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Oct 30, 2013

Review: Jollibee - Spaghetti and Fried Chicken

Jolibee is a Filipino fast food chain with international reach including a few locations here in the US. It's menu is basically a Filipino take on American fast food (burgers, fried chicken, fries, and the like). One of their menu staples is spaghetti, which here in the US typically means spaghetti noodles with a tomato-based meat sauce. If you order spaghetti from a Jolibee restaurant, it generally looks the same but it's actually very different.

Jollibee's Spaghetti is described as coming with a "sweet style spaghetti sauce" with ham, sausage, and ground beef topped with cheese. The order I got also came with a fried chicken leg and mushroom gravy for $4.99.

As you can tell by the picture, it's kinda orange and looks somewhat like an Indian curry. I was very much surprised as I took my first bite, as I discovered the sauce wasn't tangy nor tomato-based, and was very sweet. Looking into it, I discovered that Jolibee's spaghetti is a Filipino variant that's made with banana ketchup, whose usage came about due to a tomato shortage during World War II. It seems more of an acquired taste and I can't say I'm a fan.

Beyond the weird sweet flavor, there's some rather hard chunks of sausage and/or ham (they're a bit indistinguishable to me) with very fine grind that is similar to hot dogs. There's not too much flavor to the meat and mostly what comes across is the sweet spaghetti sauce.

The cheese on the spaghetti appears to be a mild cheddar. It didn't add much beyond a sparse creamy texture.

The spaghetti pasta itself is cooked for softness. If you're looking for al dente, you won't find it here.

As lackluster as the spaghetti was, the fried chicken was excellent. Freshly fried, it was crunchy, juicy, and flavorful with a nice hit of garlic.

The gravy is for dipping or drizzling on the chicken and is not a standard chicken gravy and comes with a strong mushroom note .

Overall, Jollibee's Fried Chicken is well-executed and delicious. I would take a definite pass on ever eating the spaghetti again though. Still, if you think an oddly sweet meat sauce without the more traditional tomato tang might be interesting, it might be your thing.


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1 comment :

  1. I know some people that put sugar in there spaghetti and I find that it's just not needed. Some good tomato's can give you all the sweetness you need. Not sure I understand the Fried Chicken/Spaghetti as a dish thing.

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