Presenting Chowking’s Chinese-style fried chicken in real life:
OK, it may look like your ordinary fried chicken but it’s not. But don’t get too excited about it. It’s what I’d like to call home fried chicken +. There’s nothing really special about the fried chicken they serve. No extra flavor, no extra tenderness, nothing totally different… just crispier skin. So, yeah, home fried chicken +.
Still, that extra crispiness is reason enough to purchase Chowking’s fried chicken over, say, McDonald’s chicken or Jollibee’s ChickenJoy. It’s not as spectacular as the ads would want you to believe, but it’s good enough to try at least once.
Today we introduce FOOD FIGHT! A segment where we pit two restaurants and their meals in a fight to the death for gastronomic greatness and glory. When the last crumb falls, there can be only one left standing.
Let us begin with Chicken Charlie and BonChon Chicken, two restaurants so dedicated to serving the crispiest fried chicken around they decided to fry them twice.
Taste-wise, the two restaurants serve almost identical tasting meals. There are minute differences in the flavor and crispness of their chicken, of course, but they are not substantial enough to objectively say that one is truly better than the other. Enjoyment ultimately depends on one’s personal taste and/or brand loyalty.
We have to give a slight advantage to BonChon Chicken over Chicken Charlie on this one as they offer meals other than just fried chicken. BonChon Chicken offers 2 fish and 2 bulgogi (Korean grilled beef) dishes and boasts a little more item on their sides menu. We haven’t tasted any of their non-chicken meals, but that just means that BonChon wittingly gave us a reason to visit them again.
Chicken Charlie wins this one hands down. BonChon’s meals are P125 (add P20 for drinks) on average, Charlie’s Bowl from Chicken Charlie costs P59 (add P15 for an iced tea). Chicken Charlie’s fried chicken also costs considerably less than BonChon Chicken’s. Considering the fact that both restaurants serve nearly identical tasting food, why spend more?
BonChon Chicken has a definite advantage on this department as they have branches on some of our country’s leading shopping malls in addition to their branches outside them. The perks of being a big international company, huh? The three Chicken Charlie branches aren’t hard to find or inaccessible in any way, mind you. It’s just that they can’t compete with BonChon Chicken in terms of number.
This could have been a tough one, but one variable made choosing Chicken Charlie over BonChon Chicken easier: price. For your P145 budget, you can have Charlie’s Bowl with an iced tea plus an order of their five piece Cheesestick Dynamite (or another Charlie’s Bowl, if you can’t get enough of it) and have some change left for your piggy bank. P145 gets you one meal in BonChon Chicken sans side dish. Their fried chicken tastes the same but BonChon’s asks a bit more for theirs. And we’re not really that excited about anything else from a restaurant that is popularly known for their fried chicken; if it was BonChon Chicken and Bulgogi (or Fish Tacos) then it’s a different story. But for this battle of the twice-fried fried chicken, Chicken Charlie reigns supreme.
Chicken Charlie is currently one of our most visited eating places – they’re a long ways away from where we live but the food they serve makes the trip worthwhile.
For first-time visitors, we suggest Charlie’s Bowl for your first order. As the dish that bears their company’s name, it’s a great way to sample what they have to offer. At P59, you get an adequately sized bowl of rice generously topped with slices of their famed non-greasy, crispy fried chicken served with your choice of either their soy garlic or spicy sauce.
While the meal is pretty simple – it’s your typical kanin + ulam combo – it sets itself apart with its unique take on the humble fried chicken. Chicken Charlie claims to serve fried chicken that is perfectly non-greasy with a soul-satisfying crunch, and, in our opinion, they absolutely deliver. Their chicken is nicely fried, they are crunchy without excessive layers of flour, and they are surprisingly tasty even without condiments.
While fried chicken seems pretty trite an order especially when eating out, Chicken Charlie’s take on it ensures that though you are still just eating fried chicken, you are eating fried chicken with a delectable twist.