I first read about the double friend chicken phenomenon in a blog entry at Our Awesome Planet. I wondered, why would anyone go through the trouble of frying chicken twice? Doesn’t the miracle that is Jollibee’s Chickenjoy prove that chicken fried once can be an amazing thing?
A little over a month ago, I saw friends on Facebook who were badly craving Bonchon Chicken. I thought to myself: there must be something to this double fried chicken thing. Time to find out more about it.
I googled Bonchon fried chicken and after a few minutes of researching, I found out that there are three double fried chicken restaurants in the Philippines: 1) Bonchon Chicken; 2) Chicken Charlie and 3) Manang’s Chicken. Reading all those food blog entries about double fried chickens made me eager to immediately try it out and jump on the fad bandwagon.
Several days later, I tried out Bonchon Chicken. It was good but I wasn’t overly impressed. A week after that, I tried the sweet soy sauce of Chicken Charlie (because the sweet spicy sauce wasn’t available) and was left underwhelmed. After reading all those foodie raves about the double fried chicken, I was left unsatisfied. I never quite tasted what everyone was raving about.
That is, until I visited Manang’s Chicken today. Since I was swinging by UP in the morning, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to finally visit Manang’s in Ortigas.
If you can, try to visit Manang’s before or after the lunch and dinner crowd. Since it’s located nearby so many offices, the place tends to fill up quick during lunch hour. I was lucky enough to arrive at around 1130AM, before the onslaught of office dwellers.
The first thing I noticed was the very friendly staff. I was cheerfully greeted by the order counter crew and they were eager to help me decide between original and mild spicy sauce. As a compromise, I ordered their 2pcs Chicken with Rice (P124) and had one piece original and the other mild spicy.
Manang’s chicken is refried with Manang’s Secret Soy Garlic Sauce. More sauce is poured down onto it for good measure. The sauce is available in Original, Mild Spicy and Extra Spicy.
Since my favorite part of the chicken is the white meat, I was very excited that Manang’s offered chicken breast part options. Manang’s gives you the freedom to choose which part of the chicken you want, and for that breast part lovers everywhere thank you!
Upon selecting a seat, I started to set-up my camera. I was quickly and efficiently served order. The staff was efficient, friendly and professional.
The first thing you will notice about Manang’s chicken is that it is not your run-of-the-mill anemically small double fried chicken. This feels like a real person’s chicken. This is not a small piece of chicken with some skin, this is chicken bursting with meat and drenched in sauce. Its breading adds to its size and just by looking at it, I knew it would be filling.
After the prerequisite food shots, I dug into my chicken. It was heaven. My first stream-of-conciousness thought was, THIS CHICKEN IS INSANELY GOOD. I ate more chicken, and it still remained insanely good.
Manang’s secret sauce hit that mythical balance between sweet, spicy and salty. The white meat of the chicken breast was juicy and perfect for dipping in the sauce that pools into your plate. I ended up ordering some Extra Manang’s Sauce (P10). This is a wonderful extra for people like me who love pouring sauce on our rice.
During the space of my meal, I fell deeply in love with their spicy soy-garlic sauce. I wanted to take that sauce home with me. I wanted to have a Knorr Seasoning bottle full of that sauce and slather it on everything I ate.
I felt like How I Met Your Mother’s Marshall Erikson when he was describing the best burger in town. Yes, I loved it that much.
Manang’s has many other dishes to offer aside from its chicken. If you need a wee break from the chicken you can order their Garlic Pork Bagnet (P89) or their Sesame Beef (P89). Those fond of noodles can also choose from their Fried Pancit (P59) or their Cheesy Spaghetti (P49).
I think it’s very smart of Manang’s to have non-chicken viands. I know some people who are allergic to chicken and it’s good to know that they’ll always have something else to order here.
I’ve always loved fried noodles and mourned its loss from Chowking’s regular menu. Since Manang’s had a similar dish, I seized the opportunity to order their Fried Pancit for the oh-so-affordable price of (P59).
This was also very good. The noodles were crunchy and retained its crunchiness, despite the fact that it took me a while to get to it. The sauce was salty with a touch of sweetness. This reminded of the fried noodles they have in Maxim’s and brought back some pleasant memories of eating in Maxim’s as a child.
While I was eating, the branch manager Sonny was nice enough to come chat with me. He told me about the origins of Manang’s–how it started as a stall in the Fort Mercato, opened the Ortigas branch and it’s plans for future branches. Sonny and the entire crew were all very helpful. While eating in this restaurant, never hesitate to tell them if you have any extra orders. Just give them the appropriate amount and they will serve you your order, return your change and furnish you with a receipt.
Sonny gave me a complimentary Sundae Cone (P11). YAY! Their soft-serve ice cream is creamy, sweet and cool. The perfect end to a spicy meal.
Finally, after reading about the double fried chicken fad, I was finally tasting what I expected. I was happy. I was definitely a convert. I was a fan. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.
And I did:
I brought some chicken home to my aunts and even though they ate it several hours after, they both loved it. One of my aunt’s comments was, “Pwede ba kainin ang buto?”
We quickly devised ways to grab some Manang’s chicken even though we live in Las Pinas/Paranaque. I hope you come to the South eventually, Manang’s Chicken!
Is Manang’s Chicken the best double fried chicken in Metro Manila? You be the judge. You can visit them at:
Monday-Saturday – 9:00 am to 01:00 am
Sunday – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
AIC Gold Tower, Garnet Road
Ortigas Center, Pasig City (near Emerald/former NU107)
Midnight Mercato – 10:0 0pm to 3:00 am
Mercato Centrale – 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Midnight Mercato – 10:00 pm to 3:00 am
Mercato Centrale – 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Legaspi Sunday Market – 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Our Delivery Schedule:
Monday – Saturday 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday 9 am to 6 pm