New Restaurant Alert: Tom Sawyer's Old Fashioned Fried Chicken at Tiendesitas, Pasig

THE fried chicken of the ’70s and ’80s is back and crispier than ever.

Tom Sawyer's Old Fashioned Fried Chicken
2/F Building A, Tiendesitas, Pasig City
Contact: 966-2291, 0917-811-0338
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m.



( It's best to enter Tom Sawyer's from the outside where you can see it in full view-the end of a long, winding ramp on the quieter, newer side of Tiendesitas. From the parking lot and through the mall, you'll have to maneuver twists and turns, blocked exits, and hallways that smell nothing like delicious fried food.


It may be a metaphor for Tom Sawyer's, a fast-food chain that was popular in the late '70s and early '80s. At the time when restaurants like McDonald's and KFC were hundreds of miles away, it provided the much-appreciated comfort only good fried chicken can provide. But retro is quickly becoming a trend, even in food. Chef Eli Aurelio is back frying chicken of this particular vintage, and, if you were a child 30 years ago, it tastes as good as you remember.



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There’s more seating outside.

Who doesn’t love fried chicken?


The fried chicken is the highlight of a very spartan menu in an even more spartan space. It comes with rice (P88/one piece; P138/two piece) or in a party box that is actually a bucket (P576/nine pieces; P945/15 pieces; P1,323/21 pieces). Each individually fried piece is big and bold, with a thick, crisp coat in pale gold. A peppery powder hides between the flakes, and there's a subtle salty flavor deep in the meat.





The mashed potato is under the gravy.


The chicken is juicy-it's rendered in extra fat after frying-which is just as well because gravy costs extra (P15). Other sides are sweetish Hickory Rice (P45)-which is a viable partner for the Hickory Ribs & Rice (P198), coleslaw (P40), creamy mashed potatoes with gravy (P40), corn bread (P25), and brownies (P20).



Tom Sawyer's Old Fashioned Fried Chicken uses old recipes from the plantations in 19th-Century Mississippi and cooks with techniques from West Africa, Scotland, and Ireland. It may be old, but those flavors definitely stand the test of time.

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