Zabo Chicken: The Spice is RightJune 17, 2019
Chicken and rice have always been a staple pairing in Filipino culture. It’s a delicious, cost-effective, and flexible piece of protein, reinforced even more by the various chicken-based restaurants popping up all around the metro. We’ve seen a number of restaurants boasting about the way their chicken is prepared, and the taste of their offerings, but we haven’t seen flavors like Zabo Chicken’s.
Zabo Chicken is packed with Mediterranean flavors.
Opening up their first branch in SM Jazz Makati last April 9, 2014, Zabo Chicken introduced to diners their chicken dishes packed with Mediterranean flavors. According to one of the partners, Luigi Tabuena, Zabo literally means a combination of spices which they incorporate to their chicken. “A few years back there weren’t a lot of Mediterranean or Indian restaurants taking up space around Metro Manila, but now you can see more and more of that cuisine appearing. We feel that the Mediterranean flavor would be a flavor that the Filipinos would like and appreciate.” says Tabuena on why they decided to take this route. “What we really wanted to do was to provide a service for Filipinos. These flavors have been around for a long time now, but what we did is that we picked it up, and took it from one country to the other.” he stresses.
It’s not just about their flavors (which do pack quite the punch), they also promote a healthier alternative to the more common, and more heart-clogging, fried chicken since they roast their chicken instead. The guys behind Zabo believe you don’t have to pay much more to have a healthy meal, which means their chicken meals are affordable, and definitely worth every penny for the portion. You can afford to get the roasted chicken at the same price point as the fried chicken you’ve been eating regularly.
They offer a Whole Chicken meal which costs just PHP 420, but if you’re dining alone, they have a Half Chicken meal at PHP 240, and a Quarter Roast Chicken at just PHP 165, which are all great deals. Don’t pass up on their Chicken Turna Bowl, however, if you’re really on-the-budget, but still want something filling that will make your taste buds incredibly happy. This PHP 99 meal is more than perfect, with charred, shawarma-like flavors coming through. Each meal comes with the standard Zabo Chicken rice, mixed with the drippings that come straight from their chicken.
Zabo Chicken also smartly added the option for the rice buffet when ordering a meal for an additional PHP 29—and 5 different kinds of rice at that.
Knowing the penchant Filipinos have for rice, Zabo Chicken also smartly added the option for the rice buffet when ordering a meal for an additional PHP 29. The buffet doesn’t just offer unlimited Zabo Chicken rice however—there are five other rice options to choose from: the Zabo spicy chicken rice, carrot rice, brown rice, garlic rice, and plain steamed rice. “We didn’t want to just make it the standard unlimited rice, we wanted to make it more interesting, and even have healthier options” says Tabuena.
With each meal, you also get access to the six different sauces.
With each meal, you also get access to the six different sauces that they have: chili oil, sweet chili, sweet sauce, chicken bone gravy, tarator, and the lemon garlic paste. The stand outs here are really the Tarator, which is a sesame-based sauce, and the lemon garlic paste, which complements the flavors of the chicken perfectly. Customers can be rest assured that the taste stays true to authentic Mediterranean flavors.
Following their pattern of making things different, Zabo Chicken even serves their own soft-serve ice cream with two flavors that aren’t your average convenience store options : Vanilla Mint and Dark Chocolate.
Zabo Chicken cares for its customers and the quality that they get. Even if at first the flavor profile is not what they’re quite used to tasting, Zabo Chicken wants to ensure that their customers get what they deserve and more. “We believe that the Filipinos deserve healthy food at a price point that’s worth it and that’s delicious. We can provide that here.”