(Up front, I am already gonna say that this is my dearest friend Ara’s family’s food place. And the review will be the same. I promise.)
So it has been a couple of months already that this place has been open, and we still haven’t tried it. Even with Ara’s urging (every now and then), we never really had the chance to try it out. Mentions of it on the radio, listening to the hellos of Boy’s Night Out of Magic 89.9 to Cathy of Chicboy, Ara’s sister, always put the restaurant in my mind to try it out. And last night we did.
In our conversations while going around Makati, I was surprised to find out that the place was actually open for 24 hours! Like a handful of restaurants and fast food all over, more and more places are catering to the call center/business process outsourcing employees. Their work shifts that resemble more of the other side of the world’s has given a lot of places reason to stay open while most of the country sleeps.
So in our sudden get together last night, we decided to finally try Chicboy. Coming from Fort at 9.30pm, it was a short drive to Jupiter St. and we were soon ordering food. Though there were some parking challenges, the place had around 10 slots, we easily got a spot and parked fast, with the help of the security guard.
We were five, and Sjeanz and Mau decided to go ahead and order their meals separately. Sjeanz had the Cebu Lechon Liempo set, while Mau had the Roasted Chicken set. Kars, Ara and I decided to do it family style and got a whole order of the same thing Sjeanz had, an order of Salmon Sinigang, fresh lumpiang ubod (wrapped and rolled heart of palm), individiual rice orders, and bottomless iced teas. Our order, for the three of us, came out to only P350! That’s roughly $7, or $2.30 each, around the average price of a set menu at fastfood chains. Mau’s and Sjeanz’ orders were around P100 each, with the meal consisting of the ulam and the rice.
I love the Cebu Lechon Liempo! It’s the dream taste of my Balamaban Lechon Kawali experiments but with less of the fuss! But of course, I have tried this in Pier One and fell in love with it too! It has actually become top of my list for Pier One food, followed by the all-time favorite of sisig. And it has risen to the ranks for my Chicboy favorites.
The roasted chicken, which I tried from Mau’s plate, was okay. I didn’ t go crazy over it, but it was good. But maybe I have tried too much chicken inasals and sinugba to really taste the differences in them. The sinigang was better. The broth was strong tasting, which I like. Nothing like the watery flavored soups that other stores come out with, which was so obviously made with just the straight-from-a-packet kind of thing, diluted in too much water to extend the servings. It was if the salmon belly was simmered long and slow, the flavors of the fish leeching out to the soup. Yummy. And it was a bit spicy too!
My qualification for any item with a sauce to be good is if the item itself can be eaten without the sauce. This goes for steak, anything covered in cream, and for this time, the fresh lumpiang ubod. I specifically requested that the lumpia sauce be served separately from the lumpia (and I also don’t like peanuts on my food, except when eating the actual peanuts alone). I tried a piece without the sauce and it was kinda bland. The sauce was really necessary to make the dish good, and I wasn’t too keen on that. But if eaten with the sauce, it’s good.
Remember my last post on steamed rice and it being so rare to have badly cooked rice? I didn’t, at all, like my rice. It was too sticky a mess. Since it was served hot, I figured that once it has cooled, it was going to be easier to handle. That it wouldn’t be too sticky. It still was. The saving grace was the free for all garlic flakes on the table! Which I sprinkled around 5 times on my plate. 🙂 Love it. And of course, I cannot not mention the ubiquitous golden yellow oil that is served in all inasal places that is poured over the rice. Ahhh. The calories. 🙂 The other good thing about here is the unlimited rice you get. I never got to confirm but I think the set meal was where you can get unlimited rice, not when you order by one serving.
So will I go back? Given the prices, it was so sulit (worth it), especially if you do order the food family style. We never got to finish the food (takaw mata (hungry eyes???), anyone? Sjeanz felt that her order was for 2 people, Mau never got to finish her chicken (both of them requesting for more rice that the order came with), and the three of us had food good enough for another person! Yes, I will go back. But now, for sure, I’ll be sticking to the Cebu Lechon Liempo 🙂