We were invited to attend the launch of Manang’s Chicken newest dessert – Velvet Sundae – at Tomas Morato, Quezon City. It was sooo much fun and really worth the trip from Paranaque to Quezon City even with the many MMDA road re-blocking projects that created major traffic issues even on a weekend. I always like to do a little research before I actually go to any planned trip to restaurant or an event and the history of Manang’s Chicken and their continued (and may I say) exponential growth upped my excitement!
About the Restaurant
Manang’s Chicken started as a concessionaire at Mercato Centrale back in 2010 and because of its unique and addicting sweet and spicy chicken sauce, it has become one of the favorite food stalls at Marcato (specially raved by famous designer, Rajo Laurel). The success at Mercato then inspired Jil and their whole family to make their family recipe into a multiple store restaurant which is continuously opening new branches almost every month since its first store opened in 2011. Locating the Tomas Morato branch was easy, especially since it had that big sign right at the arch of the building. We arrived there at 1PM, which was at the end of the lunch service and since it was Saturday, offices are closed, and except for the surplus of bloggers, there were only a few patrons finishing up their lunches. The restaurant was spacious, clean, and bright. We only had 1 issue with one of the tables. It was the most unstable, shaky table I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t the leg of the table that was the problem, but the point where the legs and the actual table top joined was either not screwed tight or whatever was needed to be done. Anyway, the quick fix was rest either Mario’s or my elbows on the table while eating to stop it from shaking.
About their Menu
Their food choices are simple, yet very unique. While sometimes my eyes twinkle when I am presented with a lot of food options in a restaurant, I often prefer a simple menu that serves a few variations of the signature dish, and then a good enough number of options for people who would like to order outside the restaurant’s specialty. Manang’s Chicken is a very good example of the simple yet complete menu, offering variations of its signature chicken recipe (wings, 1 or 2 pcs with rice, a barkada set, and chicken in a bun), and options for those who want to order something else (pasta/noodle options, beef, fish, pork, chips, salad, and dessert). The price is also mid-range or same as most fast food chains in Metro Manila.
What We Ordered
Since we were an hour early and haven’t had our lunch yet, we decided to eat our lunch there so that we can have taste of the chicken recipe that made them famous. Mario ordered Cheezy Spaghetti Meal (P69), Manang’s Chicken Wings – 4pc Wings Only (P99), Chicken Sandwich Solo (P49), and I ordered Garlic Pork Liempo w/Rice (P124).
Genius! So far, this is the first restaurant I’ve ever seen that uses cheese sauce instead of the usual grated cheese! I’ve done this several times at home, actually, but instead of cheese sauce I use Quickmelt cheese (try it!). This makes a whole lot of difference in the spaghetti experience because it makes the sauce creamier than the usual, and you always have even amounts of cheese every fork full of spaghetti and sauce.
You should remember in Manang’s Chicken, whenever you order their chicken (in any form or shape – burger, wings, cuts, etc), you will be asked if you want the chicken in its original sauce (not spicy), mildly spicy, or extra spicy. Well, Mario did the ordering at the counter and he ordered everything ‘mildly spicy’. It’s good, I have no complaints, but I would have wanted to try the other 2 versions of the sauce. Yeah, well, I know I’d get a chance to sample the other levels of spice on a later date (now that their BF branch is open). I’ll blog about it when I do. This is what made them famous in the foodie world and I totally understand why! It’s different from the oily, basic, fried chicken in other similar fast food chains. It’s sweet with a good kick and even with the sauce dripping all over the chicken, the skin was crunchy! I think, that can only be possible if the chicken is served just a few minutes after it’s been fried. Great!
I love pork so my go-to dishes are liempo, sisig, bopis, etc… And also, I love garlic so after reading this on the menu, I know I have to try it. Well, I think I expected the usual grilled liempo, then again, I forgot I wasn’t in a grill restaurant… There were lots of garlic bits, which I liked, but the pork itself was a little bit tough for me and really dry. It was fried, but wasn’t crispy enough so I had to fight with my food a little bit. Would I order it again? Hmmmm… Probably not. Clearly not their specialty.
This is a perfect snack on-the-go! Mario got that impression as he was eating it (before he even had the chance to read the description of the product on the little product folder we received when we entered the restaurant) and it was exactly how it was described in the folder! Imagine that! I think if the customer got the impression that the chef or the restaurant owner wanted to put across with just the food and pricing, then it’s a job well done for them. The sandwich used pandesal baked in a real ‘pugon’, old-fashioned way. It reminds me of the a small village bakery where we used to buy our pandesal from every morning and they are “pan-de-pugon” and have a distinct flavor and crunchy outer top shell, and when you take your first bite, the wonderful flavor just hits you like several hundred years of pugon pandesal history. This is the same thing, only that the pandesal is bigger so that it could accommodate the chicken. You still have to choose from original, mildly spicy, and spicy for the chicken sauce. Mario chose mildly spicy.
What We Were Served
During the event, we were treated to a couple more new products, one was of course the Velvet Sundae they were launching, and the other was the Ultimate Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and aside from that, we had unlimited Manang’s Chips which were sooooooooooooooooo good!
The first bite was just wow! I can’t believe how crispy the chips were and not oily at all! I know these were deep fried in really hot oil so that they’d be crispy, but even hours after they were put in the bowl, they’re still crispy like they came out of the fryer just minutes ago! Unbelievable! You can also see that they’re real potatoes, skin and all! Warning! The chips are highly addictive especially that wonderful Garlic Mayo dip! We didn’t really care too much for the Creamy Cheese dip. We didn’t order these, so I don’t really know what their “small” and “large” sizes look like, but no matter, I think they’re worth it! I just wish they had a BUCKET option!!!!!!! Or a BAYONG version! Do I need to start a signature campaign for this?
This is the leveled-up version of the Crispy Chicken Sandwich that we ordered. I think it competes with the Zinger except that it’s a lot more saucy, and it has coleslaw. Definitely not a snack order… It’s a lunch type of meal. Very filling. Has the same sauce that made Manang’s Chicken famous and of course an option of either the original sauce, mildly spicy sauce, or the spicy sauce.
Heard of chocolate lava cake (which is my dream to make one so that I can have that anytime I want)? Well, Velvet Sundae was Manang’s Chicken’s version of it without the steep price, and the fancy restaurant vibe. I personally call it potted lava cake ^_^ but that’s just me. The verdict? Oh wow! At the surprise price of P45 which was then revealed when everyone started digging into their own sundaes, I think it’s a steal! The cake was super moist (not at all packed and pounded or heavy). It was also very warm! As in warm to the touch, and the ice cream was melting really fast because of that. The chocolate chips were crispy (if that is ever a correct word to describe the chips but you get the idea). The chocolate chips were really just that, crispy, and everytime you bite on one, your teeth don’t sink into the chocolate chips because they don’t seem to melt as quickly as the ice cream does. Ah, so difficult to explain but if you try it, you’ll say, “Aha! Now I know what she was trying to say!” ^_^; And the texture of the whole thing is so interesting as long as you get a little of each ingredient in one spoonful – moist warm cake, crispy chocolate chips, cold vanilla ice cream, and sweet fudge.
I’m just so happy to have gotten to know this wonderful restaurant and their wonderful chicken and POTATO CHIPS, plus be there when this “potted-lava-cake”, I mean, Velvet Sundae was launched! Would I go to their newly opened BF Homes branch? Absolutely! Not a doubt in my mind, we’ll be back in one of their branches! They also do deliveries but I think they have different numbers for every branch. The good thing is that they don’t have a minimum amount to order delivery, they just charge you P40 for each order no matter how much you order.
AIC Gold Tower, Garnet Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City (near Emerald/former NU107)
Monday-Saturday – 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Sunday – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Delivery: 584-8848, 871-5037, 0922-8427759
G/F One Burgundy Plaza, Katipunan QC
Monday-Sunday – 9:00am to 10:00pm
Delivery: 921-5907, 0922-8164271
One Archers, Taft Ave.
Monday-Friday – 9:00 am to 10:00 pm
Saturday – 9:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sunday – closed
Delivery: 254-0842, 0922-8164272
Glorietta 4 Food Choices
Delivery: 400-4673, 0932-8626742
SM Megamall Food Court
Bldg. A, Lower Ground Floor
SM NORTH EDSA
Upper Ground Floor, The Annex
Unit 2&3, Lansbergh Place
Monday-Thursday – 10 am – 10 pm
Friday-Saturday – 10 am – 11 pm
Sunday – 10 am – 6 pm
Delivery: 376-5058, 0932-8627350
BF Homes Paranque
Mercato Centrale/Midnight Mercato @ BGC
Fridays: 10:00pm to 3:00 am, Saturdays: 7:30 am to 2:00 pm, 10:00 pm to 3:00 am, Sundays: 7:30 am to 2:00 pm
Soderno in Molito Alabang
Fridays and Saturdays 6:00pm-3:00am