Been seeing Manang’s Chicken at the Mercato Weekend Market at the Fort for some time and hearing in my circles and reading in the net about it as well. Yet it was only last year while we were at SM North EDSA Annex for some last minute Christmas shopping that we were able to taste this much-raved about local take on Korean / double deep fried chicken as they were offering bite-size samples to passers-by. We liked what we’ve tasted enough to check the menu. We didn’t get to dine at their store then as we were with our our aunt who has dietary restrictions. No meat for her. Manang’s Chicken doesn’t seem to have a non-meat main item in their menu (edited 3/12/12) at that time.
I was finally able to have dinner there some weeks ago. Had a piece of chicken and rice. I was asked if I wanted original, mild spicy or extra spicy. Went with original. And opted for lemonade as they only have lemonade and iced tea at that time. No softdrink. The place had few customers so I was able to get a booth. There were students, remnants of their meal on their table, working on some project. They seem to have been there for sometime. I like that the staff just let them be. When I was a student, I’ve experienced eating and rushing through my papers in QSRs where even though there’s hardly any customers in the place, the staff kept glancing at us.
It didn’t take long for my meal to be served.
I can’t help but compare the Manang’s and BonChon since both are double deep fried chicken with soy garlic base flavors. Taste-wise, Manang’s Chicken in original seemed a bit sweeter than BonChon in original. I’m thinking that this is because a number of Filipinos prefer things to be sweeter. Heck, my mom would add lots of sugar to spaghetti sauce (I add sugar to some dishes which require tomato sauce but not too much to overwhelm them.) before the advent of Filipino-Style sauces. Our groceries even have tomato ketchup in Sweet Blend.
The obvious difference between Manang’s and BonChon is that the former has sesame seeds sprinkled on the chicken. I liked the subtle nuttiness they impart. Also, Manang’s is a bit wet. Spoon and fork were in order. Without the skin, the meat’s a little bland. Must eat with skin. I hope my next observation’s limited to the chicken served to me: while chewing, there were bits of the skin which my teeth couldn’t tear through. No, I’m sure they weren’t bone fragments. No, the chicken wasn’t tough. It’s just that there were these small hard bits.
While most of the items they offer are lower in price compared to BonChon’s, the 1 pc chicken with rice and lemonade I had cost more, at P104. A 1 piece chicken with rice and drink at BonChon will set you back by P95. Maybe the price will go down once they form a partnership with a softdrink company.
Visit Manang’ Chicken’s website for their food offering (Price not indicated though.) and to know where to get them. Get in touch with them / meet fellow double deep fried chicken enthusiasts through facebook and twitter.