Chicken Charlie - Manila's "Bonchon" Crispy Chicken?
Finally, a refreshing take on the classic fried chicken! Chicken Charlie is the first restaurant in Manila to use the double-frying technique popularized by Bonchon Chicken in NY.
First, the chicken is fried using vegetable oil to drain all the fat from the chicken. The second round of frying makes the skin super crispy without losing the juiciness and taste of the chicken. The soy garlic sauce or hot sweet sauce is then glazed over the chicken for flavoring, giving it a nice sheen, too.
Although it can come across as a bit oily, the chicken is packed full of flavor in every shred of meat and skin. Best of all, the skin is super crispy -- you can hear it crackle when you bite into it. It stays crispy for two hours. What's good about it is that it is freshly prepared and only cooked when you order it (so you have to wait).
We've never tasted any other fried chicken like it. Flaming Wings in Katipunan, Buffalo's Wings N Things in Ortigas Depo and Wingman in the Collective are no match for Chicken Charlie's double-frying technique. :)
The first branch is quite small and can only fit 12-15 people. But even with the limited space, people still flock to this place for the chicken.
Here is a closer look at the Chicken Charlie Menu.
The wings cost ~P25 and the drumsticks cost ~P50 per piece. The drumsticks are actual chicken leg drumsticks instead of the part that is connected to the wings. You have a choice between two equally yummy sauces: the soy garlic is on the sweet soy side, while the hot sweet sauce has a mild spice. The pieces with toothpicks are the spicy ones.
Chicken Charlie delivers on its promise of "Perfectly Non-Greasy with a Soul-Satisfying Crunch." However, it is a bit expensive, considering that you can already get a whole Andok's chicken for the price of 4 drumsticks.
You can also order the rice toppings with chopped pieces of the crispy chicken. Thing is, there seems to be more bread crumbs than the chicken itself. You have to mix the chicken, the rice, and the sweet soy garlic sauce to enjoy this.
Bundaberg Sarsaparilla (P90). The crispy chicken would have been perfect with our favorite Bundaberg, but it was overpriced at P90, which is usually just P65. The sarsaparilla tastes exactly like the nostalgic Sarsi.
Ifore Yu, the owner, explains to the customers how they do the double-frying technique.
He also shared that they are open for franchise and that the second branch will open in front of UST.
For those who are interested, contact Ifore at +63917-855-0971, +63922-888-5060.
Although it claims that it is healthy fried chicken (because it has 0% grams of trans fat from using vegetable oil and that they fry all the fat out of the chicken), you can't ignore the fact that it is still fried twice. Also, it depends on how many times they use or change the oil for frying.
As an occasional treat, Chicken Charlie would still be on top of my list for fried chicken. It's really yummy (but expensive) and it's worth the drive, all the way to N.S. Amoranto (formerly Retiro). :)
592a N.S. Amoranto St. cor. Banawe St., Quezon City
11am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday.
(It is near the corner of Retiro and Banawe, on the side near Araneta Avenue.)
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.
P.S. For dessert, it was a toss-up between Ersao and Serenitea...
We ended up at Serenitea, located on N.Roxas corner Banawe. We love the Hokkaido Milk Tea (P85) with pearls and nata. :)P.P.S. When will the real Bonchon shop open in Manila?