Sunday, 24 June 2012

Restaurant Review: Small Talk Cafe (Legaspi City, Albay)

The entrance hallway
The famous Small Talk Cafe, home to Filipino and Bicolano  cuisine with a touch of fusion, infuses local flavor into otherwise staple fare.  It is noted for its pasta pinangat/laing, the spicy and appetizing Bicol Express pasta and its delicious pili pie.  
The pasta pinangat/laing, the cafe's first Bicol fusion dish, is ravioli infused with pinangat, a local delicacy made from gabi (taro) leaves and gata (coconut cream), and covered in white sauce.  The Bicol Express pasta consists of alamangsili (local  pepper) and gata sauteed with garlic and pasta. 
A local favorite since 1995, this old ancestral house turned into a restaurant, owned by chef Ms. Bernadette Peralta Factora, has a quaint and laid-back atmosphere accented by old Albay memorabilia, paintings and pre-World War II photos of the city and Mayon Volcano.  
Its narrow but cozy entrance hallway cum waiting area opens into a spacious dining area.    As we arrived there early, the place was only half filled with patrons.  

Combination pizza
Tuna carbonara
I am not fond of spicy Bicolano cuisine, so I opted, from its interesting menu, for the combination pizza (2 flavors in 1 pizza crust: caprichosa and pizza Bicolana), Mayon pasta and the tuna carbonara (sauteed tuna blended with milk and cheese, a must try, PhP105).  The pasta dishes were served with 2 slices of garlic bread.

Mayon pasta

One half of the combination pizza had generous toppings of pepperoni, black olives, bacon, mushrooms and capers, while the other half had laing with mushroom, mozzarella, green pepper and pineapple chunks.  
To prepare myself for any extreme spice emergency, I ordered a mango smoothie.  The Mayon pasta is similar to the pasta pinangat/laing except the former uses red tuna sauce. 
By the time I was done with my delicious meal, the restaurant was already filled to the rafters with diners, truly an indication that I had dined in one of the best watering holes Legaspi City has to offer.  
Small Talk Cafe: 051 Dona Aurora St., Legaspi City, Albay.  Tel: (052) 480-1393 and 437-8708.  Open 11 AM-10 PM.

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