If you are on a tight budget When in Manila, it is a BIG challenge to find a healthy, gourmet-tasting food.. because cheap is almost always equal to fried and fatty. That is why I was overly eager to try this new place along E.Rodriguez, called O’pollo.
O’pollo is an Australian food concept with a tinge of Portuguese influence that offers healthy grilled zesty chicken in buns, in wraps or with rice. “How healthy is healthy?” you may ask. Believe it or not, the only fried thing in O’pollo is their golden French Fries. The rest is either grilled or steamed.
My friends and I got to try the Family Deal (Php 569) that is inclusive of one whole chicken, four rice, four side dishes and four drinks. Usually, I have qualms about grilled chicken. It’s either cooked too long that my fork can’t pierce through, or cooked just right but with eeky bloody bones. But with O’pollo’s grilled chicken, it was very clean, juicy and tender. It had a zesty flavor, which is a Portuguese influence and a wee bit of crunch and pepper on the skin. The secret to having a well-done chicken and still very tender? They added a process before grilling; that is steaming.
The side dishes are as gourmet-tasting as they look. The Smashed Potatoes include three different types of potatoes, some mashed and some smashed. I could feel the texture of the potato skin and some crunchy potato bits, which I thought was a successful way of giving the usual mashed potato a fresh make-over. They also have Spanish Rice that is really good with the chicken. The healthier options are Herb-Roasted Vegetables — a steamed cup of fresh carrot, bell pepper and eggplant slices and gourmet coleslaw — shredded fresh red cabbages with not-too-sweet mayo sauce. These side dishes if ordered individually are priced affordably at Php 39.
O’pollo also has gourmet soups, such as Broccoli Soup and Apple Pumpkin Soup, all priced at Php 39. All I can say is they’re too good for the price.
O’pollo I think is the Rising Burger in town. With a diameter of 4-inches, their solo O’Burgers (ala carte Php 99-159, meal Php 129-189) are bigger than any other burgers in town. And if you want an even bigger size, go for their giant Bomb Burger (ala carte Php 359, meal Php 539). It is a monumental 8-inch burger fit for four people.
Apart from its healthy chicken dishes, O’pollo takes pride in its gourmet sauces that are unlike any other I’ve tasted. All sauces have been distinctly and meticulously crafted to complement the O’pollo grilled chicken whether in bun, in wrap or with rice. They have the Peri O that has a Portuguese spicy taste, the Tangy O which is more like ketchup and very much Filipino, the Preg O that resembles the sweet, BBQ taste, the Garlic O, my personal favorite, very creamy and garlicky, and lemon and herb sauce which is best for grilled chicken and rice.
Sadly, like any movie, a meal has to end. Good thing O’pollo can end the meal with a satisfying dessert. We had their creamy, not-so-sweet Blueberry Sundae (Php 29). I appreciated the fact that O’pollo customized their vanilla ice cream by lessening its sweetness. :)
They also have Banoffee, Mango Tango and Choco Mocha cakes in cups (Php 49 each). If you have just as big of a sweet tooth as me, you would loooove their Choco Mocha! Although I was already filled to the brim with all the burger and chicken, I was able to finish the Choco Mocha. I loved the sticky custard wrapped in layers of moist chocolate sponge cake.
When I topped it off with vanilla ice cream, it was simply divine!
So if you are looking for food that is worth every cent and calorie when in Manila, drop by O’pollo. They are now grilling!
E. Rodriguez Complex, E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave.
New Manila Quezon City