Nothing beats a fantastic dish of chicken rice for a meal. This was one lesson I learned back when I was working in Libis as a content writer for a BPO. Our office then was located at Eastwood Cybermall – just a short walk from Citibank – and there were a lot of food places at the third floor of the building where one can eat lunch. Some of these joints were open 24 hours, so lunch wasn’t a problem whether we had it at noon or midnight (for the graveyard shift). Chicken rice was one of the dishes you could eat fast – one cup of rice and you’re good; heavier guys like me would settle for two. Good thing the mall had three joints where you could indulge in this everyday.
Fast forward to last week. I visited Eastwood Cybermall to have a shirt altered and managed to reach the third floor – an old lunch joint. (I’ve mentioned that said visit in a previous post.) Sadly, only two of the three chicken rice joints remain as one of them already closed down. Eastwood City is a dynamic place, with new spots appearing and old stores being replaced with more modern ones. Only a few original ones remain – withstanding the rapid wave of change. Okay, enough reflection and on to the meals.
First up on the list is Ersao’s Chicken Steak Rice (P105). They used to have a branch at the third floor of Cybermall, but they’ve closed down as of my last visit. Fortunately, there are three branches within proximity of Vibal Publishing – Sto. Domingo, Banawe, and Sta. Mesa. Their chicken is moderately sized and the breading is crunchy, concealing juicy chicken meat inside. The spices on this one are rather dominant, giving it a familiar “Ersao scent” (frequent diners know what this is). What I liked about Ersao is their array of spices you can put on your meal to your liking. Pair this chicken steak with their chop suey (P30) and you’ll look forward to eating here again.
I’ve seen a lot of reviews about Namanama and they’re all favorable, and I can attest to that. It was a “to-dine-at” place on paydays, and this joint at the third floor has been witness to a team lunch or two. Honestly, this was my first time to try their Taiwanese Chicken Fried Rice (P125). Namanama’s take on the traditional chicken rice bowl is commendable, with the sweet sauce dominant and larger chicken cuts. The fillet had more mellow spices as compared to Ersao’s, which made it all the better. I can’t really say much about the breading as it looked ordinary. I almost gave this one a final verdict, until I noticed that it still had rice. All in all, this needs a little bit of fine tuning.
Fat Chicken is one of the new joints in Eastwood Cybermall. During the last part of my previous tenure, I usually dined here alone – always ordering a plate of Fat Chicken Rice. This was my third time to order their Jumbo Chicken Rice (P139), and there’s a good reason why I would return to Fat Chicken and order this again. The spices on their fillet are just right and not too overpowering – however, the breading is too flavorful it borders on salty. The fillet itself is good; juicy and huge, befitting the dish’s name. It comes with unlimited gravy, rice, and drink so it’s a steal for this price. But what sets this one apart from the first two is the dish’s accompaniments: it comes with vegetables and half a boiled egg, and the rice is topped with cubed shiitake mushrooms and tofu sauteed in soy sauce.
Damn, now that made me hungry! Check out Ersao, Namanama / Zuppa Cafe (since Namanama is under the Zuppa Cafe brand), and Fat Chicken on Facebook and hit the Like button to find out their latest promos and offerings. By the way, thanks to everyone viewing the blog from Day 1 as I’ve hit another milestone – the big 2K (and counting)! Stay tuned this month as I’ve got a lot of upcoming stuff for your reading pleasure. Until the next post, bon appetit.