Bacolod Chicken Inasal, you came unplanned. Last Sunday, February 28, I got a Viber message from my friend, Karlo, saying that he’s doing his grocery in Waltermart Makati. Since Waltermart is just a walk away from my apartment, we decided to have lunch together. I agreed partly because he said he’s going to treat me! haha. “Treat kita” ang dalawang makapangyarihang salita na makakapaghypnotize sa kaibigan mo na sumamasa iyo. That’s somewhat true for me.
So I went to Waltermart and met with Karlo. Our initial plan is to eat in Pancake House (my favorite). But to our dismay, the Pancake House in Waltermart Makati is now being replaced by a soon-to-open National Bookstore. Oh well, I told Karlo we can just eat in Glorietta since I need to replace my Air Optics in Sarabia Optical anyways. There’s a pancake House there, but for some reason Karlo was so hungry, he wants to do unli rice. Syempre kapag unli rice, ang unang pumapasok sa isip ko ay Mang Inasal. Pero wala kami nakita. Napadpad kami sa Bacolod Chicken Inasal. I mean, this is also inasal, so maybe they also offer unli rice?
What is Chicken Inasal?
Chicken Inasal is an iconic Ilonggo dish. Much like the Peri-peri chicken, chicken inasal is made through marinating the chicken in different spices, some unique and personalized, before putting them on the grill until cooked. It may sound basic and simple, but the sauce and marinade is the hero of this dish and what makes it so extraordinary. Now people in Metro Manila don’t need to travel far just to have a taste of this delicious chicken. Restaurant chains have sprout like mushrooms across the metro promising to specialize on chicken inasal. One of them is Bacolod Chicken Inasal.
We entered Bacolod Chicken Inasal and I noticed immediately that there’s quite a lot of people eating inside. It’s a Sunday, and it’s way past lunch time, so I’m not expecting a lot of customers. I mean, we just passed by Pancake House and there’s lots of space. Why am I saying this? Kasi nga gaya ng sinabi ko before, feeling ko kasi kapag maraming kumakain sa restaurant it’s either masarap or mura. Ako na judgmental.
Anyway, the next thing I noticed is the variety of food they offer. WTF, seems like they serve everything! I honestly is expecting that they only serve chicken inasal. But OMG, they have a lot of food and mostly Filipino, which I love. Even my friend said he was surprised by the menu. But this is the part where his heart breaks….. WALANG UNLIRICE!! I guess, Mang Inasal is still the go-to place ng mga matatakaw sa kanin.
Medyo off-topic: May friend ako na may pagka “mean gay” ang peg. Kapag nakakakita sya ng babaeng pa sexy manamit pero malaki ang puson or tyan, sinasabihan nya na bawas bawasan ang pagkain sa Mang Inasal. Minsan mas mean pa, pinaparinggan nya ng “unlirice pa more.” I don’t know if this is funny or annoying, actually. For me kasi, mas mataba, more to love! Di ba?
Anyway, so we ordered our food. And guess what? Neither of us ordered chicken inasal! I guess we really got caught off-guard by the food that we got distracted to the more comforting and familiar Karekare ni Inday and Diniguan ni Lola Chit. Yes, that’s what we ordered. They also offer a variety of drinks. I kinda like the fruit drinks, but we opted to try the frozen iced tea. Kasi they also serve regular iced tea, then there’s the frozen one. We got curious what’s the difference? LMAO.
You know how some restaurants give you free soup while you wait for your order to be served? The waiter put a bowl of soup on our table while we’re waiting. I looked at it and I noticed it’s not an ordinary soup. It’s an actual soup dish. I thought to myself, “Bongga ang Bacolod Chicken Inasal, soup pa lang ulam na!” But then I am also quick to think that something seems off. Like this delicious looking soup is just too good to be true. We asked the staff and yes, the waiter served it on the wrong table. Way to go… but at least okay na appetizer yung nangyari, lalo ako nagutom! So back to the food that we actually asked for.
I love kare-kare. Even though I’m allergic to bagoong, I can’t resist having kare-kare. I ignored ordering chicken inasal the moment I saw Kare-kare ni Inday. I mean, the play with the name is fun enough for me to order it. I really like the names of their dishes, remind of the ones I saw in Binalot. I like how there’s a lot of meat and vegetables in this one, though there’s nothing special about it. I won’t mind eating it again, it’s not bad.
We got interested in ordering Diniguan ni Lola Chit because I just saw a video in Buzzfeed about Americans trying diniguan for the first time, and they love it! Ever since I watched that video, nag crave talaga ako sa dinuguan. Okay, first, who the hell is Lola Chit? I’m curious as to how they name these dishes. Second, this diniguan lacks the richness in flavor that I expect. Again, it’s not bad, just not what I’m hoping for after a few days of craving. Nothing still beats that dinuguan I tasted in the food court of Enterprise Building years ago.
Now this one is good, if not too sweet. But I love sweet! It comes with a stirrer/scooper because it’s kinda hard to pour with all the frost/ice/whatever you call that white stuff. LOL. Ako yata nakaubos nito eh, mga 3/4 ako uminom. It’s really cold. You must try this.
As a bonus, I give you Laswa ni Lola! Okay, this one caught my attention. At first I thought it’s such a trip. So I put it in my Facebook account and an Ilongga friend commented that it’s a delicious dish and it’s legit. Of course, not before another friend made a funny remark!
Don’t you just love them friends? 🙂
Overall, eating in Bacolod Chicken Inasal is not a bad experience. I really couldn’t put a right verdict on it because I feel like I should’ve eaten their specialty, which is the chicken inasal. Judging the restaurant based on the food that we ordered might be an injustice to the real hero. So maybe I will come back, eat the chicken inasal and update this. But for now, I would still prefer eating Filipino food in Manam. I just can’t get over their Sinigang in Watermelon. But if you’re from the Bacolod region and similar areas and you miss home, this is the perfect place for you. Ka-on ta!
If you want to check out their complete menu, click here (menu as of March 2016).
And yes, I’m still grieving the no unlirice.
Bacolod Chicken Inasal
Level 1, T 4, Ayala Center, Makati, Metro Manila