Jollibee is a rapidly expanding Philippine fast-food chain that has been taking the world by storm. Their most famous dish, Chickenjoy, is a hand-breaded fried chicken that is praised for its crisp and juicy texture. It is prepared with a secret marinade and served with a garnish of sauce that has been called “ethereal”. It is often ordered as a combo with Jolly Spaghetti.
Jollibee's menu also includes some familiar fast-food items, such as a fried chicken sandwich, a crunchy specimen that tastes like the meat on the breast has been salted within an inch of its shelf life. You'll also find a decent pancit palabok, one that, I'd say, would benefit from a generous application of fried garlic and tinapa. Then there's the most divisive dish on the menu, the Jolly Spaghetti, a pasta dish soaked in a tomato sauce-like meat sauce, which hides slices of emulsified hot dog. In the first bite, I thought it was sticky and sweet.
In the second bite, I found it strangely attractive. Halfway through, I realized that Jolly Spaghetti occupies her own universe, where its rarity makes the dish an object of great desire. Jollibee also serves a spicy Chickenjoy and chicken dippers, which are smaller pieces of boneless fried chicken. They also serve breakfast options with a touch of Pinoy. And for dessert, you can try their peach and mango pie or their halo-halo, which is a mix of shaved ice, sweetened beans, fruit and condensed milk. When Jollibee realized that they would need to compete with large international corporations with an ingenious brand and marketing, they gave the company a very intelligent makeover, starting with the name.
With a menu full of fast food with a Filipino twist, Jollibee is like a KFC crossed with McDonald's with a side of banana ketchup. It's no wonder why Jollibee has been able to expand around the world so quickly. In Edmonton last month, Jollibee queued more than 300 people in front of its doors before it opened. Even before Dungca and I sat down to a variety of Chickenjoy, Jolly Spaghetti, hamburger steaks, adobo rice and peach-mango cakes, the chef told me about his childhood trips to Jollibee. Jollibee's Chickenjoy is truly something special. It's crisp and juicy texture combined with its secret marinade make it stand out from other fast food fried chicken dishes.
And when you pair it with their unique dishes like Jolly Spaghetti or halo-halo for dessert, you get an unforgettable experience.