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The great chicken race

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Neal P. Corpus

Posted on January 25, 2021

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Place your bets: here are some of the best chicken you can get at Ayala Malls.

Photos by CRU CAMARA

Proclaiming the best chicken in any specific place is always a contentious idea. The varieties of chicken are as endless as the differing tastes in chicken, and crowning only one is pretty much impossible. I mean, is there really one to rule them all between chicken strips, fingers, and tenders? And between thighs, breasts, and drumsticks?

In the spirit of fairness, we went on a mission not to find the singular, best-all-around chicken, but to find some of the best in specific chicken niches. You know what they say about Jacks of all trades — plus, more winners is always more fun than just one (at least in the arena of eating).

So if you’re planning on having chicken five consecutive straight days in a row successively back-to-back, here are five chicken dishes prepared for five different tastes.

The full tank

8Cuts' Heavyweight Fried Chicken is your best friend on the road to #gainz.

If you’ve picked up or have gotten Real Serious with your fitness routine under quarantine, you’re going to need an equally serious chicken meal to keep up those gains. The Heavyweight Fried Chicken from 8Cuts (P240 for two pieces) is exactly what it sounds like, and is exactly the answer to this need.

Two big hunks of perfectly crisp and golden chicken sit atop a flavorful bed of java rice, garnished with deep fried basil leaves for an extra flavor punch. Burp.

Visit 8Cuts at Alabang Town Center, Greenbelt, and Serendra.

The breakfast of sweethearts

For a hearty sweet-and-savory fusion, Nono's Homestyle Fried Chicken hits the spot.

The combo of sweet and savory flavors isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of chicken, but this dish might just change your perspective. Nono’s signature Homestyle Fried Chicken (P365) comes with a drizzle of honey for the perfect brunch on a sunny Sunday morning.

It comes with a glazed bun, a side of fries and corn on the cob to round out the meal. Nono’s also makes a chicken and waffles dish for an equally satisfying experience and true breakfast vibes.

Visit Nono’s at Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Ayala Malls Solenad, and U.P. Town Center.

The thick n’ juicy

Extremely flavorful and just a little messy, Fowlbread's Basic Fried Chicken will have you licking your fingers.

The Basic Fried Chicken Sandwich (P245) from Fowlbread is possibly the definition of what the kids call “dumb thicc”. Don’t let the name fool you: the “basic” sandwich is far from bland. A soft, supple, and capital J juicy piece of fried chicken is enveloped by an ultra-flavorful mayo, slices on slices of pickles, and two golden pillows of bread.

Eating it may get a little messy, but that’s the point — you’ll be licking your fingers clean when by the time you’re done. If you want an extra crunch, Fowlbread also makes the OG Fried Chicken Sandwich (P305) that comes with a crackling piece of chicken skin that’s almost like a piece of chicharon.

Visit Fowlbread at Bonifacio High Street.

The snack-in-a-sleeve

Looking for a snack? Hot Star has got your back.

Have you ever had a chicken craving but don’t want to sit down for a proper meal? The XXL Original Chicken (P180) from Taiwanese chicken sensation Hot Star is the perfect merienda chicken — I mean, it comes in a paper sleeve for your snacking convenience. Eat it while on an afternoon walk, in front of your computer, on a picnic at the park, or in the car on the way to said picnic. Easy!

Don’t be intimidated by the ginormous size — it’s light enough to finish by yourself, trust me. And with a slew of flavors (the one pictured here is BBQ) for every taste, you’re not going to want to share anyway.

Visit Hot Star at Ayala Malls Cloverleaf and Market! Market!.

The flavor bomb

Bad Bird's Umami Fried Chicken packs the perfect punch in every bite.

When you say umami in the context of chicken, there’s only one to think of: Bad Bird’s Umami Fried Chicken. Usually served on a plate with a side of rice (Umami Fried Chicken Plate, P270) the chicken is fully coated with a chock-full of spices enough to make your taste buds tingle.

You also get a choice of three spice levels, depending on your level of bravery: safe, spicy, and chemical. That last one sounds absolutely scary, but if you’re the kind of person that likes to chew on hot chilis with every meal, it’s the one to get.

Visit Bad Bird at Serendra.

Dining at an Ayala Mall soon? For every single-receipt purchase worth P3,000 using your Visa card, get a free P100 gift certificate from the supermarket of the Ayala Mall where the purchase was made.

Promo runs January 1 to February 28, 2021 in these participating Ayala Malls: Abreeza, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Ayala Malls Cloverleaf, Ayala Malls Feliz, Ayala Malls Solenad, Ayala Malls The 30th, Bonifacio High Street, Centrio Mall, Fairview Terraces, Glorietta, Greenbelt, Harbor Point, Market! Market!, MarQuee Mall, and TriNoma.

Need a coffee after all that chicken? Check out our guide to making café-level coffee at home.

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