Matthew Herbst finds an unusual take on spaghetti Bolognese, and buckets of chicken that buck the norm.
With my love for all types of chicken, I had been told about the Philippines Jollibee, which has been touted as Asia’s answer to McDonalds, but is similar, if not better, than KFC. Therefore, I headed off to give it a go with my colleague Neal Bowden from Merge 104.8 and his girlfriend; my two erstwhile taste-testing compadres.
As soon as we knew we were going, we primed our stomachs for a little bit of everything. After all, I was told about sweet spaghetti Bolognese. Say what? Yes, exactly that. And I was keen on giving it a go along with everything else on offer.
On reaching the restaurant, we were greeted with large smiles and effusive greetings. At the counter we wasted no time in ordering a bit of this and a lot of that. All very reasonably-priced, and very delicious-looking dishes.
With hindsight, it looked like we had ordered enough food for 10 people, but the portions were quite small, so it wasn’t as bad as you may have thought.
Due to it being a fast food outlet; doing starters, mains and desserts was not going to work. So, we ordered them all together and sampled everything in stages. Despite the big order, the wait wasn’t very long. So, if you’re hungry then expect the meal to come fast, which is always good news. We went upstairs where there was more seating. My one gripe was the Jollibee jingles on repeat as background music, which made me dizzy and hysterically; it made me eat faster too.
The feast finally arrived and consisted of a delicious and spicy six-piece bucket of chicken, which come with pots of delicious warm gravy on the side and a six-piece bucket of plain chicken. The spicy Chickenjoy definitely lives up to its name and has a nice spicy bite to each piece. Both buckets are southern-fried; crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside.
I made the mistake of tasting the spicy bucket first, which made the plain bucket seem quite bland despite it still being very tasty. Neal tucked into the Yum Burger without cheese as he isn’t a fan of cheese, and I delved into the Jolly hotdog which was smothered in it. I wished the hotdog had been much bigger, but knew that my stomach only had so much space, so I didn’t mind so much on this occasion.
Daisy dipped into the Burger Steak which is a burger patty served with savoury mushroom gravy and steamed rice on the side.
Daisy’s main dish, the spaghetti was loaded with a sweet-style tomato and beef sauce, chunky pieces of hot dog sausage and topped off with cheese.
To drink, we enjoyed the very refreshing pineapple juice as we had our sights on the Pepsi Float for dessert instead of the cups of ice cream that you can usually find in many fast food outlets.
The Pepsi float was similar to what I used to enjoy as a child in South Africa and I was so pleased to taste this again.
It consisted of Pepsi (of course) and boasted a huge dollop of ice cream on top, making it a creamy and moreish dessert. The Jollibee version adds chocolate, which tantalises the taste buds.
According to Neal, the downside of this eatery was that parking can be a little difficult. It’s on a busy service road and finding a space close to the restaurant can prove to be tricky at times.
But overall, it was an enjoyable visit and it offers fare that really hits the spot if you fancy something a little different to KFC.
And without a doubt, we will be back for sure.
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Friendly, efficient service with a smile, with tasty food served quickly