Tokyo Tokyo food

Tokyo Tokyo at Ali Mall, Cubao

I’VE been trying to expand my son’s food preferences beyond fried chicken, french fries, and Philippine-American flavors, and this has dragged on for years. So imagine my surprise when out of the blue, he asked me to take him to Tokyo Tokyo, a local Japanese fast food joint, for the first time.

I confess that in all the years the chain has been around I haven’t eaten there yet as well, because when it comes to Asian fare, my first choice is Chinese, followed by Thai. Also, when eating at fast food joints I tend to stick to this notion that their food should cost up to a certain amount, and anything that exceeds that amount is subjected to close scrutiny and hesitation: why would I pay more for fast food fare when I could get it for less elsewhere? (By the same rule, I also often ask, why should I pay elsewhere for food that I can cook at home? But we’ll get to that later).

Nevertheless, a change would be more than welcome. So this would be another first for us both. Continue reading


Jollibee at Tomas Morato

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. Continue reading

Manang’s Chicken, Tomas Morato

AFTER the Korean chicken craze hit the market a few years back, my son and I developed a hankering for double-fried chicken brushed with sweet, sometimes spicy, soy-based sauce. Even though we didn’t quite enjoy our Chicken Charlie experience as much as I had hoped, that didn’t quell our fondness for fowl.

Enter Manang’s Chicken. This may be a Philippine-owned company, but they serve up crunchy fried chicken tailored to Philippine tastes, glazed with your choice of soy garlic, mild spicy, or extra spicy sauce, reminiscent of Bon Chon Chicken (review to follow).

According to a feature segment I once saw on late-night TV, the story behind this product is that the owners’ old babysitter — Manang — used to whip up a special fried chicken recipe for them back in their childhood. It was so well-loved that it became the foundation for this scrumptious product that we enjoy now.

My son and I have been regular customers at Manang’s Tomas Morato branch, and for several months now we have been enjoying good service from the store’s regular staff (Anna and Louie) and consistent good product quality. That is, until Monday last week. Continue reading

Chicken Charlie Logo

Chicken Charlie at Cubao

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. Continue reading