Liempo and lechong manok (roast chicken) have always played a huge role in my family’s lives. They are among our top picks during dinners, parties, outings, and even inuman or drinking sessions.
In fact, for some Pinoys, “blowout” is still synonymous with lechong manok or liempo. Got a new job? Bring some liempo or lechong manok to your family. Celebrating your birthday with the barkada? Buy lechong manok and liempo for pulutan! No wonder, shops that sell these two favorites are everywhere.
Now what if I tell you that there is a place that serves these two favorites but with a twist?
The place is called King’s Roast, a stall at the Food Choices of Glorietta 4 in Makati City. Despite it being new in the business, it has already gained a reputation for serving the best liempo and lechong manok in Metro Manila.
Intrigued, some friends and I visited King’s Roast one afternoon to sample its most coveted lechong manok and liempo, along with the other dishes the food stall was serving. We were also able to meet the awesome couple behind the brand, Mr. Suraj and Mrs. Katrinaa Daswani. Through them, we learned a lot about King’s Roast as well as the different items included in their menu, particularly the bestsellers.
We started our feast with liempo which honestly exceeded our expectations. Unlike liempo from other establishments, we no longer needed to remove the skin for it was really crispy (and sinful, too). It was also very easy to eat; we did not use knives to slice them into smaller pieces, since they were tender on the inside as well.
It also tasted great, giving us a hint that it was properly marinated. According to Mr. Raj, who has already worked as a chef in the Philippines and the Caribbean, he always liked doing things differently. He would usually start with the basics and from there, develop something that would set him apart. Clearly, it was what he did to perfect his unique take on liempo.
Same thing goes for the lechong manok. Despite it being common not only in the Philippines but also in other countries, it has been given a different treatment at King’s Roast. In fact, we learned that there were actually two kinds of roast chicken served here: Captain’s Roast Chicken and the Calypso Roast Chicken.
Captain’s Roast Chicken was the classic lechong manok. It was inspired by the famous recipe of Captain Manok, a sister company of King’s Roast. Meanwhile, the Calypso Roast Chicken was Caribbean-inspired. We tried and loved both, proving that regardless of the variety, roast chicken from King’s Roast would never be a disappointment.
We also sampled some rice meals. I fell in love with the Black Pepper Rice Meal, which was a dream-come-true for a lover of any pepper-y dish like me. I was so glad that it actually exceeded my expectations. It really tasted of pepper, a comforting fact for anyone who has already tried dishes whose tastes do not match their labels or names.
Even the Spicy Tomato Vegetable rice meal was commendable. Just imagine fresh vegetables cooked properly in thick, savory, and spicy tomato sauce. It was a complete package, really, for it was not the usual just-spicy dish. It tasted really good as well.
The Braised Asian rice meal was also a source of delight. Its thick sauce highlighted by the complex combination of saltiness, sourness, and sweetness made it a must-try dish.
Of course, our food trip would not be complete without the side dishes. We had Mashed Potato which, basically, was our favorite mashed potato reinvented and taken a notch higher. It was more flavorful than the usual stuff we’d get elsewhere.
Another side dish we loved was the Herbed Potato Wedges. Unlike others, these potato wedges do not need thick coating to have that flavorful taste. Instead, they glazed with different spices.
We also had Corn on the Cob as well as Mac and Cheese and we thought they went perfectly well with all the charcoal roasts we were also having.
Pinakbet was also available that afternoon. We learned that it was the veggie of the day. Each day, King’s Roast serves vegetable dishes that could go either as a side dish or as a separate serving of viand or ulam.
To end the feast, my friends had iced tea while I had lemonade. It was quite a great dining experience.
True enough, King’s Roast live up to its slogan: “Same same but different.” We appreciated the fact that everything we tried that afternoon was something we were familiar with. Yet, they were reinvented cleverly, making them more interesting. Each dish came at affordable prices, too.
King’s Roast is open daily, 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekdays and 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM on weekends.