Chicken Charlie – Manila’s “Bonchon” Crispy Chicken?

Chicken Charlie’s Crispy Drumstick

Finally, a refreshing take on the classic fried chicken! Chicken Charlie is the first restaurant in Manila to use the double-frying technique popularized by Bonchon Chicken in NY.

First, the chicken is fried using vegetable oil to drain all the fat from the chicken. The second round of frying makes the skin super crispy without losing the juiciness and taste of the chicken. The soy garlic sauce or hot sweet sauce is then glazed over the chicken for flavoring, giving it a nice sheen, too.

Although it can come across as a bit oily, the chicken is packed full of flavor in every shred of meat and skin. Best of all, the skin is super crispy — you can hear it crackle when you bite into it. It stays crispy for two hours. What’s good about it is that it is freshly prepared and only cooked when you order it (so you have to wait).

We’ve never tasted any other fried chicken like it. Flaming Wings in Katipunan, Buffalo’s Wings N Things in Ortigas Depo and Wingman in the Collective are no match for Chicken Charlie’s double-frying technique. 🙂

The first branch is quite small and can only fit 12-15 people. But even with the limited space, people still flock to this place for the chicken.

Here is a closer look at the Chicken Charlie Menu.

Combo #3: 4 Drumsticks + 4 Wings (P288) Split of Soy Garlic Sauce and Hot Sweet Sauce.

The wings cost ~P25 and the drumsticks cost ~P50 per piece. The drumsticks are actual chicken leg drumsticks instead of the part that is connected to the wings. You have a choice between two equally yummy sauces: the soy garlic is on the sweet soy side, while the hot sweet sauce has a mild spice. The pieces with toothpicks are the spicy ones.

Chicken Charlie delivers on its promise of “Perfectly Non-Greasy with a Soul-Satisfying Crunch.” However, it is a bit expensive, considering that you can already get a whole Andok’s chicken for the price of 4 drumsticks.

Charlie’s Bowl (P59). Crispy Chicken Rice Toppings

You can also order the rice toppings with chopped pieces of the crispy chicken. Thing is, there seems to be more bread crumbs than the chicken itself. You have to mix the chicken, the rice, and the sweet soy garlic sauce to enjoy this.

Bundaberg Sarsaparilla (P90). The crispy chicken would have been perfect with our favorite Bundaberg, but it was overpriced at P90, which is usually just P65. The sarsaparilla tastes exactly like the nostalgic Sarsi.

Aidan was also very happy with the chicken. If he had a blog of his own, he would have raved about it using his own words. (I can’t wait for that time to come…)

Ifore Yu, the owner, explains to the customers how they do the double-frying technique.

He also shared that they are open for franchise and that the second branch will open in front of UST.

For those who are interested, contact Ifore at +63917-855-0971, +63922-888-5060.

Although it claims that it is healthy fried chicken (because it has 0% grams of trans fat from using vegetable oil and that they fry all the fat out of the chicken), you can’t ignore the fact that it is still fried twice. Also, it depends on how many times they use or change the oil for frying.

As an occasional treat, Chicken Charlie would still be on top of my list for fried chicken. It’s really yummy (but expensive) and it’s worth the drive, all the way to N.S. Amoranto (formerly Retiro). 🙂

Chicken Charlie
592a N.S. Amoranto St. cor. Banawe St., Quezon City
11am to 9pm, Monday to Sunday.
(It is near the corner of Retiro and Banawe, on the side near Araneta Avenue.)

Telephone Number: +632 742-3333
Email address:
Facebook: Chicken Charlie FB Fan Page

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Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

P.S. For dessert, it was a toss-up between Ersao and Serenitea…

We ended up at Serenitea, located on N.Roxas corner Banawe. We love the Hokkaido Milk Tea (P85) with pearls and nata. 🙂

P.P.S. When will the real Bonchon shop open in Manila?

46 thoughts on “Chicken Charlie – Manila’s “Bonchon” Crispy Chicken?

  1. This is very near our place. We ordered once before for Father’s Day and had to wait for around 30 mins for them to cook it since there were a number of people ordering that morning. I liked the chicken a lot but CS is another thing. We got an earful from the owner (an older lady, perhaps the mother of Mr. Yu), chiding us that we should call first for orders so we won’t have to wait. Duh, it was our first time to come across the place and order!

  2. There are few parking slots in front or you can park along N.S. Amoranto. A bit dark at night and most restaurant close at 9pm around that area. 

  3. BBQ Chicken, the Korean fried chicken chain, does the same thing. I’ve eaten in both BBQ and Charlie’s and I find BBQ to be tastier while Charlie’s is crispier.

  4. Anton, have you tried tasty dumplings across the street from Chicken Charlie?… try their porkchop and dumplings…

  5. Bundaberg Sarsaparilla at P90! That is way too serious overpricing considering the profile of the area.

  6. I agree Gerry. BBQ Chicken double fries their chicken as what most Koreans do when they make fried chicken as well as putting the sauce as a glaze. I think they call it as Dakkangjung. Anyway, I’ll try Charlie’s to compare which is better.

  7. Sure Anton! I’ll be sure to try them out. 🙂 I’ve tried BBQ chicken as well as Two Two Chicken. Both are Korean-style friend chicken but BBQ chicken is hands down better because of the sauce.

  8. the place is a 5-min walk from our house. will try to eat there this weekend. anton, did u order fries there? and which do u prefer, ersao or serenitea?

  9. love the chicken skin but i find the meat lacking in flavor. don’t like the fries at all. waited 35 mins. for our order. by the time our order was served, friends na kami ng katabing table namin. LOL. chitchatted with them while waiting. i like the sarsaparilla. where can i buy them, yung 65 pesos? 🙂

  10. the chicken was indeed good, but definitely not worth the 1hour15minute wait we had to go through. they opened at 11 am, we were there by 11:10, got our food by 12:25 (awesomeplaneteffect perhaps?). The cashier told us to wait for around 30 minutes so we went around banawe first, then when we got back after 40 minutes, our order wasn’t even being cooked yet and had to wait some more. two customers had to cancel their orders and eat elsewhere. and the sarsaparilla has the aftertaste of erm… coughsyrup. didn’t enjoy this place very much, sadly.

  11. their chicken was really yummy,i ordered the 10 pc wings and 8 pcs drumsticks!yummy kse yung skin and not overwhelming yung sauce.we tried it with the bundaberg peachee drink…yummy din sha,para shang carbonated na peach juice drink!we’ll definitely go back for more.=)

  12. I found that the skin was as crispy as Bonchon’s and as rain mentioned previously, the meat lacked flavor, totally agreeing with his/her comment. We were lucky, since we only waited around 15-20 minutes for our order of 4 wings and 4 drumsticks, which we chomped down in less than the time we waited. Oh yeah, they have a promo now on facebook, just add them and follow easy steps to get 4pcs of free wings, it ends on August 22!

  13. kumps,
    sobrang expensive daw ng BONCHON master franchise for the philippines.
    and this comes from a very very affluent family that
    inquired about it. maybe i’ll ask my capampangan friends instead. haha!

  14. basically its Korean Fried CHicken. There suppose to be places in Ortigas and Pampamga that serves the same dish. Can you take a look at some of them 🙂

  15. Hi Anton, just tried Chicken Charlie unfortunately it fell below my expectations. The skin is DEFINITELY CRUNCHY AND TASTY 😉 but the meat inside lacks flavor and taste…could this be due to lack of quality control in the marinating process? I like BBQ chicken too definitely its crispy and tastier! 🙂

  16. We got both flavors for glaze and surely the skin was crunchy but it was closer to burnt. Meat has no flavor. I haven’t tasted BBQ and the other comments makes me want to do so soon. The fries were not good too 🙁
    As for the Bundaberg drinks, I get mine at Makati Supermarket. I guess Unimart and Cash & Cary will have it too. If you buy by the case, you can get it from their office cheaper by PHP5 per bottle. They are at that building along Valencia St, near the Broadway Centrum.

  17. I super hate your site because it makes me want to eat and eat and eat 🙂 … or think of nothing but food
    I love Alba’s and Annabelle’s, have you made a review about their dishes … I just want to check out your opinion
    Any suggestions on Korean Resto … every Korean resto for me in Malate and Poblacion, Makati area serve good food with hefty appetizers to go before the meal … Kaya is the worst … Can you send me links of your review of the Korean restos you’ve evaluated if you have them, i’m to lazy to search
    Cheers to more good eats

  18. To sum it up: the place is small–totally cramped, the waiting time is loooing, the servings are small, lacks in flavour and very EXPENSIVE!!!!!!!!! The skin is indeed crunchy but the meat is seems overcooked, and not juicy!!!!!!! I would never go back to this place ever again!!!!!
    If you want authentic korean fried chicken I urge you to go too BBQ chicken in tomas morato or jupiter st.

  19. After the food buzz im hearing about Chicken Charlie, i said to myself ” i gotta try it, now!!” and so, we start hunting for the place in banawe. Honestly, i love the chicken,the packaging and the place! it is all superb!
    Just a little rundown as to what i think your place can improve on:
    * Put knowledgeable with pleasin…g personality front end crews.( it makes a whole lot of impression)
    *Make the service, a little faster, just a little wont hurt 🙂
    *Ouch! but my chicken charlie (take out), nakalimutan lagyan ng sauce ng server nyo, and i was badly looking for the sauce 🙁
    I hope i was able to make some sensible comment here, just my two cents!!

  20. just wanna share my terrible experience there. we arrived at around 11am, so i thought i would not have to wait for a long time for my order. i asked the cashier how long will my order take, she said around 20-25 minutes. so we decided to go to tasty first while waiting. i came back after 30mins, only to find out that my order was not yet there. i asked again how long i would have to wait, and the cashier said 20-25 mins!!! so was that like the generic answer???? another lady in line also asked the cashier and she answered the same thing! considering i was there 30mins ago pa and there was a long queue of orders waiting to be cooked! and they haven’t even started to cook my order yet! i also discovered that as early as 10am they already accepted advanced orders via phone and there were a lot of orders that were placed before mine. out of extreme frustration i just cancelled my order and vowed never to return there.
    since reading from the thread of comments it is the same cooking style as bbq chicken, i’d go there instead. i’ve been to bbq chicken thrice and had no problems with their service and quality of food

  21. Finally! The real Bon Chon is now open. I was there last night at Ayala Triangle Gardens, it was worth the wait. I don’t mind the long line at the cashier. Delicious!!! Next, gotta hunt BBQ chicken!

  22. Their store in 592a N.S. Amoranto St. cor. Banawe St., Quezon City is no longer there…anyone knows where it’s relocated? Since my place is in Banawe St. on the other side, the closest store of theirs from my place is greatly missed for a double-crunch-savory-finger-licking-good-fried-chicken-wings-fix!! Thanx a bunch!!

  23. Last Feb, While i was enjoying my chicken wings at chicken charlie with a friend. A lanky guy about 5’9 tall went in the resto and was asking for solicitation. he was harassing us. Little did we know that he was already stealing my phone. We were the only ones in the resto, it was around mid afternoon. The owner,was very helpful. But still we weren’t able to catch the thief. The cctv in charlie is not that clear. Be careful with your belongings. I was really disappointed with what happened. Too bad i was starting to like eating there…

  24. Last Feb, While i was enjoying my chicken wings at chicken charlie with a friend. A lanky guy about 5’9 tall went in the resto and was asking for solicitation. he was harassing us. Little did we know that he was already stealing my phone. We were the only ones in the resto, it was around mid afternoon. The owner,was very helpful. But still we weren’t able to catch the thief. The cctv in charlie is not that clear. Be careful with your belongings. I was really disappointed with what happened. Too bad i was starting to like it there…

  25. Hi anton! Check out B&T in sekai center. Its a mexican resto and its actually better than Ristras and way cheaper. Also there is a small taceria near the Petron station in Gilmore ,Hemanos is the name. Really authentic Mexican cuisine.

  26. Good day! This is from Lakshmi Staff Assistance Services. We just want to ask if you are interested in a manpower services? we can provide you the following assistance: cashier, service crew, waiters, etc… If you are interested, please feel free to email us .

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