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First off, I want to make it known that I love Chicken Charlie’s food items. Their soy garlic chicken recipe is a refreshing change from the breaded chickens proliferated by both local and foreign popular brands. Essentially it’s a Chinese chicken recipe, only difference being is it’s deep fried and not stir fried. My only real issue with Chicken Charlie is its name. I’ll get back to that issue a little later.
Established on April 20, 2010 by Ifore Yu; a Business Administration graduate of Saint Benilde; with a single location at the corner of Banawe and Retiro streets at the tender age of 25 (To the ladies with thoughts of romance, he currently has a girlfriend, sorry). He chanced upon the idea while on vacation in New York where he noticed a fad for plain deep fried chicken served with soy garlic sauce and thought of bringing it here. Taking his Php 800,000.00 (US$ 18,932.64) savings from working in the family owned construction business, this sole heir to the company decided to strike out on his own.
He now has 18 or so branches scattered in Manila, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu and Davao; a far cry from his humble beginnings of a single branch with one cook, a cashier and himself doubling as waiter and busboy. During those early years this maverick literally was hands-on with the business; even looking for and buying the chickens and ingredients from Divisoria himself. He dreams of introducing Chicken Charlie internationally in the following years which brings up my point on the name. There are already two establishments in the US with similar names and you can view their sites here. As to my understanding he thought of the name to honor his father, but someone should’ve thought of Google-ing the name first so he could’ve thought of something better. Oh well.
The SM Marikina City branch was adequate, unless of course if it’s a very busy lunch or dinner time then it becomes uncomfortable for me to eat. Face it, who can enjoy eating a proper meal, least of all digest when there’s too many people around talking? If I was eating at a party I would understand but not when I just want to enjoy a meal. My rate for ambiance is four out of five stars.
I was a bit lazy at the time my friend and I ate at Chicken Charlie so I just ordered two packaged meals, namely Value Meal F consisting of Charlie’s Signature Burger with a side order of fries and a glass of soda or tea priced at Php 145.00 (US$ 3.45). I did opt to enlarge our drinks with an additional fee of Php 10.00 (US$ 0.24) each because frankly, I have a sweet tooth and prefer eating my meals with any sweet drink.
Charlie’s Signature Burger is a generous slice of fried chicken with fresh and crunchy lettuce topped with garlic sauce sandwiched inside a sesame seed bun. What I find very appetizing is the unique hamburger bun. They use two kinds of sesame seeds, one is off white and the other is black. Had I not seen it myself I would never have researched how varied the color of sesame seeds were.The chicken slice was sweet and salty and the sauce complimented the whole meal well. That same sauce is what is served with the fries although you can avail of tomato catsup as well. My rate for the burger value meal is five out of five stars.
So if you’re like me who is sick and tired of that famous breaded chicken with gravy from KFC and even its counterparts from McDonald’s and Jollibee then try out Chicken Charlie’s meals and begin to like fried chicken again.