Filipino Barbecue Chicken
|Grilled chicken, steamed rice wrapped in banana leaf,|
a sachet of soya sauce and a sliced kalamansi. Food
from Mang Inasal served at home.
This post is a recommendation for Mang Inasal, rather than a full review. As such I won't be scoring as I usually do. I was going through my old photos of time spent in Manila this weekend, and I came across pictures of food that I really enjoyed and think others should try as well. Take this as a product of nostalgia more than anything else.
Part of me finds it hard to believe that I'm writing about a chain for my blog, but truth be told there are several chains worldwide that I often rely on for good food. It's for the usual reasons - consistent branding means that you know what you're getting when you walk in. And at Mang Inasal (Hilgaynon for Mr. Barbecue), what you're getting is simple but scrumptious grilled meats and fish served with rice and condiments. Much like any fast food chain, orders are placed and paid for at the counter. Food can be eaten in the restaurant itself or taken away. I've done both over my time in the Philippines - and as with any chain expect crowds during peak hours.
The menu is simple and cheap, starting from around 70 pesos for a skewer of meat and rice to 120 pesos for a bigger piece of chicken, rice and a drink. The menu is split into Paborito (or favourite) meals numbered from PM1 to PM6 and Sulit (roughly translatable as value) meals number SM1 to SM2. Not all of these meals are chicken - Mang Inasal also does pork and bangus (milkfish), as well as some specials and desserts. However, I've always opted for PM1, which is the chicken and rice in the first photo of this post. My time in the Philippines pre-dates the blog, and unfortunately I wasn't as diligent about documenting my food experiences back then and I have only one photo I can provide. However, Mang Inasal has a website, plus menus and interiors can be Googled quite easily.
I've dropped into various branches for food many times - often for my evening meal while working in Cagayan De Oro or after my driving lessons in Manila. The food has always been consistently good - the chicken flavourful and seasoned thoroughly in a way that sadly only Asia seems to manage. Just be aware that the chicken at least is always a bit dry, which falls in line with my own preferences but may be a negative for some. It's a quick and easy meal, and as long as you don't mind a fast food chain I'd definitely recommend trying it if you're in the Philippines for work or pleasure.