Who Knew Crispy Fried Chicken Could Get an Upgrade?

These days, I find it quite difficult to appreciate any form of fried chicken because it’s literally served in every major fast food joint. And I’m sure most of you would agree with me. But recently, we were introduced to Birdhouse―a new chicken restaurant opening on Sept. 1 found at the Uptown Mall food court in BGC.

There was a slight skepticism when I saw the menu, which only had five options and of course, had chicken in all of them. Each set is called “Barnyard,” and the first four is a variation of fried chicken with your choice of sides and sauces, and some crispy chicken skin.

Yes, it seems like ordinary platters with a relatively cheap price of P165 to P255 that you can find anywhere. But in terms of taste, it’s flavorful, not too oily, and most of all, it’s cooked thoroughly.

“We just wanted to start a chicken place [and] make fried chicken that can stand on its own,” Louie Ngo, managing partner of the Relish Group, says. “Although we serve sauces here too, we want to make fried chicken that you can still eat by itself.”

Is there a secret recipe to the chicken? Louie confirms that there are certain spices in there which he didn’t divulge (obviously). However, he did reveal that they brine the chicken for two days to make it juicier and tastier.

Speaking of the sauces, don’t expect the usual gravy or tomato ketchup. Birdhouse serves up unique concoctions like truffle ketchup, peach barbecue, green goddess (made from different herbs), garlic ranch, and milk gravy. Louie says it took a while to perfect the flavor combinations for the sauces. Well, with unconventional ingredients like these, we don’t blame them.

Aside from their staple chicken platters, there’s also their intriguing Barnyard E set which is a Salted Egg Lava Chicken Sandwich with one side dish (P290). It’s made of de-boned chicken with salted egg-based sauce in the middle, and sandwiched in a squid ink brioche bun. But make sure to bite into it ASAP if you want to see the sauce ooze out.

I also had the macaroni and cheese with it, and the cheese is a good addition to the sandwich. But if you’re not up for that, there’s also dirty rice, elote corn, garlic fries, and coleslaw.

“I think this dish is what will put us on the map because you won’t find this anywhere else,” Louie says.

For dessert, there’s the Chicken and Waffle Ice Cream (P150). It’s basically vanilla ice cream served on a waffle and sprinkled with crispy chicken skin. Yup, you read that right—chicken skin. It’s an unusual concept but it works since it adds a crunchy element to the ice cream.

Overall, Birdhouse’s wares are promising. Despite being another food court restaurant among many, they still stand out with their distinct flavors that you won’t find in others. And for the price, their food is also filling—perfect for on-the-go people who are looking for a quick lunch or dinner.

Would we eat there on a regular basis? Not really since we can only eat so much fried food. But expect us to go back from time to time if we’re in the area.

Birdhouse. The Food Hall, 4/L Uptown Place Mall, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City. 0917-5543825. Open from Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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Jacqueline Arias: