IF you have young children, chances are fast food is on the regular menu. My son is no stranger to this, as he will eat anywhere that serves french fries and crunchy fried chicken or pork.
We had our after-school snack at Jollibee, one of the leading local fast food chains. I’m not a big fan of their fare — I prefer McDonald’s — but since it’s my son who needs the extra food, it’s his call.
He had the crispy pork steak, a breaded and deep-fried pork fillet served with rice and sweet barbecue dipping sauce, while I had the garlic bangus, a deboned milkfish fillet slathered with what I suspect is the same sweet barbecue dipping sauce for the pork, topped with crunchy garlic bits, and served with two slices of fresh tomato. Both meals are served with rice and a drink. We also threw in a strawberry sundae — vanilla soft-serve ice cream topped with strawberry syrup — for good measure.
This crispy pork steak is a new favorite of my son’s, it being newly released on the market. The garlic bangus is also new, but I ordered it because it was the one meal where I can see the main ingredient, which isn’t heavily processed, and is served with vegetables, unlike the other menu items.
Like any other fast food fare, Jollibee’s food can be addictive. But eating at fast food joints has started to take its toll on my health last year, and my doctor has advised me to stay away from their food as much as I can. On another day I would have opted not to buy anything, but I’ve been having ‘flu symptoms recently and could use extra nourishment.
For some reason, eating standard Jollibee fare — fries, burger, spaghetti, even their soda floats — gives me dizzy spells that last for several hours. I like their tuna pie (tuna in creamy mushroom sauce encased in a Hostess-type pie), but it’s only released on a seasonal basis. For me their bangus meal turned out to be of the safer items available in the place; I did not experience any adverse reactions to it.
If you are reluctant to purchase something from a limited set of options, you can either hold out for a better option, or if pressed for time, choose the best value that you can afford from the given selection.
The fish is tender and tasty, slightly tart because it has been cured with vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. The flavors are complex enough, and I’d rather that it wasn’t glazed with sweet sauce, which I feel is superfluous. The extra garlic bits are a nice addiction, though, and the dish could have used a few more tomato slices.
This is just one of our many trips to Jollibee, so we definitely will return here, if only to satisfy my son’s after-school cravings. Will I buy the bangus again? Yes.
Stay well. And Happy Valentine, everyone!
Jollibee Tomas Morato
Tomas Morato Ave. Cor. Scout De Guia, Quezon City