Hey, Charlie!-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
IT'S like a tongue twister, really. The play between the two words that begin with the same sound makes it something fun to say over and over again. Chicken Charlie, Chicken Charlie, Charlie Chicken? Well, say it fast enough and the two just might get interchanged.
Word games aside, the reason behind why many are suddenly uttering this name is simply the fact that “Chicken Charlie” has finally arrived in Cebu.
The nationwide food chain with a catchy moniker recently opened its first outlet in the city last July 28 and it is located at the ground floor of the eBloc Tower 2 at the Asiatown I.T. Park.
It was only in April 2010 when the first Chicken Charlie branch opened its doors in Quezon City. Back then, it was a modest structure that could accommodate 12 diners; and the founder himself, Ifore Yu, was the one preparing its signature fried chicken.
A mere two years later, the Chicken Charlie now has over 10 branches all over the country, a seeming confirmation that it’s not just its fun name that got people talking. Perfectly crispy fried chicken dipped in its own savory sauces? That’s got people talking, alright.
The star of the restaurant’s menu is, of course, its fried chicken, which is served only in either a drumstick or a wing cut. Setting it apart from other kinds of fried chicken is that here they use the double-frying technique, a cooking style that originated in Korea. This results in the chicken having a thin-crisp outer layer and tender meat inside.
One can then get it in either of the flavors that Ifore had created: hot sweet or soy garlic. Some might prefer to get their chicken as it is and season it with their own sauce of choice, but what’s great about the flavors offered is that they are not very overpowering. There are just mild hints of the garlic and the chili—just enough to
make it appetizing.
Other must-tries in the menu are the Cheesestick Dynamite and Charlie’s Greens. The latter is basically Asian salad topped with slices of chicken breast and then paired with vinaigrette. It is a simple and well-prepared dish that will have health buffs coming back for more.
As for the Cheesestick Dynamite, it is a finger-food snack and it is their take on the chili relleno. Instead of putting the usual minced meat, the chili is stuffed with creamy cheese. It is a peculiar combination of contrasting flavors, yet somehow still tastes really good.
Foodies, especially the adventurous ones, should also take note that the restaurant is one of the few, if not the only, dining destinations in Cebu that serves the Australian drink Bundaberg. It is a nonalcoholic brewed beverage that comes in a variety of flavors; here, they have the sarsaparilla and the most famous one, ginger beer.
Bottom line, the arrival of Chicken Charlie in Cebu does not disappoint. The food is satisfyingly tasty and the prices are reasonable as well. Those should be enough to get one saying: “See you at Chicken Charlie!” And perhaps even repeat the last two words. Just because.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 22, 2012.