Manang’s Chicken – the Unofficial Story…

We ❤ Manang’s Chicken! It has the double-fried crispiness of Bon Chon Chicken, but with a sweet/spicy Filipino sauce comparable to (if not better than) Charlie’s Chicken.

Their story is typical — Jill’s Manang (a trusted househelp) created this fried chicken at home with a signature Filipino sauce. Every time Jill’s friends would come to their house, they would crave for Manang’s chicken.

When Mercato Centrale opened last November 21, 2010, Jill decided to make the jump and opened a stall to offer Manang’s Chicken to the foodies in Manila.  Jill is a lawyer by profession, so opening a food stall was truly a risk.

But true enough, foodies were raving about Manang’s Chicken.

During the early days of Mercato Centrale, Jill herself was selling and manning her booth.

I must confess I did not pay attention to Manang’s Chicken at the start. I thought it’s just one of those double-fried chicken copycats.  We used to move their location around Mercato; but one time, Jill got mad because their customers were complaining because they could not find them in their usual place.

But when I tasted it the first time, I fell in love with it because of its unique sauce and unique crispiness.

When we opened Midnight Mercato early this year on February 11, Manang’s Chicken was also an instant hit with the midnight foodie crowd. They have evolved with the new logo that they are using now.

We have a lot of food entrepreneurs applying with their own version of fried chicken (which is, I guess, the easiest and least expensive to make). But to date, none of the taste tests we had matched the quality of Manang’s Chicken.

The Mercato Family was so proud to learn that Manang’s Chicken opened their first official branch (outside the weekend markets) on Garnet Road along Ortigas.

We often tease Jill that Manang’s Chicken is the next Mang Inasal. So it is really interesting to see how their story unfolds.

Manang’s Chicken Menu | Rice Meals, Noodles, Drinks, Desserts

Manang’s Chicken’s bold claim is “Ang Bagong Fried Chicken ng Pinoy“!

They are indeed redefining what Filipino fried chicken should be. They are now dominating the Midnight Mercato scene where the next generation of foodies are hanging out.

I think their strategy to dominate the College Campuses (by opening in Ateneo and La Salle this September) is right on.

Manang’s Chicken 2 pcs. Breast with Rice (P124) with original sauce.

Our favorite is the original sauce, and I would often order the breast part because they serve it with 2 big pieces. The boys just love the sauce!

It is a bit more expensive than a 2-pc. Jollibee Chicken Joy but it’s relatively cheaper than Bon Chon Chicken or Charlie’s Chicken.

Manang’s Chicken 4 pcs. Chicken Wings (P98) with extra spicy sauce.

I personally like their wings with the extra spicy sauce. I do hope they offer an extra extra spicy sauce soon. 🙂

Although it is a bit messy to eat, with the sauce dripping, I still prefer using my hands to munch on it and savor its sauce.

Garlic Pork Bagnet (P89) with rice.

They introduced a bagnet rice version for those who want to have an alternative to chicken. The actual dish did not do justice to the photo in the menu.

Bagnet is another Filipino dish that goes well with the concept of Manang’s Chicken. I actually love the sauce that comes with the bagnet, but they  need to improve the bagnet itself.  I heard from my partners their cheesy spaghetti is really good too.

One thing though — we were disappointed that all their meals are served using styro. I do hope they have a plate option for diners inside the resto.

Overall, we are fans of Manang’s Chicken. With all the franchise offers they are receiving, there is no doubt they are redefining the Filipinos’ love for the Fried Chicken.

Manang’s Chicken (First Store)
AIC Gold Tower, Garnet Road corner F. Ortigas St.
(where NU 107 used to be, near Jollibee Center)
Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Phone: +632 584-8848
Facebook:  Manang’s Chicken
Operating Hours: Monday-Saturday – 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Manang’s Chicken is also available in Mercato Centrale, Midnight Mercato and Legaspi Market every weekend. 🙂

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Full Disclosure: We paid for our meals. Manang’s Chicken is a vendor partner of Mercato Centrale.

P.S. Go, go, go Jill! We are cheering for you all the way! 🙂

You can also order Manang’s Chicken at Mercato Foodie Delivery 87878 every Saturday and Sunday from 7am to 2pm. (Minimum amount is P500)

37 thoughts on “Manang’s Chicken – the Unofficial Story…

  1. I think this kind of friend chicken is the next new thing in the local food scene. However it’s misleading for Manang’s to be described as unique in terms of crispiness and sauce. Let’s face it, these elements are all a rip-off what’s called Korean-style fried chicken. “Original soy garlic” and “original spicy sauce” just doesn’t sound original no matter how many times a brand can claim it when it’s been seen in Korean chains who’ve been selling it for years.

  2. Hey Anton, just some friendly feedback. We used to love Mercato when you guys first opened. However after a few months it seems as if the truly “artisanal” vendors are gone and are replaced by individuals who push food that’s more flash than taste — concept-driven drivel in place of the honest cooking that comes from a true love of quality food.

  3. Thanks for the feedback! I understand where you are coming from, and I take it as a challenge. They are starting to come back and we are discovering new ones 🙂

  4. Hi Anton! Haven’t tried Manang’s Chicken but would like to try it out and judge for myself. One thing though, with your Midnight Mercato & Mercato Central kindly encourage (or hopefully make it as a rule?) all your vendors/foot stall owners to use earth friendly stuff. We have to be kinder to the environment! Really, I hope to see the day that even straws are not plastic anymore. I vaguely remember when I was young, there were straws that were made of paper.:)

  5. Thank you for your review and feedback Anton! I can’t thank you, Rache, RJ and Janice enough for starting Mercato. Without it, there wouldn’t be Manang’s Chicken for sure!
    Regarding the use of styro, we’re currently working on moving towards washable plates and utensils. We hope to roll it out by September 🙂
    Also, in September we’re opening 4 more branches: in Taft (One Archer’s Place, beside DLSU), Katipunan (Burgundy Plaza, across ADMU), SM North EDSA (G/F Annex) and SM Megamall (Bldg. A, Food Court). Exciting times indeed!

  6. IMHO, Manang’s is way better than Bon Chon. It has that sweet spicy kick and appeal to big buys like me who like big parts…
    Just got there last night and found out the operating hours:
    Mon – Sat: 10am to 12pm
    Sun – 8am to 5pm

  7. That’s why Manang’s now has a stall in the Legazpi Sunday Market in Makati. They’re very popular there as well. 😀

  8. We love manang’s chicken and just can’t get through the week without eating in their ortigas branch….but the quality keeps on changing…at least not for the chicken.. the rice serving is getting smaller and smaller… The Chicken sandwish Changed Bigtime.. they used to have a bigger bun.. now they use a small Pandesal for their bun…and please improve the take outs. they just stuff the food in styro in stuff it in so by the time the food get into the office..halo halo na lahat…with the sticky sauce all over the plastic bag where it was placed. It’s not just the taste that’s important My favorite manang 🙂

  9. Hi kidortigas! Thank you so much for your feedback! We always strive to improve not just our food quality but also our service so I will personally look into this to make sure it doesn’t happen again. 🙂
    We really appreciate it when people come back to us with their inputs and we take these matters seriously. So please if you do have other comments feel free to email me at
    – Jill of Manang’s Chicken 🙂

  10. Had this in Mercato. I must say it is way over rated and not worth coming back for at all. I agree with one of the earlier posts, that the food in Mercato has deteriorated so much. Please check your merchants before you put them there. Some serve really bad food.

  11. You’re right. It is way better than Bon Chon(though I haven’t tried Charlie’s yet). And the only disappointing thing is the styro containers.

  12. I hope the eponymous “manang” has been/is being well-compensated for this venture. /debbie downer. Although I have tried the chicken and it is WONDERFUL!

  13. I still haven’t tried Manang’s Chicken, another reason to visit Mercato.:)Ang natandaan ko lang na Manang’s chicken is way back nong college pa ako..ung mga nasa wall harap ng Lyceum and Mapua.

  14. Thank you for the prompt action . I went there and the rice in the styro pack had a shape!!!properly cupped and packed and the chicken was superbly placed with enough sauce. ..i think i should mention the efforts of the manager who actually checked the 4 styro packs that was previously placed in one bag, he divided them into 2 bags and of course carefully handed them to me. ..and again we had our chicken fix after bringing them didn’t reach the destination, we munched away in the car!.. yummy!

  15. Hi Jill,
    Just a clarification regarding the promo…the card says you get a sticker for every chicken order right? so does this mean that if i order 2 chicken burgers, i get 2 stickers?

  16. Thank you for your feedback. We really appreciate all of your comments, good or otherwise. We are working on how we can improve not only our food but our service as well. 🙂

  17. I’m also interested in franchising! =)
    by the way, in the post it says the Branch in Ortigas is open from 10am-12pm (by 12pm do you mean only up to Lunch Time? 12 noon?) or 12am (Midnight?)
    Thanks for sharing the story behind Manang’s Chicken, this just might be the Next Mang-Inasal/ChickBoy!
    *tip: Unlimited Rice!* haha
    ps: i cant seem to access is the website down?

  18. im a criisssspyyy chicken lover so i knew i had to try this. and i finally got to taste test it just last weekend…… but after my first bite, i just didnt get it. i honestly think it was over-hyped 🙁 the orig sauce was too sweet and it’s really just fried chicken with some RUNNY sauce. or maybe i got disappointed coz im used to eating gooood food at home (mas masarap ata magluto ang manang namin,, hehehehe). and i still think bonchon’s the best! 🙂

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