New Restaurant Alert: Birdhouse at Uptown Place Mall, Uptown Bonifacio
Salted Egg Lava Chicken? Truffle Ketchup? This new fried chicken place is the next big thing.
The Food Hall, 4/L Uptown Place Mall, Uptown Bonifacio
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Sunday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Friday to Saturday)
(SPOT.ph) Pinoys love fried chicken and there are already so many ways you can enjoy it in Manila, but this new must-try at Uptown Place Mall will still manage to surprise you with spectacular bursts of flavors.
Birdhouse is Relish Group’s (the same folks behind Rock & Seoul, Wee Nam Kee, Kumori Café, and Osaka Osho) latest venture. It’s a step up from your typical “chicken-and-gravy” place. Co-owner Louie Wong explains why they chose to specialize in fried chicken: “We wanted to tap into a restaurant and serve dishes that kids, adults, [seniors], basically—everyone, would love,” he says.
More than the chicken, Birdhouse’s edge is in their playfulness when it comes to concocting unconventional sauces that you wouldn’t likely find anywhere else. “We actually cut a lot [from the menu] from our initial tests," shares co-owner Linfred Yap.“Different sauces, different dishes…” What’s left is a concise, but satisfying selection of chicken incarnations that won't leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Two-piece Chicken, Garlic Fries, Crispy Chicken Skin, and Truffle Ketchup
It took a while for Birdhouse to perfect their recipe, learning which spices blend well together and how long they should cook the poultry before it starts to get rubbery. The result? Chicken that's juicy, crisp, and cooked to perfection. Take, for example, Barnyard D (P255). It comes with two pieces of chicken and a small serving of chicken skin. The chicken is a bold mix of 11 different spices including pepper, paprika, and marjoram which gives it a pleasant citrusy undertone and a very subtle spiciness. We recommend having Garlic Fries on the side and Truffle Ketchup for the sauce. Truthfully, the chicken can stand on its own, but the Truffle Ketchup adds a welcome earthiness to the dish that expertly balances—if not tones down—all the flavors. The chicken skin is sinfully good—a crunchy, lip-smacking side dish that’s more addicting when dipped in the sauce.
Salted Egg Lava Chicken Sandwich and Elote
But the star of the menu is their Salted Egg Lava Chicken Sandwich (P290). It’s kind of like lava cake, but instead of chocolate, what oozes out is a creamy, textured, and especially rich salted egg sauce. The chicken patty is perfectly crunchy, the buns infused with squid ink, turning them into an intimidating but strangely appetizing shade of black. Have elote corn on the side. It’s torched and incredibly smooth, enhanced by tame but notable flavors from the mayonnaise.
Let's look at this sandiwch from a different angle
Mac and Cheese
Waffle and Ice Cream with Crispy Chicken Skin
Birdhouse Chicken Tenders, Dirty Rice, and Green Goddess Sauce
There’s also Barnyard A (P165), which is served with chicken tenders, dirty rice, crispy chicken skin, and your choice of sauce (sample the Green Goddess). It may feel like there’s a lot happening here—from the soft, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of chicken tenders, to the subtle hints of salted egg on the breading, to the sauce that’s rich in herb flavors—it’s a flavorful jumble in one hefty plate.
It’s not difficult to see why people would line-up for Birdhouse. Each visit becomes an entirely different experience. One day, you’re enjoying the chicken with milk gravy, the next you’ll be devouring the salted egg lava sandwich with mac and cheese on the side. Either way, their innovative takes on a classic, beloved dish are likely to keep you coming back again and again.
Birdhouse opens on September 1.
Photos by Hans Fausto