The nice thing about hitching rides with friends is that, where they drop you off, there is a possibility for the discovery of new places to eat. Today, it was in Ortigas. –a short walk away from Robinson’s Galleria. The new place to eat: Manang’s Chicken.
The size of the establishment is quite small. The entrance is narrow and located beside a 7/11. It’s a modest dining place that has okay air conditioning and popping colors painted on the wall. Right beside the entrance is the single counter, which has the potential to block up the entrance when there are a lot of customers ordering.
Technically, this isn’t all that new for me. I’ve tried Manang’s at Mercato Centrale twice already. Heck, the last time I was there was only Sunday. But it’s always the order of wings that I get (6 pcs for P144. That’s 3 WHOLE wing pieces, in actuality). It was time to try something else, of course.
Their Cheezy Spaghetti (P49) caught my eye (naturally!), while M ordered the 2-piece original sauce chicken with rice (P124) plus an additional serving of original sauce (P10). Considering that not so many people were eating there right then, the wait time was a bit long. Around 10 minutes. And when I tasted the spaghetti, I didn’t find it particularly memorable. It wasn’t quite the sweet Filipino-style spaghetti that has become traditional, so I’m not entirely sure where to place it. Let’s just say that I’d stick to the chicken with mild sauce. –Which I did, by the way, order after finishing my spaghetti because I wasn’t so satisfied with it.
The mild sauce is such a winner, because that’s where the play of sweet and spicy comes in. The chicken itself (I got breast part) is just ok. For such a fleshy part, it’s not very juicy, but the breading is crispy. Basically, the sauce does 75% of the work. I suggest to get the wings instead, because the ratio of sauce-to-crispy is just right. You get the maximum flavor and texture there.
I noticed that, even if you choose to dine-in, they still serve the food in styrofoam containers. Plastic utensils and all. I’m quite against the excessive use of styro, so I’m not exactly a fan of their practice. But I understand that the size of their kitchen is small and does not seem to have a big washing facility.
Eating there, I felt as though the establishment seemed to lose a bit of its shine. I don’t know if it’s because they’re becoming mass produced or maybe Mercato’s aura contributes something exotic to it. Sometimes, a business becomes successful because the products are so rare (which makes it refreshing). I’m hoping that the quality of their food won’t change, though I’ve seen it happen so many times.