I was lucky to be one of the invited bloggers to try Barkada Chicken Inasal before their grand launching and I’m happy to share this hidden gem to all of you–especially those living in the South.
Barkada Chicken Inasal is a must-visit restaurant in Metro Manila. They serve Filipino comfort food with Inasal as their star but Barkada’s deserves a spot higher than some well-known Chicken Inasal restaurants in the Metro.
How to get there
Barkada Chicken Inasal is located at 3270-D Armstrong Ave., Merville Access Road, Pasay City. If you’re not familiar with the area, getting there can be a challenge.
As for me, coming from QC, I took a cab and still got lost. To be fair, it was raining that day so it was hard to see the signage from the road. Asking from people in the area was sort of difficult given that the restaurant is still fairly new and not everyone is familiar with it yet.
But if you’re commuting, just go down at Merville Access Road, ride a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off at Barkada’s. If you have a car, sadly you can’t rely on GPS nor Google Maps as it doesn’t have an entry (location marker) there yet. It’s just a few steps away from Merville Park Subdivision Gate 1 and Mahatma Gandhi International School. Just keep an eye on the side of the road and you’ll see their huge signage (as long as it’s a clear day, heh).
Parking can also be an issue as they only have two (2) parking spaces and you can’t park on the side of the road. However, they do offer delivery services around the area so if you live nearby, you can just give them a call.
The interior, while small, is nice and clean. Design is simple and minimalist. For me, it does give off a homey vibe. The pops of color–red–will excite your appetite. Their flexible layout, with easily-movable tables, chairs and benches, can accommodate any group size.
The front glass wall allows natural lighting inside and they also have enough lighting fixtures for a proper indoor-night-lighting. No worries for those who don’t like eating in the dark.
They also have a working airconditioner and a comfortable temperature setting.
Food and Service
What I love about BCI’s menu is that it has a wide variety of Filipino comfort food. Yes, it’s star is Inasal, as apparent in the name of the restaurant but they also have other grilled meats, appetizers, pancit, all-day breakfast choices, desserts, and some of the Pinoy ulam favorites.
You’ll also notice how cheap the food here costs; don’t worry, they don’t sacrifice the quality of their food. Alright, now let’s talk about the most important thing–their food!
Let’s start with their bestseller appetizer–Sizzling Sisig. I have to apologize for not having a picture of this one; as I’ve said earlier, I got lost and came late; there was only a small amount of Sisig left in the platter. Haha! I guess my fellow bloggers loved it so much! Heh. I did get a taste of it and it’s not the usual Sisig that I’m used to. It has mayonnaise which I find a wee bit odd or maybe I was just confused/concerned with all the fats/cholesterol in that Sisig. Nonetheless, for a price of only 110 pesos, I’d say that’s a steal!
The owner of Barkada Chicken Inasal loves grilled chicken that’s why they decided to put up this restaurant. Next, we have their Barkada Specialty which includes their Chicken Inasal and other grilled meats.
Their Chicken Inasal comes with rice and atchara (pickled vegetables) on the side. “Paa” or the leg part costs 98 pesos while “Pecho” or the wing part costs 115 pesos. I noticed that the chicken was sort of butterflied, must be why it’s a little dry. But I’m happy with the taste actually; it’s smokey and flavorful which I guess how Inasal should be. I honestly haven’t tasted authentic Inasal but I have to say that this one tastes better than the other Inasal’s I’ve tried.
The atchara was too vinegary/highly acidic for my taste; too bad ‘coz I love atchara. There’s a condiment set available at every table so you can mix your own sauce for their grilled meats.
This Chicken BBQ Boneless has just the right texture. I have to say, I usually avoid chicken barbecues because it’s kinda messy to eat but their boneless version makes it more enjoyable for me. I love the flavors especially the barbecue glaze which has the perfect balance of salty and sweet. This is available at only 110 pesos and comes with rice and atchara on the side.
We got to chat with the chef–Chef Ian–so I asked his technique on the grilled meats. We were told that he butterflied the chicken to achieve faster and even cooking of the meat. That’s how they ensure that customers will not eat raw meat (goodbye chicken blood!) and that customers don’t have to wait too long for their food.
Now, let’s move on to their Barkadahan selection or what I call Pinoy ulam favorites. Everything was surprisingly very delicious, it exceeded my expectations! Barkadahan choices are good for a group of 2-3.
Barkada’s Kare-Kare is now on my list of top Kare-Kare’s! A serving costs 165 pesos ONLY and you’ll get a bowl full of meat, veggies, and kare kare sauce. Like all kare-kare’s, it comes with a side serving of a very tasty bagoong (fermented shrimp). I’m amazed by how much meat is in this Kare Kare, especially considering the price. The meat is soft lean beef which tastes fresh. The vegetables are half-cooked which I love (me no likey mushy veggies BTW). The ratio of meat to veggies are just right (unlike others’ which mainly consist veggies and too little meat). The sauce is super smooth and silky. It doesn’t have the usual orange color but I don’t really care because as far as I’m concerned, that’s just color, and this sauce tastes better than the usual orange-colored kare-kare sauces. This kare kare is very flavorful on it’s own (my bagoong-hater bf would love it).
I can’t get over how delicious the sauce is so I asked Chef Ian and that’s when he told us that they actually make everything from scratch! Wow! This kare-kare sauce was made in-house with fresh peanuts. They don’t use pre-packed or pre-made ingredients and sauces.
While I love vegetables, I only have a few favorite Pakbets; Barkada’s Pakbet is one of them. Not only does it has perfectly-cooked vegetables and delicious flavor, it also has a generous amount of meat. This Pakbet has soft and juicy thinly-sliced pork. This serving costs 80 pesos only.
If you want soft and juicy chicken, go for their Soy Chicken. Basically, it’s a roasted chicken flavored with soy and served with fried bananas and their Java sauce (not on the photo, sorry) on the side. It’s very flavorful, even the meat inside has a lot of flavor. The sauce is smooth and silky with soy sauce as the main ingredient with a hint of peanut. This whole serving at only 250 pesos beats most rotisserie chicken available in the market. You can also opt for a half serving for only 130 pesos.
Barkada’s Lumpia Shanghai tastes like our family’s recipe. It’s perfectly cooked and I love that it’s not too oily. The sauce is spicy though (which I don’t really mind). For only 75 pesos per serving, ditch the bland fast-food lumpia and order this one instead.
And now here’s another favorite! Their Crispy Pata tastes so good you’ll make every excuse possible just to have a bite of this sinfully delicious food. It’s exterior/skin is perfectly crispy and the meat is tender and juicy. It comes with a spiced soy-vinegar sauce. This is the perfect pulutan for the barkada!
While BCI offers beer on their menu, they don’t really wish for the place to be a drinking spot. First, because of the limited space and, also, they want their restaurant to be a place for family meals.
If you are ordering their Barkadahan choices, or just want more rice with your Barkada Specialty, don’t be guilty on ordering an extra rice or two because they are very reasonably priced at 15 pesos for plain rice and 17 pesos for garlic rice.
Their beverages cost just like how much they would at the stores. Get a bottomless iced tea for only 30 pesos or try their fresh fruit shakes at 40 pesos per tall glass. I tried their Ripe Mango Shake and it tastes fresh and sweet, which was surprising considering that mangoes are not currently in-season.
Finally, we have desserts! Never skip dessert at Barkada with their choices ranging from 20-35 pesos only.
Barkada’s deconstructed Buko Pandan is new in our eyes. It consist of the buko pandan jelly with whipped cream on top and poured with condensed milk. Presentation may need improvement but the taste is spot on! But for only 20 pesos, no one’s really complaining. Heh.
Lastly, we had Mais Con Yelo served in a bowl. It tastes delicious just like all of the food offered to us. When I think of mais con yelo, I just think of corn, ice and milk but theirs is definitely more than that. Aside from the basic ingredients, it also has gulaman (jelly) and sago (tapioca pearl) for added texture. It also has the perfect blend of sweetness. I just wished that the ice was shaved and not crushed . Although the Chef told us that their machine was just broken that time, hence, the chunky ice. Nonetheless, for 35 pesos, this beats my usual mais con yelo.
The overall service was impeccable. Food gets delivered on a very short time. There were other diners when we were there and they got the same excellent service as we did. Also, the staff were very friendly and accommodating.
Verdict and other notes
Barkada Chicken Inasal is a must-try when you’re in Pasay. Eat solo and get satisfied for as low as 65 pesos. Or better yet, invite your family and friends and have a nice and homey lunch out or dinner. Enjoy a wide selection of delicious and very affordable comfort food. Don’t forget to try their Kare-Kare and Soy Chicken!
If you live nearby and don’t know how to cook or just too busy to cook, try their FREE delivery service. Forget about fast food, Barkada offers healthier freshly cooked meals served fast and cost less.
BCI is worth the travel time. I do wish I live nearby. Oh, by the way, the owner told us that they’re planning on opening more branches in other locations. I hope they’ll have one in Quezon City! Please? Hee.
Barkada Chicken Inasal
3270-D Armstrong Ave., Merville Access Road, Pasay City
Operating Hours: 10:00 am – 10:00 pm, Monday-Sunday
Contact No. 776-7026
Payment Options: Cash
Other Services: Take-Out, Free Delivery
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Barkada-Chicken-Inasal/690793814341623
Have your tried Barkada Chicken Inasal? Share your experience. ^_^
What’s your favorite Pinoy ulam?
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Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions here remains personal and non-biased.
Images of the restaurant’s interior are from their Facebook Page; the rest are all mine.