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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Chilli & Ink: Hot Eats and Sweet Tats at Teachers Village

Who would have thought spicy wings and tattoos would go well together? Definitely not me. But as unorthodox as it seems, there's one shop in the foodie hot spot of Teachers Village that successfully combined a tattoo shop and a restaurant -- Chilli & Ink.
Chilli and Ink at Teachers Village

Located along Magiting Street, Chilli & Ink was born out of a group of friends' love for mixed martial arts, eating out, and tattoos. And while I don't really do any kind of martial arts, I'm definitely into dining, and believe it or not, tats too. So when I received an invitation to try out this one-of-a-kind resto and tattoo shop, I jumped at the opportunity.

Chilli & Ink Interior
Chilli and Ink at Magiting Street

As a restaurant and a tattoo shop in the same roof, Chilli & Ink gives clients (especially first-timers) a comfortable space that breaks away from the common perception of (read: intimidating) tattoo parlors, making it easier for those interested to walk in and inquire. The restaurant on the other hand, can serve as a waiting and dining area for the moral support-providing companions. BUT WAIT! Even if you or your friend won't be getting a tat, Chilli & Ink is worth the trip, especially if you love wings and spicy foods.

THE DISHES

If you haven't guessed it yet, Chilli & Ink specializes in spicy chicken wings. And while I believe I have a pretty high tolerance for spicy foods, this bright red and chilli-bearing eatery sure got my taste buds challenged... Which is actually a good thing.

Chilli Fingers (P100)
Chilli Fingers (P100)
As excited as we are for the wings, we first had the Chilli Fingers -- 10 pieces of chilli cheese rolls a.k.a dynamites. Every roll was fried to a crisp, and every bite was enjoyable with some hint of chilli bitterness. However, I find these treats very mild on the spice spectrum, which somehow makes it a good preamble for what's to come.

Chilli Con Carne with Nachos (P180)
Chilli Con Carne with Nachos (P180)
After a slow start, we had the Chilli Con Carne with Nachos which kicked off our Chilli & Ink experience to an official run. This stew made from chilli peppers, meat, tomatoes and beans may have just been a dip to our nachos, but it definitely gave our palates their much-needed spice. Every mouthful comes with a kick that gradually builds up.

Garlic Parmesan Chicken (P220 for 5-6pcs)
Garlic Parmesan Chicken (P220 for 5-6pcs.)
We were served with a variety of chicken wings next, but my friend Stacy and I decided to start with the Garlic Parmesan Chicken first, something less overwhelming, before we gradually go to the most flavorful. This variant has been one of my default orders when going to a chicken wing place, and as expected, Chilli & Ink's didn't disappoint. The skin was quite crispy, with salty and savory notes, while the meat was soft and juicy.

Spicy Mango Chicken (P150 for 5-6pcs)
✓ Spicy Mango Chicken (P150 for 5-6pcs.)
We then had the Spicy Mango Chicken which we found very unique. The glaze was rich and bold, with sweet mango notes and a light hint of spice. While the skin isn't as crispy anymore, it was really no big deal as the flavor very well made up for it.

Bagoong-Mango Chicken (P220 for 5-6pcs)
Bagoong-Mango Chicken (P220 for 5-6pcs.)
Next, we had the previous variant's sibling, the Bagoong-Mango Chicken. Inspired by very Pinoy flavors, these chicken wings are coated with a bagoong-mango glaze. However, as promising as I've thought it was, this variant was not really a perfect fit for me. I like both mangoes and bagoong, but this tasted predominantly of bagoong which was a little too overwhelming. Unless of course, if you're a crazy big fan of it.

Spicy ng Ina Niyong Lahat (P150 for 5-6pcs)
✓ Spicy ng Ina Niyong Lahat (P150 for 5-6pcs.)
Now, here's my most-awaited part, trying the spicy chicken wings. Bearing the namesake and even a logo of a chilli, Chilli & Ink doesn't take things lightly and carries not just one, two or three, but 4 different heat levels:
  • Hot ng Ina Mo (Level 1)
  • Hot ng Ina Mo Rin (Level 2)
  • Hot ng Ina Nyong Lahat (Level 3)
  • Hot ng Ina Nyong Lahat Challenge (Level 4)
Don't you just love the witty names? I know I do!

Since Stacy and I both love spicy foods, we were given the Spicy ng Ina Niyong Lahat to try. We thought we can easily conquer it, but a few tears and drops of sweat were shed. THIS IS SERIOUSLY THE SPICIEST DISH I'VE EVER HAD!!! However, it was also so good! We were told that Chilli & Ink only uses siling labuyo to spike up the heat, but it was insanely spicy. Something crazy spicy food lovers will fall in love with.

Wasabi Fish Fillet (P180 for 6pcs)
✓ Wasabi Fish Fillet (P180 for 6pcs.)
If you're not much into chicken and would want something healthier, Chilli & Ink also offers all the wing flavors but in fish fillet form. We got to try 2 starting with the Wasabi Fish Fillet. As a Japanese food lover, wasabi is also something that I indulge in. And thankfully, Chilli & Ink didn't scrimp on it. With every bite from the moist, tender and crispy fillets, you can enjoy the wasabi pleasurably wafting and clearing your sinuses.

California Fish Fillet (P220 for 6pcs)
✓ California Fish Fillet (P220 for 6pcs.)
Another variant I really loved is the California Fish Fillet. This is another Japanese-inspired flavor combining wasabi with mango for a cool, sweet and slightly tangy taste. And since the sauce is quite thick, it's served separately unlike with the other variants to ensure the fish fillet pieces don't get too soggy. Truth be told, this is my ultimate favorite!

Caramel Cupcake (1-pc P50; 6-pc P280; 12-pc P500)
✓ Caramel Cupcake (1-pc P50; 6-pc P280; 12-pc P500)
At the moment, there's only one dessert item on the menu, the Caramel Cupcake. Usually, I'd feel sad to find less variety on all things sweet. However, in this case, I was actually pleased 'cause even if Chilli & Ink offers just one, it's pretty damn good. The base case itself was soft and moist, while the (I think) cream cheese-caramel frosting was creamy and had just the right level of sweetness. This is my kind of cupcake. Yum!

Chilli and Ink Menu 01
Chilli and Ink Menu 02
Click the photos to view enlarged menu.

THE VERDICT

This visit to Chilli & Ink has surely left me a very good impression. While portion sizes of the chicken aren't exactly the biggest, they sure know how to make great wings with ingenious flavors. Normally, wings don't make me go gaga, but Chilli & Ink has made a convert out of me. So far, they're the only wing place I've been to that capitalizes on Pinoy flavors. They're also the only resto I know that offers insanely hot wings. So friends, Chilli & Ink is one shop I highly recommend. And to Chilli & Ink, thank you for the wonderful dining experience. See you again soon!

Taste - 4.5/5
Ambiance - 3/5
Service - 3.5/5
Price - 4.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Chilli & Ink, Teachers Village
51-B Magiting St., Teachers Village
Quezon City , Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 434-5517; (0943) 270-5875
Official Website
Facebook Page
Twitter


33 comments :

  1. the prices are all good. because it's a chili kind of resto I'm sure their dishes are all delicious!

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  2. Whoa! I didn't know that such place exist. Anyway, I am into buffalo wings too! I love to try the Bagoong Mango Chicken because I am a big fan of bagoong. I am sorry to read that you didn't like the taste of it ; (

    xoxo
    MrsMartinez

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    1. Nah! I liked it but the bagoong was a little too much for me. Sayang it was such a promising variant. Siguro if there's more taste of the mango to balance it, it would've been really good! :)

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  3. The bagoong mango chicken is a first, none of the other wings places have it! I guess the dealbreaker for you was the bagoong. It's kind of hard to find good bagoong and very few places serve it... the generic barrio fiesta bagoong which can be bought in supermarkets isn't good.

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    1. Haha! I can agree. ^^ I think if the bagoong itself was really good, it won't be a problem. But pwede rin to have more of the mango flavor seeping in to cut through the bagoong's richness. :)

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  4. Wow! I am a huge fan of spicy food and this will now be listed on my "must eat/visit." With such an affordable price and generous food serving who wouldn't want to eat there.

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    1. Diba? Hope you try Chilli & Ink soon, Angie! :) I believe they even have an unlimited rice promo from 12nn to 6pm. Not sure if weekends are included though.

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  5. Definitely the best place to go fend off your spicy craving! This is one of our spiciest foodie adventure yet! =D

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    1. True! It's not even level 4 ah! I think on my next visit to Chilli & Ink, I'll try to order the level 4 na. Haha! :D

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  6. Chilli Fingers looks yummy and the place looks nice

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  7. All hot here... I do love eating hot foods, but I could sustain eating them more. There's one occasion that I joined with this eating hot spicy food challenge. But I didn't pass.

    The foods are all tasty, delicious. Aren't they?

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  8. Lol, my friend who loves spicy food would love this place and I will truly recommend this to her. :D I don;t like spicy food though :( Looks delicious.

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  9. im salivating over the wasabi fish sillet. ugh! the prices are reasonable huh? :)

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  10. Wow! that bagoong chicken made me want to go there!! ^_^ and the concept is unique ha.

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    1. I wanna comment again because of that Hot ng Ina Mo, rin, ng lahat.. food name. katawa lang ^__________^

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    2. Yes, yes! :D Bentang benta din saken ang names ng wings nila! :D

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  11. OMG! ao neart UP i have yet to visit this place! am so cool with the idea of having a restau and tat shop:) this is near tomato kick am guessing:)

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    1. If you know The Iscreamist, this is on the same street. It's just across this popular ice cream joint. :)

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  12. A perfect place where I can take my kumpadre for a round or 2 of that spicy 'dynamites'. The price are just affordable. Who knows, baka magpalagay ako ng new tattoo .

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  13. Waaah I wanna go here! Restos like this make me want to live somewhere in QC :D They have nice concept. Ink and Chilis, *thumbs up* People will not feel intimidated to inquire about their tattoo services. I'm not into wings too but I feel they will convert me to a fan when I go there ^_^ Nice review Sumi, as always :) You make me hungry with your posts! :D

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  14. I would like to try the Bagoong-Mango Chicken and Wasabi Fish because they look so unique. The problem is the location of the restaurant is very far from us. We'll try to drop by when we can. Thanks for sharing! Wonderful post! :)

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  15. I loved foods of any tastes...these pictures makes me hungry at once. Nice foodie article!

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  16. As a big fan of spicy foods, this is a new expeience that should be immediately tried! By the way, great blogpost.

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  17. This restaurant/tattoo shop is just around my neighborhood and I've been always scared to try it. Maybe because the idea of a tattoo shop in a restaurant give me the creeps. But seeing how good it looks like from the inside and of course the menu(!), looks like its worth a try!

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  18. WoW! I love the idea and their concept to have a restaurant like this. Chili and Ink will surely love by foodies and as they same time tattoo addict as well. Been looking for a place like this for I am planning to have tattooed on my back.

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  19. Carl: Hi Ms. Purple doll, I am a fan of hot and spicy food. What do you suggest to a vegetarian who likes to dine in here?

    By the way I like the concept of this menu/challenge :-)
    Hot ng Ina Mo (Level 1)
    Hot ng Ina Mo Rin (Level 2)
    Hot ng Ina Nyong Lahat (Level 3)
    Hot ng Ina Nyong Lahat Challenge (Level 4)

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    1. Hi Carl! Are you a strict vegetarian or can you eat seafoods too? If you can't, I think the only dish you can eat are the Chilli Fingers and cupcakes. However, if you're pesco, do try the fish fillets in Wasabi, California and spicy (ikaw na bahala which level)! ;)

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  20. I'm not a tattoo lover but I love the concept of this place. Unique. It's actually the first restaurant I know that comes with a tattoo shop.

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  21. I would love to try those various chicken dishes and the fish fillet! Everything looks delicious!

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  22. awww I saw your rate sa service :( if theservice is bad and the food is good talo parin I hate poor service above everything else. looks good pa naman I like spicy things

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    1. Hi sis Bronze Goddess! You might be new here, but please refer to my sidebar for a guide to my ratings and their meaning. :) 3.5 as a score is not bad, actually it's above generally satisfactory.

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  23. Cool! I am excited to try the Ina mo series! Ha ha ha!

    Hot ng Ina Mo (Level 1)
    Hot ng Ina Mo Rin (Level 2)
    Hot ng Ina Nyong Lahat (Level 3)
    Hot ng Ina Nyong Lahat Challenge (Level 4)

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  24. wow.. nice place.. and the foods looks delicious

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