Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chicken Charlie Review

There has been a host of chicken specialty restaurants shooting up in Davao City, each one with its own unique offering. But there are two restaurants in particular that had been constantly pitted against each other - BonChon and Chicken Charlie. Both take pride in their crispy yet juicy fried chicken that I've admittedly fallen victim for. I've tried BonChon Chicken once but had been to Chicken Charlie more than a few times. During my first few visits, I was impressed with the chicken and that explains why I keep coming back. But on my most recent visit, I've encountered a few changes, both good and bad.


One of the first things I've noticed upon entering Chicken Charlie is their bigger and more spacious restaurant. This is a good indicator - it means business is booming as they expand commercial space to accommodate more customers. I also appreciate the combination of neutral and vibrant colors to create a lively dining atmosphere. As always, they have comfy chairs so you can relax while waiting for your food or enjoying your meal. 


Another noticeable change at Chicken Charlie is the several addition to their menu. One of my qualms about this restaurant in the past is the lack of variety in their menu. However, they do have a wide range of new items now, even including salads and pork chops, which is clearly beyond their usual crispy fried chicken offerings!

But remember what they say that sometimes less is more? In an attempt to offer more items on the menu, the quality of food at Chicken Charlie might've suffered a decline. I was all praises about their crispy chicken in the past; however, I was not too excited about it this time. The chicken was very dark brown - a clear sign that it has been cooked in an oil that has been re-used one too many times. Thus, there is a burnt aroma and flavor to the surface. Thankfully, the inside is still juicy! But still, that is no excuse... we came to the restaurant expecting (and paying for!) quality chicken, so I think that is what we should get as well! 

We also ordered the Soy Garlic Tempura, which is one of the new items on the menu. I was quite excited to give it a try but was disappointed to find out that for the price we paid, we only get two tiny pieces of shrimp with the rice! If only we found out that it was going to be a small order, we would've opted for the Chicken Combo meal instead. Thankfully, an order comes with rice and drink so you don't have to pay for those separately. And while we're at it, their red iced tea is a refreshing and truly satisfying drink to accompany your meal! 

By the way, we also ordered a bowl of potato wedges for P55. This was a delicious treat and a great way to whet our appetite while waiting for our meal. But it's too bitin... a larger serving would've been better served! And yes, I think it's a little overpriced for the size of the serving.


The service was the worst aspect of this dining experience. I'm not sure if it's the fact that there were a lot of customers at that time, but that is no excuse. We were promised that our orders will be served within 15-20 minutes. I did not keep track but it was certainly more than that. If my tummy would not have been craving for some food, I think I wouldn't mind the wait but it was an unfortunate timing. The other people on the table next to ours were also impatiently checking on their orders from the waiter, too, so I guess it wasn't just me. 

To conclude, Chicken Charlie still has one of the best chicken in Davao. A lot of Davaoenos clearly love it because every time I go to their The Peak branch, they are almost always full. Hopefully, they remain consistent with the quality of their food so that these patrons will have more reasons to visit them again. Or else, they will find themselves drowned by competition.

Chicken Charlie is located at Ground Floor of Gaisano Mall The Peak, beside Ineng's and Hollywood Burgers

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