Although double-fried chicken places have been sprouting everywhere in the Metro, I still can't and won't get enough of trying them out. So after sampling the famous BonChon and Manang's, this time I went to Eastwood to finally get a taste of Chicken Charlie.
The success behind Chicken Charlie is undeniably very inspiring. Owned by the young entrepreneur Ifore Yu, who's still in his mid-20s, he named his restaurant after his dad, Charlie. To his surprise, what started out to be a humble spot in Quezon City back in 2010, eventually grew by word of mouth. And today, Chicken Charlie already has branches scattered in Metro Manila, as well as one in Cebu, Davao and Cagayan de Oro.
As for the branch we visited in Eastwood Citywalk 2, the place was not big but not too small either. Located near the cinemas, the branch has a seating capacity of about forty-four. However, it was not the size that mattered much but the overall feel. The chicken spot has an orange and white color scheme with a trendy side-lit backdrop and a few refreshing plant décor, giving off a young and hip vibe which I definitely dig.
Although there's also a restaurant of the same name in the United States, our country's own Chicken Charlie is a hundred percent Philippine-born. And aside from its success story and fresh interiors, another thing special in this chicken establishment is of course, the double-fried chicken which can be ordered as a value meal, or a la carte.
Chicken Charlie may be a chicken place, but they also serve other food items. So before we got on with the chicken, we first had a taste of some of the sides.
Being a potato lover, I was glad that we could have some French Fries (P39). I know fries will always be just fries, but Chicken Charlie's has a feat I was quite impressed of. Aside from being non-greasy, these potato treats stayed crunchy even after a while.
We also had a serving of Wedges (P55) which are as non-greasy as the fries. Although made from potatoes as well, these treats are more flavorful with a delicately crisp skin. Every bite unlocks a combination of salty, peppery and herby flavors which I really love.
We were able to try a serving of Cheesestick Dynamites (P83) too, green chili peppers filled with cheesy goodness and then encased in a crispy fried wrapper. Although I don't find chili pepper items enticing, I admit that I fell in love with these cheesy dynamites. They were crunchy and very cheesy making them really enjoyable to munch. I personally didn't find them spicy too, so even non-spicy food lovers can enjoy these treats.
After enjoying some of the sidings, it was time to get to the really good part. The double-fried chicken in Chicken Charlie may come in soy-garlic or hot-sweet sauce, and are available in portions of wings, drumsticks or a combination of both. And while some of our companions enjoyed their tasty and crispy 6-Piece Soy-Garlic Wings (P175), I was more into the 6-Piece Soy-Garlic Drumsticks (P345).
Chicken wings are always the most flavorful and sinful parts of a chicken. However, at Chicken Charlie, even the drumsticks are as tender and as succulent which separates it from other double-fried chicken places which offer flavorful chicken skin with dry chicken meat. And don't get me started with the soy-garlic drenched skin! Although I like BonChon's soy-garlic sauce, Chicken Charlie's has a distinct sweet and savory flavor which I oh-so-love. The sauce is also well-incorporated to the crispy skin, making eating with your bare hands less messy and oh-so-enjoyable.
The Drink and Dessert
The double-fried chicken at Chicken Charlie is very satisfying that you can opt to leave out drinks and desserts, and just settle for plain ol' water. However, since the chicken house offers beverages and sweet treats I'm not acquainted to, I decided to try them out.
Chicken Charlie offers the usual iced tea and soft drinks as beverages. However, they also carry Bundaberg which is an Australian brand of brewed drinks. And of course, being the lover of things I haven't tried yet, I ordered the Bundaberg Apple Ale (P90). Although the bottle dictates this drink as alcoholic, it actually isn't. In fact, it's also a soft drink even if it may taste a little bitter upon your first few sips. When your palate gets used to the slight bitterness though, you'd get to taste its crisp and sweet apple flavors.
For dessert, I had Charlie's Pops in Apple-Yakult (P38). Although I dig Yakult, I usually don't fancy them in my drinks or desserts. However, this is an exception. The ice cream pop has a sorbet-like consistency while still being creamy. The apple-Yakult flavor also tastes great as it isn't too tart as I expected, but quite sweet with a hint of a tang.
This visit to Chicken Charlie had successfully rekindled my love for fried chicken. Among the double-fried chicken places I got to try, Chicken Charlie had the crispiest chicken skin while still being as flavorful. The hip and fresh interiors also got me sold. And with a generally reasonable pricing, plus delivery even within Eastwood's cinemas, I'm sure to visit Chicken Charlie again on my next Eastwood trip.
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5
Chicken Charlie, Eastwood
4/F Cinema Level, Eastwood Citywalk 2
Libis, Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines