Face Off: Bonchon Chicken and Chicken Charlie

Now the battle for the best twice cooked fried chicken in town is on! Bonchon Chicken is a South Korean brand and very popular in New York. They’ve recently opened their branches in Makati (Ayala Triangle Gardens and Greenbelt 1). They’re a crowd favorite in both of their branches, with people queuing just to taste their chicken. On the other hand, there is a local player that also uses the same process in cooking the fried chicken called Chicken Charlie. They’re located in the northern area of Manila – N. Amoranto in Quezon City and E. Abada in Xavierville, Quezon City.  J. Abad Santos in San Juan (near Ristras).We’ve tasted both of them and each of them have their own merits. Let me enumerate one by one:

1) Fried Chicken

Chicken Charlie is crispier and has less grease than Bonchon Chicken. Bonchon chicken’s skin is much tastier but the sauce does not seep into the meat. On the other hand, Chicken Charlie’s flavors are not just in the skin but it’s also in the meat. Bonchon only advantage is the size of their chicken, theirs is much bigger compared to Chicken Charlie.

Waiting time for your chicken to arrive at your table is usually long when you order in Chicken Charlie – usually 30 – 45 minutes, on the other hand, Bonchon’s waiting time is short. I must guess that they already pre-cook the chicken.

Both of them have different flavors of chicken however the most flexible one in terms of mixing the flavors in one order is Chicken Charlie. Bonchon will only allow you to mix the flavors if you will be ordering even number of wings and drumsticks if I’m not mistaken.

Kimchi Coleslaw at Bonchon Chicken

Kimchi Coleslaw in Bonchon @ Php 45

2) Variety of menu

Bonchon has most variety in menu because they also have chicken and pork chops, rice meals and side orders such as kimchi coleslaw and fries. They also have variety in their drinks; they serve imported beers such as Stella Artois and Heineken. In Chicken Charlie, they only have chicken and fries. They only have local softdrinks but they have the Bundaberg (rootbeer).

3) Prices

In Bonchon, their Chicken Combo which includes 6 wings and 3 drumsticks would cost you PHP 365. When we were in Chicken Charlie, we ordered 4 Drumsticks and 4 Wings, 288 pesos per order (served with a free side of pickled radish).

4) Accessibility

This is very relative because it depends on where one usually resides or works. Well Bonchon branches are strategically located in a mall and the business district so definitely this is easier to locate. Chicken charlie is located at the commercial areas of Quezon City  – they’re not very easy to find if you are not familiar with the area. Chicken Charlie’s restaurant in N. Amoranto is very small, it can only accommodate around 10 – 15 people inside and only 1 parking space (unless you double park somewhere).

If you’re going to ask us which one is our favorite, we prefer Chicken Charlie. Both of them are good – Bonchon’s soy – garlic chicken is delicious however the meat of the chicken is not that tasty.

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