Bicol cuisine is known for its dishes cooked in gata or coconut cream. Anything cooked in coconut milk is known as ginataang. Squit or crabs cooked in coconut milk are my favourite dishes. The other key ingredient of Bicol cooking is the sili (hot chilli). There are many kind of sili, among them the tiny but potent labuyo.
Most main dishes in the region are based on gata and sili particularly the way vegetables are cooked. May it be banana blossom, jackfruit, or any edible plant, Bicolanos transform it into a delicious dish topped with chilies.
Of course we shouldn’t forget the pili nuts.
The most famous dish from Bicol is probably the Bicol Express which is a mixture of pork meat and shrimp paste sautéed in tomatoes and onions and lots and lots of green and red chili strips simmered in coconut cream.
Squit in coconut milk.
Pinangat is probably as popular. It is a delicious dish of shredded taro leaves and bits of juicy meat that are stuffed into little bundle of taro (gabi) leaves which are then, simmered in coconut cream and edged with a fistful of sili.
One of the best restaurants in Legaspi to taste the native Bicol dishes is probably Waway’s.
Here you can eat delicious food at a very affordable price. Care for Letson Paksiw, Langka, Bopis, Sarsiado Isda, Kare-Kare, Pinoy Bistek, Pugo (egg) with schrimps, Paya-Paya and much more? They have it all. Most dishes are priced well below 100 pesos.
Where: One km north of Legaspi. Five minutes from the airport. Peñaranda Street
My rating: 10/10. Delicious native (Bicol) dishes. Clean. Friendly waiters. Very affordable prices (less than P100 per dish).
Info: My Sarisari Store.
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