This food trip is brought to you by an extended vacation in Legazpi City, Bicol. Actually, I didn’t have the chance to go all out with this food trip because I still have major food restrictions, no thanks to my pulmo condition, but I tried my best to enjoy what I can. The first thing I can tell you is buffets are everywhere in Legazpi City – EVERYWHERE. For those with the bigger tanks to fill, this is heaven. As for me, I always feel I’m getting ripped.
I gained two lbs. from eating Legazpi City so I guess that’s a good indication. Most of it came from a steady diet of coffee and ice cream but who’s complaining? Speaking of ice cream, make sure you don’t die without having to experience the Bicol food ice cream department. Briefly, it’s… to die for!
Homegrown, sharp, and fiery, 1st Colonial Grill gave me and my friend Rem our first taste of Legazpi City. We arrived after lunch on a warm day and I bet you’ll all agree that ice cream’s in order so we headed to this famous place – the home of ingenious, exotic, and creative mouthwatering flavors such as tinutong [toasted rice], sili [bird's eye chili], kalamansi [local lime], and pili [local nut]. We had them all at once because it’s so hard to just pick one!
This ice cream wanderlust reminded of the equally delish flavors concocted by Bohol Bee Farm from our trip last year but I must admit, the punch and flair of the ice cream off 1st Colonial Grill wins this local ice cream provincial showdown. I’m such a fan of how each flavor highlights the ingredient in a pungent but pleasantly surprising way!
Sili and tinutong ice cream have intense flavors. The pink sili ice cream is hot in a to die for way – the heat is so there but you know you like it! Tinutong, on the other hand is strong, mysterious, and slightly sexy. It kind of makes you think of a man tbh! I particularly enjoyed it.
Pili is a popular nut from Bicol and the ice cream is smooth and milky though not as nutty as what I expected and kalamansi is not as tangy. Still, everything’s creamy good! Btw, you can actually order one scoop of three flavors in a cup as a sort of combo then just add any other you want as an extra.
To go with the ice cream, I had a local spaghetti dish that I forgot the name of. Fuck. But essentially, it is a simple pasta dish with olive oil, parmesan cheese, and more Bicolano sili. The star of this plate is a local pork sausage called guinobatan, at least I think that is the name. . It lends the dish a deep smoky and garlicky taste which is just fantastic. With the heat of the sili that you can adjust to taste by request btw, it’s one plate I’d eat one more time though the pasta I had’s hell dry.
The other place worth mentioning Rem and I visited is Sibid-Sibid. Again, it’s a popular place and what I enjoyed about it is the natural feel to it. Opposite Sibid-Sibid is another place recommended by locals called Waway’s, but I liked the interior of Sibid-Sibid better so that’s where we had lunch.
The menu is particularly seafood so that meant I couldn’t eat anything. Rem had better luck though and tried Sibid Express which is a kind of fish Bicol express. It’s fiery hot, he said, and I’m left with my imagination while eating salty nilagang baka, a Filipino beef stew, sulkily.