Round-Up: 10 Unique French Fries in Manila

No ketchup required.

( We would probably never get tired of plainly salted French fries, but sometimes that simplicity needs a little help. There's nothing wrong with putting a little bit of art in an everyday snack. A lift in flavors, a change in cut, or even just better packaging can keep things interesting. Evolution is, after all, the key to survival. Even Madonna had to change it up constantly keep things fresh. We still love deep-fried potato strips, but these are the dishes that we'll stray away for every now and then.

Note: Only potato fries were included.


ALSO READ: Top 10 French Fries Under P100



McDonald's Twister Fries (P60)

We're starting out with a classic that has most of the country waiting with bated bread for its eventual return (its last appearance was in August 2012). This seasonal but habit-forming potato corkscrews from McDonald's rival the equally addictive regular fries in sales whenever they're on the menu. The slightly peppery, best-served-hot curls are softer than their straight sibling, with the spice batter and bits of skin giving it a deep golden brown hue. For years, Twister Fries were exclusive to the Philippines, but it's now (seasonally) available in other Asian regions. In selected European countries, it's called Twisty Fries.


Last August, McDo chose to relaunch the Shake Shake Fries instead.


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Jollibee's Crisscut Fries (P33/Regular, P51/Large)

This fast food joint shows that frying potatoes in unconventional shapes isn't exclusive to one restaurant. Potato lattices are deep-fried crispy and sprinkled with a zesty cheese powder. The result will, surprisingly, have you digging. Unfortunately, the paper pouches that also carry Jollibee's regular fries aren't tailored for these bigger, rounder alternatives. A Regular would usually have around five to six pieces, max. When Crisscut Fries was relaunched in July 2012, two flavors were available-Zesty Cheese and Sour Cream. Only the former is still currently being sold.





Terraz Meetings and Bistro's "Frites" (P995/Steak and "Frites")

Unfortunately, these thinner-than-shoestring fries don't come a la carte, but try asking the ever-accommodating Chef Arnold Gozon anyway. Beside the hulking Australian rib-eye and three dips is something that falls between a bale of hay, Cousin Itt, and crispy noodles in terms of appearance. The starchy structure is lightly seasoned and comfortingly messy. Crack it apart with your fork so you can enjoy it in more manageable pieces.

Terraz is at 3/F Zuellig Building, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.




Duck You (P185) from Green Pastures

From reshaping the usual thin strips to superb flavor profiling, the same old long slices are made special with ingredients that go beyond salt, pepper, and ketchup. The finger chips are plunged in hot duck fat then cooked with rich crispy duck skin chicharon and duck confit.

Green Pastures is at Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City.





Carne Asada Fries (P120) from Brasas

Chili fries are given Latin flair at Brasas. Their famous carne asada is made into delicious chili mixed with smoky chorizo, Monterey Jack, tomato salsa, and sour cream. Each bite features that harmonious relationship of richness, tanginess, freshness, heat, savoriness. It's a lot of weight for fries, but this version from Brasas carries it well.

Brasas has branches in The Podium, SM North EDSA, and SM Aura Premier.




Shine Bakery and Café's Parmesan Nori Fries (P250)

The price is, admittedly, on the steep side, but we have to commend the proportions of this dish-no matter how disproportionate the size is to the price. The addition of seaweed gives the starchiness a subtle earthy flavor that complements the sharpness of cheese. It's not a lot in terms of volume, but this is an appetizer.

Shine Bakery and Cafe is at SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City.





Main Street's Poutine (P145)

To say that Main Street's fries are saucy is an understatement. Main Street introduces Canadian grub in the Italian-inspired venue of Tuscany (McKinley Hill, not Europe) via comfort favorite, poutine. Their interpretation is straightforward enough: thick-cut wedges with cheese curds swimming in gravy. Fresh cheese curds give it a chewy texture. Fans who prefer the sweet and savory brown sauce over ketchup will easily warm up to this stew-y concoction, yes?

Main Street is at Tuscany, McKinley Hill.





Eat My GF's Fries (P69 to P169)

When you're hooked on your GF (that's Garlic Fries, by the way), you won't feel the need to cheat. This booth's famous fries are long, thin, and crunchy, with a distinct garlic flavor that's highlighted by sex puns and other toppings. Though the Original GF, with its strong garlicky twist, is lip-smacking on its own, take the relationship a step further with the Fat GF, skin-on thick-cut fries, and Eat my BF (Bawang Fries), poutine-style with mushroom gravy and deep-fried garlic. Or, don’t be shy and go All the Way: Original GF, Virgin Chips (homemade potato chips), and Sausage in one major gastronomic orgy.

Eat My GF has branches in Alabang Town Center and at 403 B. Calderon Street, San Juan.



Pork and Potato Strips (P339) from Kettle

Kettle puts together inspired flavor combinations with unique presentation. Flat strips of crunchy potatoes are piled almost a foot high on the dish. Inside the mouthwatering tangle of salty starch, bits of crisp pork belly make a guest appearance. The entire edifice is covered with freshly grated parmesan and finished with crusty basil leaves. The elements are simple enough to maintain the hominess that Kettle demonstrates, but varied enough to still be interesting by the halfway point. To finish the dish seems like a tough act, but those rich, beautifully balanced flavors will be the driving force to keep you eating.


Kettle is at 5/F Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City.

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