Date # 79: Manang’s Chicken
Manang’s Chicken is the newest variant of the Double Fried Chicken fast food chains that are taking the Metro by storm. First was Chicken Charlie, and then the original Korean franchise Bon Chon Chicken, and then lastly, Manang’s Chicken. They describe their product as “Ang Bagong Fried Chicken ng Pinoy,” because their food is really suited for the Filipino palate.
Manang’s Chicken is a self-service restaurant. In the Katipunan branch, you order at the ground floor and then get seated upstairs where there’s enough room. You have to wait for the food at your table to ensure that your orders are freshly-cooked.
Their menu also features other Filipino favorites like Filipino-style spaghetti and pansit.
Here are some fast facts about Manang’s Chicken:
1. All their chickens are delivered fresh everyday and are certified by the National Meat Inspection Service.
2. They double deep fry the chicken to remove the excess oil from the skin and ensure long lasting crunchiness.
3. They use only high-grade cholesterol-free oil.
The benchmark we use to gauge the goodness of double-fried chicken is the Chicken Wing (P99/4pcs.) because it has more skin and can soak up the sauce better. Unfortunately, we didn’t enjoy this much because the wings were actually very small and thin as compared to Manang’s Chicken’s competitors. The sauce was very good though. It’s thick, a little bit savory but mainly sweet and it’s very vibrant—it almost forces you to eat the chicken with rice to temper the flavor.
Douglas and I ordered Chicken Cut Meals (P154/2pcs.) for something heavier. We each got a leg and a thigh part. Since those parts are rather hefty, the meat near the bone was already flavorless because the sauce on the skin was not able to penetrate inside. It was juicy enough to be enjoyable, though.
If you look at the skin closely, you can see that it’s rather thick. It doesn’t have the paper-thin crispiness that the chicken skins from Bon Chon Chicken or Chicken Charlie have.
On the side, we got a large pack of Potato Chips (P49). These bite-sized crisps were freshly cut and fried. It was disappointing though, since the chips had a bitter aftertaste, making me think that they were in the fryer for too long. Thankfully, the Garlic Mayo (P7) dip saves the flavor, making this a good enough snack.
Overall Verdict: We haven’t really found our clear favorite when it comes to double fried chicken. Manang’s Chicken has the best sauce (although my favorite sauce is still Bon Chon’s, because we all know that I’m not a fan of sweet food), while Chicken Charlie has the juiciest chicken meat, and Bon Chon Chicken has the most impressive frying technique. Maybe if someone can come up with something that utilizes the best of these three, then we’ll have a clear winner. For now, we’ll settle this argument by saying that each of the three have their own strengths and weaknesses, and I guess it all just depends on your personal preference.
One Burgundy Place
Katipunan Ave. Loyola Heights
With and For Love,
Rina Caparras and Douglas Chong