January 28, 2011

G'Gai's Fried Chicken, AKA Chicken House!

Filipinos’ love for fried chicken was definitely brought in by the Americans. Easily grasping globalization, Pinoys quickly welcome new food. And fried chicken became an adopted child of the Filipino culinary family tree.

The meat is marinated, usually in a mixture of garlic, salt and pepper. Then it is covered in flour or breading mix and deep fried for 5-7 minutes in high heat.

Located near St. Paul’s School of Business and Law in Pawing, Palo in the province of Leyte, a ‘karinderya’, a small canteen, serves American style fried chicken, with a PINOY twist. They serve fried chicken and lumpiang shanghai (meat egg roll). The small establishment is named G’gai’s Fried Chicken but for patrons who dine at the place on almost a daily basis, they’d call it Chicken House because obviously, they serve chicken. With their signature dipping sauce, and to some used as ‘sarsa’, the combination of soy sauce, vinegar, and banana catsup boast a uniquely appetizing flavor.

But what sets the place apart from all other ‘karinderyas’ or even restaurants, is the Kamayan Experience, eating with your bare hands. You won’t see spoons and forks in the place for the customers at all. You can just ask the staff for directions where you can wash your hands, but if you don’t like the sticky or oily feel of eating with your bare hands, they have small cellophane bags to cover your hands clean as you munch on the ‘delicious-to-the-bones’ original recipe G’gai’s Fried Chicken.

It may sound like a paid advertisement, but the purpose of writing this blog is to actually let everybody enjoy this unique and definitely Filipino dining experience.

With only a budget of Php32.00, you could actually enjoy a hefty serving of chicken and two servings of rice. With economic struggles in the country, the shop still offers reasonable price, especially to students who are in a tight budget. Some patrons even order an average of 5-7 servings of rice with only one piece of chicken. Asking a few customers, one commented “You get what you paid for, and more!” The humble canteen may be underrated but it surely has lured and we may say hypnotized people to be coming back to the place.

While you eat and enjoy their fried chicken, you are accompanied by music usually songs in the 90s which really add up to your eating surge we may say. It’s like eating at your own home, as you eat bare hands. The friendly staff and the totally pinoy ambience makes the place a ‘must-try’ as I would suggest the shop to all and even to foreigners who visit Tacloban City. G’GAI’S FRIED CHICKEN is a 30-minute drive away from the city, but you will be rewarded with a great dining experience that really distinguishes Leyte from all the other islands in the country.

Students from SPSBL are the usual patrons in the shop, especially lunch time or even dinner. Group of friends and classmates gather round the tables and enjoy fried chicken while chatting or singing the tunes played in the store. The store only operates on school days of SPSBL, as the students there are their main customers.

Fried chicken may be all that but to round things up, moderation is still the key. As I’ve mentioned in my first blog, don’t indulge on this too much. “Too much of anything is bad.” Even for chicken-o-maniacs like me who has been coming to the place for almost a year now, I still have to control my addiction on this delicious and heavenly chicken sensation.

Fried chicken may be a foreigner in the Filipino cuisine, but it actually made its way as one of the best food Pinoys enjoy. And if you want to indulge yourself once in while with chicken and a Definitely PINOY! experience, better have it in G’GAI’S FRIED CHICKEN better known as CHICKEN HOUSE!

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