Most Filipinos would often consider fried chicken cooked American-style as something occasionally eaten in a fast-food restaurant. While we have fast-food favorites here in Manila such as McDonald’s, KFC, and Popeyes (which made a comeback after years of absence) – trying out fried chicken from a more upscale joint is a very much welcome prospect.
Fried chicken from homegrown establishments Max’s and Savory – both the Original and Classic restaurant chains – follow the Asian style of cooking. The Asian method uses deep frying, but does not coat the chicken in batter or breading. This results in a chicken with thin yet crispy skin and moist meat.
I personally prefer fried chicken cooked in either manner, though I have to admit that frying chicken isn’t exactly the healthiest method to cook it. But still, if I want to try it once in a while – I might as well take the more indulgent option, which is American-style.
Now, this triptych was inspired by a longtime blog follower here at The Monching’s Guide. I’ve been blogging for eight years and have tried out many fried chicken joints within that span of time. Let me share my three best picks when it comes to fried chicken here in Manila that I would recommend to those visiting from abroad.
Mention Kettle and the first thing that comes to my mind is the Buttermilk Fried Chicken, which I definitely recommend. I tried it twice – in 2016 and 2022 – and I have not been disappointed by the dish, with the chicken’s crispiness and moist, tender meat leaving a very good impression. This is best paired with the country gravy and honey, which come with every order by default.
Be warned that the Buttermilk Fried Chicken is good for two people, so it’s better to get a friend to join you. If you head here on a weekday, you can avail of the single portion; do note that they serve it only during the lunch hour period of 12 noon until 2 in the afternoon.
Find Kettle at Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong.
Tom Sawyer’s Old Fashioned Krispy Chicken
I consider Tom Sawyer’s Old Fashioned Krispy Chicken the benchmark of all fried chicken meals here in Manila. I first visited the establishment in 2015 – and I’ve been hooked on its fried chicken ever since. Whether you order the 1-Piece Chicken Meal or the 2-Piece Chicken Meal, the juicy meat and crispy batter will make you crave extra carbs to go along.
The exceptional gravy at Tom Sawyer’s is another reason to visit the joint for fried chicken! Customers who dine in-store are treated to unlimited gravy; just ask the staff for refills.
Tom Sawyer’s Old Fashioned Krispy Chicken has branches at Tiendesitas in Pasig City, Congressional Town Center in Quezon City and along Taft Avenue in the city of Manila.
Señor Pollo made its name as a purveyor of “Latin chicken,” which is roasted instead of fried. The joint, however, offers a fried version of its signature chicken – with the same wonderful taste as its roasted counterpart. I’ve been here multiple times, and the restaurant has become a must-visit place for me when I find myself near it.
You can order up to three Fried Chicken pieces and up to two side dishes, or just opt for the Fried Chicken alone. Speaking of the latter, the side dishes – such as beans, plantains, chimichurri, and sweet potatoes – serve as a tour of Latin America.
Señor Pollo has branches at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, Sapphire Road in Pasig City, Makati City’s Legazpi Village and along Scout Rallos Street in Quezon City.
I hope you can stop by these restaurants and try out their fried chicken when you visit Manila.
Until the next post, bon appetit!
33 thoughts on “329 – On My Top 3 BFC (Best Fried Chicken): Triptych 60”
*files all these spots in my fried chicken book.* haha!
The only problem is time – I can only spend like a week in Manila on most of my trips, and I can’t be eating fried chicken for every meal unless I want a heart attack :’D
Hmm…well, if any of those are along your itineraries, you can stop by for lunch or dinner!
The last one looks really tasty to me! We don’t eat a lot of fried chicken where we are in Wisconsin, but I know it’s more popular in the Southern U.S. My husband used to eat way too much KFC as a bachelor, but now he just looks at it and groans! 😀
You gotta love the variety of sides it has, too! 😀 Señor Pollo offers different accompaniments to the chicken — including fried plantain and mashed sweet potatoes.
Well, I could definitely relate to him! KFC here in the Philippines used to be a go-to for me whenever I felt like eating chicken — with its rice bowls a favorite of mine. But yeah, people’s tastes mature as they grow older. 😂 Thank you for stopping, by, Sarah!
I would try the fried plantain side. I’ve made tostones before, and they were really good!
Thanks a lot for sharing these insights on the fried chicken dishes. Your experiences sound delicious! 🤩
I’m not really a fan of fried chicken here in Indonesia, but I think that’s because many foodstalls boil the chicken before frying it. In fast food chains like KFC, AFC or JFC, they serve the crispy chicken. My family likes it but I think it’s quite expensive and I prefer grilled chicken over fried one. 😉
No problem! 😀 As someone who cooks chicken, it’s a necessary step to ensure the blood seeps out. My mom would often prick the chicken before steaming so none of the raw blood remains. (It does remind me of how Hainanese chicken rice is cooked in Singapore.)
I’m good with ayam penyet though! 🍗🌶️
Looks yum! I think I only tried Señor Pollo but it’s been ages! Would love to try the rest, I have been loyal to Chickenjoy! Haha
Pag nagawi ka ulit sa Manila! 🙂 Interestingly, Meat Plus Cafe (the one you tried in Subic) and Kettle have the same owners!
been wanting to try Kettle for the longest time!
When I was dorming my favorite go-to fried chicken was the one in in Mini-Stop (as long as it’s bagong luto)
Pag mapadpad ka sa Shang! 😊 I gotta attest to that; Uncle John’s (from Mini Stop) is better compared to the 7-Eleven counterpart. Yun nga lang talaga, dapat mainit or i-reheat bago kainin.
*adds to the list of to-go places for fried chicken when I’m visiting Manila.^^ Thanks for the reviews and these look so good… I think I’ll have fried chicken later for dinner.
Hehe, enjoy your dinner!
I was just thinking of publishing my top 5 FC in the metro after having my first bite of Tom Sawyer’s FC earlier today. Their gravy was superb. Truly one of a kind. Ipon muna ako fried chicken pics lol. Great post!
Thank you! 😊 Glad you enjoyed your trip there; agreeing with you about the gravy. Unlimited pag dine-in ka, pero may bayad pag take-out.
I’ll add these restos to my fried chicken bucketlist. Currently addicted to korean style- fried chickens! Spicy ones are really best especially during rainy season.
Thank you for stopping by! 🙂 Yes, the spicy chicken fits the recent rainy weather we have here in Manila!
I’m a vegetarian but my husband loves fried chicken and well we have fresh chicken on our farm so there’s that 🤪
Hehe, at least you two get along even though you have different dietary preferences! Georgia is in the Deep South, so fried chicken is definitely part of the cuisine. 🍗
I don’t think I would have married him if he wasn’t understanding 🤪 besides I raise chickens, ducks, and soon to be cows for him to eat 😆. I also don’t have a problem cooking it for him 💁🏼♀️
Yay for self-sufficiency!
Side note… we’ve been married for 17 years this year and together for 18 💪
Oh, that’s good to hear! Congratulations, and wishing you more years! 😊
Sometimes in American fast food places, I wonder if fried chicken actually contains chicken.
But the taste is worth the risk.
On my end, I’ve also eschewed chicken from the local franchises of American fast food joints here. That’s a permanent goodbye for chicken from the Colonel and McD’s. Maybe it’s just me developing a more mature palate…
The profit motive to sell fast food in US does not translate to being healthy. Over 50% of Americans I read show sign s of obesity/
And that also applies here in the Philippines. With fast food becoming more “trendy” here, a growing number of Filipinos are seeing bigger BMIs — way beyond the Asian average.
To Many Americans, heading toward obesity, BMI might mean buy me ice cream
Been looking for fried chicken places to try in the metro. Thanks for these suggestions, Monch.
Welcome, George! Enjoy! 🍗
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