THE other week my son and I finally ate at the Cubao branch of Chicken Charlie. Now I say ‘finally’ because it’s been ages since I’ve heard of the place, but I put off visiting because of its numerous spam adverts I keep seeing around local forums.
Spamming is counterproductive. It gets attention, but not the attention you want.
If it weren’t for my son’s insistence to try it out, I would never have visited the place. But we did, and I wondered if their chicken could live up to the spam.
I quickly discovered that it costs less than its competitor Bon Chon Chicken and more than Manang’s Chicken, and their menu has less offerings than both establishment. But we were already there so I got my son a 1-piece rice meal while I had their Charlie’s Bowl.
I didn’t spring for any of their premium items because I think the best way to find out about a company’s level of quality is through their least expensive product or service. If you get great quality on a tight budget, you are more likely to get excellent quality when you splurge.
With my Charlie’s Bowl, the first thing I noticed was the quantity. There’s a lot for one serving, so that’s good. They also didn’t skimp on the chicken bites and sauce. The chicken was very crunchy, but somehow the taste was slightly akin to deep-fried breaded tofu, which could be a good or a bad thing depending on your preference. I found it…odd.
As for the sauce, it tasted exactly like regular soy sauce mixed with sugar. No points for that.
My son enjoyed his chicken’s crunchiness and breading flavor, but complained that the meat itself was bland. He also didn’t like the iced tea (he’s quite discerning when it comes to iced tea in commercial establishments).
I found the service lukewarm, in that the staff seemed uninterested in attending to us, even though there were only two other patrons in the store that afternoon, and one of them was just waiting for this food to go. But the female waitstaff who delivered our order gradually warmed up after my son gave her a brief [positive] commentary on the crispy chicken.
All in all, we won’t be visiting Chicken Charlie again because it didn’t quite meet our expectations, but I’m hoping it would meet yours.
Cubao branch: GF SM Cubao, facing Shopwise