinutongang Hanit (mud crab with smoked coco milk & coco heart which was only P195 per serving (crabs are otherwise much more expensive in Manila.) I was surprised this dish wasn’t spicy. Still, I savored every taste even though eating this seafood for me is a real workout 🙂
We also had calamares and this oxtail kare-kare (P200++ – i forgot the price) which could have easily served two to three persons. The oxtail was very tender and as usual, I liked my kare kare veggies and the sauce with bagoong. Was glad to find this in a native Bicolano restaurant.
We ate one of our meals in Colonial Grill, one of the old restos. The food we sampled was so-so and quite greasy. But I went ga-ga over their ice cream varieties using local flavors. In photo: sili ice cream (with the spicy sili aftertaste) and the tinutong ice cream (hint of toasted coconut).
Pinangat is almost always found in every restaurant in town. Bicolanos are masters at making this because the dish originated in the region. I’d call this their version of lasagna where taro leaves are layered together with chili and ground meat then simmered in coconut milk. Some expertly wrap this in gabi leaves too, then tied with coconut leaf. Photo taken at Geewan in Naga City.
DJC Halo Halo first became popular in the town of Tiwi, Albay but am glad they also have a branch in Legaspi. I was impressed with the generous servings of their snack treat which cost only P45 for the midget size (regular was about P75). It’s distinctive for having grated cheese on top, and lots of leche flan and ube haleya. Yum!
In terms of coffeeshops, we tried both La Mia Tazza (their version of Starbucks) and Small Talk Cafe. The latter is an old house converted into a resto. They have pastas, desserts, Filipino entrees and some interesting Bicol fusion dishes like Pili Choco Chip Cookies and Bicol Express Pasta. Here is their Laing Pizza –
Our restaurant list:
Sibid Sibid Food Park
Peñaranda Street, Bonot, Legazpi City
Open 10am to 9pm
First Colonial Grill
G/F, Pacific Mall, Landco Business Park, Legazpi City
DJC Halo Halo (Legazpi City Branch)
Landco Business Park
Small Talk Cafe
51 Dona Aurora St. Legazpi City
(052) 480 1393
La Mia Tazza Coffee
Old Albay St. Legaspi City
or at 2nd floor Embarcadero, Legazpi