Bicolano cuisine is one of the most popular regional cuisines in the Philippines, so part of the fun of going to the Bicol region is getting to sample its dishes. One of the most famous restaurants serving Bicolano fare is Small Talk in Legazpi, Albay. This cozy little place in the heart of the city’s Old Albay District has been drawing both locals and visitors alike since 1999.
I’ve dined here before, during our trip to Albay in 2013, and got to try some of its dishes, but a return trip is way overdue. On my visit, the place isn’t as busy as it was then, but the place is still thriving. Diners still come, as well as the restaurant is now also serving frozen versions of some of its menu items.
But because I’m on a solo trip, I stick to just two of the dishes — both I haven’t tried yet — that are just enough for one person. The first is Bicol Pizzettes, 10 pieces of small flatbread served with a small serving each of Bicol express and pinangat for dips. Bicol express consists of pork with coconut milk and chili, while pinangat (also known as laing) is shredded taro leaves with meat and coconut milk.
My main meal is Pasta Pinangat – a fusion of Bicolano and western cuisine. Pinangat is used for pasta sauce, and while the result looks like pesto, the taste is distinctly Bicolano.
Dining at Small Talk Cafe is always a memorable experience and the long menu means that more return trips are warranted.
Small Talk Cafe
Doña Aurora St, Old Albay District, Legazpi City, Albay
(052) 480 1394