Tag Archive: 1st Colonial Grill

I have a soft spot for Bicol.  And I have a big appetite for Bicol dishes.  Oh, not just dishes.  Of late, I have discovered and loved their exotic shakes and ice cream! (Ice Cream Photo Borrowed From FlipNomad)


Sili Ice Cream @1st Colonial Grill

SILI Rocks


We found this cozy place called Bicol Blends Cafe in Daraga , Albay — right along the Rizal Road connecting Legazpi City to Daraga all the way to our previous destination, Donsol.   First time we chanced upon it,  we were actually at 1st Colonial Grill which is right beside this cafe.  Now, 1st Colonial Grill was what brought us to this neck of the woods.  The Tinapa Rice and Buko Chopsuey there are good reasons for a visit.  Over and above that,  we were longing to try that famous SILI ice cream.  SILI???? Yes, sili as in chilis as in peppers as in HOT and SPICY.


Tinapa Rice @1st Colonial Grill


It didn’t look threatening at all.  In fact, it can pass for strawberry ice cream at first glance.  But wait till you taste the last drop.  The spice kicks in.  Your tongue feels the “burn”, and so does your palate as you finish up with that last lick.  So be sure to have a tall glass of water at arm’s reach.  But wait, there’s more than just the SILI ice cream here.  Right beside 1st Colonial Grill is a coffee shop cum pastry shop owned by the same family.  Bicol Blends Cafe soon took over as our favorite coffee place in Bicol for its exotic pastry items and even more exotic shakes.


The Deceptive Sili Shake @Bicol Blends Cafe


There is the pili shake.  And the sili shake.  Just like the sili ice cream, the sili shake can be quite deceptive.  It starts off like your typical, standard milk shake.  But the finish! Oh, the finish…….will remind you to take your food “slowly” as our elders would often say when we were younger.  Chew slowly.  Drink. Don’t slurp.  Savor every bite.  Relish every sip.  And give your taste buds the chance to discern the variety of flavors each food morsel offers!  


And the baked stuff offered quite a variety.  Pan de Bicol Express?  This is a big pandesal stuffed with bicol express.  Don’t be fooled by the “mini-pan” description. It is a big pandesal.  Had it for breakfast along with my favorite brew.  Whoa! Did that perk me up! Understatement of the year.  I love the dough, just like the way I want my pandesal.  But the filling shook me up crazy with all those spices so early in the morning.   Besides,  it takes an acquired taste to welcome coconut cream-based fillings at this early hour.  I dare the brave ones to try it.


Pan de Bicol Express To Rev Up Ur Mornings@Bicol Blends Cafe


The second breakfast I had in Bicol Blends Cafe,  I tried the Pili Bread. Now this one is as mild as seeing majestic Mount Mayon first hour of the morning.  Pili nut abounds in Bicol and is a regular take-home or pasalubong item.  I love it.  I find it quite expensive but it is a nut truly our own, so flaunt it. Eat it. Buy it!  Many modern and fusion restaurants in the area have actually found ways to get that nut into their Bicolano cuisine,  accompanied by the unforgiving sili and drowned in the usual coconut cream. Mixed into their bread, or shaved like one would with almonds to garnish a pasta dish,  the taste of this pili nut is never obscured by the other flavors.


A Milder Treat To Start The Morning: Pili Bread @Bicol Blends Cafe

Bicol Blends Cafe


If we were spending a few more mornings in this place, I would have tried their Laing Offerings. Perhaps next time? For sure, I will be making a visit to this place not just for my sili and pili fix, but also for the cozy ambience and wifi connection the place offers.  Maybe I’d also try their Malunggay Ice Cream and Tinutong Ice Cream.  All those crazy ice cream flavors! For your info, you can dine in either 1st Colonial or in Bicol Blends Cafe and order from the menu of either since both are owned by the same family.  Nice 🙂


Craving for more Bicolano food?  Check out this blog. More yummy photos too.  Oh, take me back. Take me back! 


More? Just click the link above for more bicol dishes.


This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival for July 2011 with the theme “Awesome Food Experience While Traveling In The Philippines” hosted by Anton Diaz .  Bon apetit! 


“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.”  — Quote from Paul Theroux


I only managed to book the first 2 nights of our week-long holiday.   In fact,  just the one night.   At the last minute, I arranged to book 2 nights in the same place in Donsol.  After that,  I grew tired explaining to the children that we don’t know where we’d stop for a night or two, and which hotel or inn we’d stay in.  You should see them.  Those eyes growing bigger, to express surprise, a tinge of nervousness maybe,  and utter despair that this time around, their grandma has no answers.



We found a good coffee place in Daraga, Albay with wifi to bring us back to the safety and comforts of this digital environment.   While we sipped our lattes, exotic shakes (think pili and sili!) and cappuccinos,  I checked out the hotel on the second floor of the building which houses both Bicol Blends Cafe and 1st Colonial Grill.  Same owners.  Same cheery staff.   Villa Amada Hotel has family rooms.   Two adjoining rooms with a connecting door.  Lots of space.  And a window that looks out to Mayon Volcano.  Perfect!   I booked the next 2 nights.


Family Rooms: 1 room with Queen Bed connects to 2nd room with twin beds


And so it went that we spent 2 nights in Donsol and another 2 nights in Daraga/Legazpi City.  The children are happy.  They slept well. They also ate well as the menu offerings downstairs at 1st Colonial Grill and Bicol Blends Cafe are exactly what they hanker for.   Until they remembered we still had the remainder of the week in Bicol.  Where to sleep the next few nights before heading home?


Tinapa Rice from 1st Colonial Grill

Buco Chopsuey @1st Colonial Grill. Goes well with tinapa rice!


As Typhoon Signal #2 was declared in the Bicol Region,  the poor weather condition was the least of  their worries.   We still had to get bookings for our Naga stay.  But there’s a lot to do to keep them busy. And there’s a lot of serious eating to be done too. We pigged out in 1st Colonial Grill down below the hotel. This is also where we can have our free breakfast — goes with the rooms we booked.   And then finish off with gourmet, exotic coffee and shakes at the Bicol Blends Cafe beside it.  The owners of Villa Amada Hotel and 1st Colonial Grill are one and the same.  Bicol Blends Cafe is owned by the son of the family.   Pretty soon,  I would be cornering a corner at the coffee shop. Slurping good coffee while surfing the Net.


Sili Shake, anyone?

Small Talk Cafe


We also found time to drive by Small Talk Cafe to take out some pasta and pizza to eat back in the hotel. We figured that if the weather conditions worsen,  we would be better off in the hotel than eating out to savor this fusion cuisine.  Ever heard of Pasta Mayon?  That is laing-filled ravioli.  How about laing pizza , or pasta pinangat? And there’s the Pili Pasta with Basil. Yummy! We ordered all these plus the more traditional pizza margherita and cappriciosa (combination pizza) for the kids.  While waiting,  we couldn’t help but check out what were being served in the next table.  Before long, we were trying out their pili pie and mud pie.   Not bad at all!  Amazing how this small cafe fuses italian goodies with local cuisine centered on pili nuts, coconut cream and chilies.   By the time we made our way back to Villa Amada Hotel,  we were ready for the typhoon with all our takeout goodies.  What gluttons we were!  No mercy.