1st Colonial Grill
Elias Angeles St. cor. Arana St., Naga City, Camarines Sur
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Since most of us were first timers in Naga, it was somehow imperative that we taste authentic Bicolano food and the most accessible to us during that time was the 1st Colonial Grill along Elias Angeles street. The restaurant chain has been open since 2004 and is famously known as the "Home of the Sili Ice Cream". They have a wide array of common and unique Filipino/Bicolano dishes. Most of their food are good for sharing although they also hae combo/budget meals. From everything that we have ordered, the food which struck me the most was of course the Bicolano Dishes (Laing and Pork Bicol Express). The spice level of both dishes were tolerable but would still tinge your taste buds for a minute or two. Vegetable Kare-kare was also delicious especially the sauce. The Bahay Kubo Salad (even though I was not able to taste) seems interesting since it somehow stuck to its promise of having the Bahay Kubo vegetables in one salad.
As for the dessert, we decided to initially try the Sili, Pili and Tinutong Na Bigas Ice cream flavors. The Sili flavor has 3 levels of spicyness to choose from (although based from the food server, there was also a Level 4 - Mayon Volcano level). We chose Level 1 since we might not be able to tolerate anything spicier than the normal. Judging from the three flavors, I must say we liked the Pili Ice Cream flavor the most (which prompted us to order 2 more cups). The Sili Flavor Ice Cream was creamy at first but the hot flavor will come out once it reaches your throat which was actually weird yet fun. We also ordered Cacao flavored ice cream. It tasted like a chocolate champorado ice cream which was actually quite refreshing. One ice cream cup costs Php 89 and contains two scoops of ice cream. There are half gallon and one gallon sizes as well and can also be ordered from their Take Out counter.
Service wise it seemed that the branch was under staffed during that day or there were just too many guests since it was the Peñafrancia festival day. We had to do numerous follow ups to get our orders and finally get the bill. Overall, food was good and very filling to the stomach. There were some dishes which taste bland but most of them were good. Given another chance to go back to Naga, I will still try to eat at this restaurant.
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