There's no doubt that Mang Inasal and Chic-Boy are currently two of the most famous chicken inasal destinations in the Metro. However, being an adventurous and curious foodie, I made sure not to miss the chance to try a very popular chicken inasal restaurant which came straight from Bacolod, Chicken Deli.
Since 1983, Chicken Deli has been serving savory flame-grilled chicken all throughout Bacolod where it has actually become an institution. And in July 2011, this Bacolodian household inasal brand opened its first branch in Metro Manila, at SM North EDSA The Annex' 3rd level.
Like most chicken inasal places I know, Chicken Deli also uses a red and yellow color scheme for its facade and a pay-before-ordering dining system. However, its interior is very cozy and inviting as it made use of wooden chairs and bricked walls under a soft yellow-tinted lighting.
Being in a chicken inasal restaurant, it didn't take me even a minute to decide what to order. I got Chicken Deli Paa (P97) right away which came with a free bowl of soup and unlimited rice. Although this set of inasal looks like a plain jane, the taste was definitely something that got me hooked! Among all the chicken inasal I've tried, Chicken Deli's was the juiciest, most succulent cut of flame-grilled chicken. The skin was beautifully grilled to a tasty crisp and the chicken meat was tender and super savory.
I also got to try Chicken Deli's Turon (P49 for 6 Sticks) -- deep-fried banana and jack fruit spring rolls coated with sugar, which despite being thinner than what I was used to, turned out to be flavorful and very satisfying for a quick afternoon snack.
To end on a sweet note, I had the Halo Deli (P49) -- Chicken Deli's signature halo-halo which had shaved ice, evaporated milk and sweetened saba, topped with yema (custard candy). Like Razon's of Guagua's famous halo-halo, Chicken Deli proves that simplicity is the way to go. This Pinoy favorite was definitely a refreshing treat, although the yema added a chewy texture which I didn't quite dig.
Aside from chicken inasal, Chicken Deli also carries a variety of Filipino dishes which are friendly for the pocket. And even with already-low prices, they have Tipid Meals which is a very inexpensive selection of barbecue-rice combos perfect for a quick meal.
I know I've mentioned just a month ago that I've found the best inasal in the Metro. However, Chicken Deli managed to surpass that bar with its perfectly seasoned juicy, savory and oh-so-succulent inasal. In terms of service though, I have to say that Chicken Deli still needs to keep some room for improvements. Although I understand that making a freshly-cooked chicken inasal takes some time, the servers can show a little concern by offering drinks first and making sure to serve with a smile.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 3/5
Price - 5/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Chicken Deli, SM City North EDSA - Annex
3/F Annex, SM City North EDSA, North Ave. cor. EDSA
Quezon City, Metro Manila