Tagala: consistently good fried chicken
My usual order at Tagala Chicken Butterfly consists of two chicken thighs, four pusô (hanging rice) and a bottle of Mountain Dew.
I rarely deviate from that set meal but during a random afternoon last year, the juicier thigh was not yet available. I settled for the leaner breast cut instead. I then added two ngohiong pieces which I think is a welcome addition to their mostly chicken options.
It was an hour past noon but their branch near Cebu Doctors was still packed with students, medical representatives and everyone else in between. I managed to secure an empty table, proceeded to wash my hands and on my way back, retrieved two tiny saucers for their signature dips (original and spicy).
While others come here for these sauces or even the free crumbs (leftover batter), what I really celebrate about Tagala is their consistency. The breast that I had was remarkably juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside, just like the many, many other thigh parts I’ve been ordering here. It has always been cooked in this manner ever since, maybe even way back to the time when it first opened between 1999 and 2000.
I don’t care much about a restaurant’s interiors but I did notice that Tagala finally repainted its walls. Plastered on one side was a basic menu and printed at its bottom portion were various contact numbers and their social media accounts.
This was then how I learned the story behind the restaurant’s name. I asked them via Facebook and one of the owners shared that they named the eatery after their mother who is of Tagalog (thus ‘tagala‘) descent. He added that they are indeed introducing new items (that ngohiong is one) in the menu and penetrating new markets (pop-ups for special events, bazaars).
I like that even hole-in-the-wall places like Tagala have adapted to the changing times by establishing their presence in social media for example. This will allow them to connect with their loyal patrons and engage the younger generation too.
Having said that, this little chicken eatery will definitely be here to stay for a long, long time.
Tagala Chicken Butterfly
Don Jose Avila St
other branches at: USJR, USC-TC and Arlington Pond
+63 32 261 5900
+63 32 261 7155