January 22, 2020

One of Manila's Best Fried Chicken: BAD BIRD - SM Megamall

Fried chicken is probably one of the fail-safe dishes that one can eat or prepare. You can eat it as is or you can find just about any side dishes that will go well with fried chicken. Although, you can eat it daily and no one is forcing you not to, eating fried chicken on a daily basis may not be beneficial to your health. But I get it, if you it a couple of times a week, especially if they are the juicy and plump ones. I remember I knew someone whose kid only fried chicken, all sorts and versions of it, and nothing but just that, although he isn’t sickly; I just can’t imagine LOL!

I have eaten so many fried chickens in my lifetime, name it, I have probably tried it. From the poorly cooked ones, to cheap street food version, to fast food and fast casual resto fried chicken, up to some gourmet types. I have found some that became my favorites. Fried chicken is also my default when I don’t feel like leaving my apartment to get food, like I said it’s one of the safest yet satisfying food mankind has ever invented.

Before the holidays, I went to SM Megamall with two of my foodie friends to try Bad Bird. I’ve actually heard about this resto and have tried other brands from the Lowbrow Restaurants but only until that they that I was able to set foot in one of its branches. I don’t usually go to SM Megamall nowadays, but I specifically went there just for Bad Bird. There’s one in BGC, where I work but my shift won’t allow me to visit before it closes.

Bad Bird is an award-winning umami fried chicken from the bird makers at Lowbrow and currently has four branches across Metro Manila.  Bad Bird was out of love and frustration with fried chicken. Without parallel, fried chicken reigns as the most popular dish in the country, but there hasn’t been a lot of fresh ideas in the space for years. The thinking behind Bad Bird was to create a fried chicken that overwhelmed you with umami—like a bowl of pork bone ramen. They tried disassembling, combining, and recombining piles of spices and ingredients for months until they were able to make a bird that they’re proud of.

If you scan through the menu of Bad Bird, you don’t get a solid type of cuisine. It’s a little chaotic but definitely a beautiful mess; combining flavors from the Western world and Asia. But the most obvious flavors are cuisines from Korea and Japan. Bad Bird also makes use of MSG but in its natural form and taking advantage of spices and flavorings like dashi, mushroom powder, furikake, miso etc.

We tried just a few items from their menu, we thought, “we’ll start with these three and if we’re still not full, we’ll just order”:

Umami Fried Chicken Plate – can be ordered safe, spicy or chemical (super spicy) and comes with steamed rice and house gravy. You can also upgrade any fried chicken plate with additional sides, drinks and rice upgrades. The one we ordered is called Torched Corn and Cheese Chicken Plate. I love how crispy the skin is and super flavorful. The meat is tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. The serving size is big too!

Dirty Rice – spiced and flavorful Cajun rice dish made from white rice and gets its “dirty” color from finely chopped chicken livers and ground beef. You can upgrade all your rice meals to dirty rice for a fee and you can order this ala carte too.

Torched Corn and Cheese – creamed yellow corn topped with cheese and then torched. This can be ordered ala carte or as an add on to the rice meals. I’ve tried the version being offered at BBX and Beefier (sister brands of Bad Bird), an I have to be honest, but I like the from those two than this one. This is good, I just have my own preference.

Garlic and Butter Crispy 2-Fry Wings – six cuts of wings in your choice of sauce: black honey, garlic butter, gojuchang buffalo and P4P (prepare for pain). No bottled sauces only 100% original flavors. We chose the garlic butter variant and it was so good! The size of the chicken wings is also huge. Worth your money if you ask me.

Rich Pork Noodles – umami, meaty, aromatic house made noodles. I don’t know what I can compare this dish to but all I can say is that it is light and may look too simple and without life because of its color and presentation but it is  very flavorful!

Homebrew Iced Tea and Mango Rice Milk –  Homebrew Iced Tea contains black tea, yuzu and honey while the Mango Rice Milk has fresh mango puree and Korean rice milk. The iced tea has this strong smoky flavor with hints of sweet and tangy flavors. I really like the Mango Rice Milk drink, it’s something that I’ve never tried before. It was really refreshing with just the right amount of sweet and sour.

I was surprised with the serving of each dish, if one has just a decent appetite, each dish can be shared. Especially the chicken wings, I thought it was just a few pieces and it was, but the size of the wings are huge!  The fried chicken in their chicken plate series also comes in a quite big piece. The three of use were already full so we didn't get more food.For its price I think it’s reasonable because you get good serving size, taste and quality. I’ll surely return to try their other chicken and steak dishes.

You can also find Bad Bird at:
- GF Robinson's Place Manila Pedro Gil Wing, Ermita Manila
- GF Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
- Hole in teh Wall, 4F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Poblacion, Makati City

3F, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall,
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Contact Nos: 7753 9729
Email: hello@bitebadbird.com

For more information, complete menu and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile:Bad Bird Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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