Manila Bulletin

Bicol’s ‘sili’ ice cream wins online contest

- By SARAH C. IMPERIAL

NAGA CITY, Camarines Sur — Sweet but fiery, a delicious contrast in taste, and a year-round blockbuste­r for the homegrown restaurant 1st Colonial Grill, its sili ice cream won as the Best Panghimaga­s (dessert) under the Best Dish category in the Choose Philippine­s Awards held the other night at the Dolphy Theater of ABS-CBN in Quezon City.

Bong Aspe, owner of the 1st Colonial Grill, said the award came as a surprise as even the nomination was a surprise in itself.

“For a small but growing brand, this really means big to us and we really appreciate this award. We would not have gotten it without our hardworkin­g Colonial family, valued customers, our fellow Bicolanos, friends, family, and of course, the Big man himself, God!” Aspe enthused.

Out of more than a hundred nomination­s, Choose Philippine­s trimmed down the number of entries in the dessert category to five. The winners were determined by combined scores of online votes, bloggers, influencer­s, and industry experts.

Now being dubbed as the “Pambansang Ice Cream,” the Sili Ice Cream of 1st Colonial Grill, now with a branch in Tagaytay City, its first out of Bicol, has become an iconic dish drawing not only Bicolanos to the restaurant. There are four levels of the sili ice cream’s kick, the fourth called the volcanic level attracts the boldest and most daring.

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