Chicken is one of the most common ingredients in any household, it’s affordable, it’s accessible and It’s easy to prepare. All over the Philippines, there are a number of ways to prepare it, either stewed, fried or grilled. For us, grilled is definitely the way to go and while sweet Pinoy chicken bbq is great, we just have a preference to Inasal.
What is Chicken Inasal?
Chicken Inasal is an Illongo dish. They first marinate in vinegar, calamansi, onion powder, ginger, brown sugar. Then it is basted in annatto oil. Once grilled it’s paired with a soy sauce, calamansi, vinegar and chili sauce on the side. You can also choose to add chicken oil. Chicken oil is an orange colored liquid that instantly adds an umami flavor to the chicken.
While they are many different chicken Inasal restaurants all over Metro Manila. We’ve found that the best one is Soogba. Yes, for the all the Insal aficionados we will definitely vouch that this is THE BEST yet we’ve had so far in Manila.
A newcomer into the scene, Soogba first opened in Don Antonio Heights in February 2018 in the North Food Hive. While I’m absolutely not a fan of food parks, I made my way here just to try their chicken.
On this encounter, I met the owner and a passionate home cook Carlo Tanalgo, born and raised in Bacolod. Upon trying out the kind of Inasal Manila had to offer, he formulated his own recipe on what a good chicken Inasalis. Aside from creating his own marinade, he has also developed a way of grilling the chicken that elevates Soogba’s Inasal.
His passion is to share with us what actual Inasal is like in Bacolod.
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Petcho with rice
Once delivered to your table the strong scent of chargrilled chicken enters your nostrils. The serving is huge and generous you might want to get the 3 rice option. Another staple I usually pair with Inasal is the soy-calamansi-vinegar-chili sauce but in this case, there really is no need. It’s one of the very few times where I say NO SAUCE PLEASE. Each bite of Soogba’s chicken Inasal is smokey, deep in flavors, and downright delicious. In Tagalog, “nakakagana“. Paired perfectly with their fried rice.
While not usually my favorite part of the chicken, Soogba’s Isol (chicken ass) is just juicy and tender. The fat content burst with flavor in each bite.
To balance the meal, we also had their hamonado chorizo, serving size is huge and can definitely be shared. Cooked well its great paired with their spiced vinegar.
While we were not able to try the entire menu, we will definitely be back to try their Kansi and K.B.L.
Soogba brings to the Manila scene what a good chicken Inasal should be like. Down to earth and unpretentious, they serve you with the best Chicken Inasal. The price point is also affordable and is definitely value for your money.
We believe places like these deserve your full attention because, at the end of the day, Taste is always KING.
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Disclaimer: Photos taken from Soogba Facebook page
- Address: North Hive Food Park
- Operation Hours: 4pm -12mn
- Address: 2nd Flr. YP Building Dr.A Santos Ave. Surat, Parañaque
- Operation Hours: 11am – 12mn
- Address: 8 Seas Food Adventure. 122 Timog Ave. Brgy. Sacred Heart Quezon City
- Operation Hours: 10am – 12mn
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