July 22, 2006

Sightings...at Island Chicken (aka Trapped in the '80s)

IT was like we were in a sequel of another Bagets movie. My friends and I were enjoying the yummy inasal na manok (grilled chicken) and steaming bowls of kansi served up at the launch of Niña Bustamante's Island Chicken in QC. Seated at a table nearby was the Bagets gang--William Martinez, his wife Yayo Aguila, Ramoncito Gutierrez, and Herbert "Bistek" Bautista, now vice mayor of Quezon City, Iza Calzada (daughter of that long ago dancer Lito Calzado...gee and I thought he was gay!), and a few others who were probably in the Bagets movies too. (I don't know, I never watched those flicks which apparently were the toast of the entire bagets crowd of my day.) I am told the good vice mayor returned the next day for lunch with 20 other people in tow. And they all paid for their meals. Sort of a buena mano for the restaurant. Nice move, Bistek. I'll make sure to have you on my ticket in the next election...if there is gonna be one. (In photo is the inasal na paa, or grilled drumstick, with garlic rice and atchara, or pickled green papaya.)

Also in attendance at the launch last night was Chiqui Hollmann, erstwhile host of Disco-rama and now happily married to Prandy Yulo, managing director of Hella Phils., makers of those car headlights. I met Prandy while he was doing his public service stint at the Department of Agrarian Reform under then secretary Philip Ella Juico. We sat talking about another former DAR official, Jesli "Jing" Lapus, who became Tarlac congressman and is now Education Secretary. Our verdict on Tito Jing's appointment? He has the brains and the management skills to run the department. We just hope he doesn't fall under the clutches of his former colleagues at the House of Representatives who became the bane of former Undersecretary Mike Luz's existence.

Even the music last night was so very '80s, I actually thought the still good-looking William Martinez would get up and do their Bagets dance when "Just Got Lucky" started playing. Or "Build Me Up Buttercup"! Those were really fun fun times, the big hair-do's nonetheless. But wait...was that Johnny Walker Black and Lipovitan the Bagets Gang was drinking? Ewww...how totally uncool. Didn't anybody tell them uppers and downers don't mix? Hic!

Another interesting person I met last night was Mikaela Bilbao, owner of Mikaela salon at The Fort, and Philosophy along Pasay Road. I've been going to the latter since my hair stylist Mel transferred there. Very nice interesting place where you can get high on the fresh oxygen! hehe! As for Mikaela, her personal struggle while making her way in Manila away from her muy rico parents in Bacolod is a story worth telling over and over again. She told us that while trying to establish herself here, she even experienced living in a squatters' area. Kudos to this very gutsy girl! (In photo is the kansi, the Negrense's version of nilagang baka but soured a bit with some batuan, a small green fruit native to the Visayan region.)

Island Chicken is a personal favorite of ours whenever we are in Boracay. It offers just simple delicious comfort food that even the likes of businessman Choy Cojuangco and society chef Binggoy Remedios patronize it. The chicken inasal marinaded in a secret concoction of sauces and spices is really too delicious beyond words. And your tummy, not to mention your wallet, will be glad. A good substantial meal for P100 is very difficult to find these days. Oh and if you find yourself stupid drunk, drop by Island Chicken and order the kansi. It will surely wake you up (and get you through a few more rounds of beer hahaha!). I'm glad Niña (second from right among these jokers) brought her restaurant to Quezon City. Coming soon is her delivery service.

Island Chicken is at 33 Sct. Borromeo, two streets down from the ABS-CBN compound or from the Boy Scouts rotunda wherever direction you're coming from. It's open from lunchtime until 2 am.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds yummy! By the way, how's the owner related the Mr. Binggoy Remedios? :-)

Stella Arnaldo said...

Hmmm...now why should I tell you Mr./Ms. Anonymous? Something you know that I don't? :-)

Anonymous said...

Yes.. well no big deal actually. I used to live in Boracay before and is a good friend of binggoy.

negrosdude said...

island chicken, not island inasal, is THE BEST (just as good as the original chicken bacolod of the cajilis- the latter were the ones who first brought bacolod inasal to manila) bacolod chicken inasal ive tried in manila in a long long time. take it from this matakaw ilonggo, haha! binggoy and nina and malu de joya and djila and marge and me and some 50 other expatriates in boracay are close-in friends belonging to the same barkada in boracay. that's the relation between nina and binggoy.

Stella Arnaldo said...

Have a fun eating your inasal and kansi people! :-)

Anonymous said...

Surely:-) Will take it from there , stella and teddy boy :-)

Belinda Chui said...

Please tell the owner of Island Inasal to properly prepare their chicken, to do it the sanitary way. The first time i ate at their Qc branch i saw that they just put their frozen chickens in the sink (the one near the comfort room?. The chickens were not in plastics but all over the sink! can you imagine all the germs you get?
The food is good but i would take cleanliness over hepatitis...

Stella Arnaldo said...

Thank you for your comments Belinda. I've already forwarded them to the owner, Niña Bustamante. I'm sure she'll attend to the matter immediately.

Pls. come back and visit the blog.

Anonymous said...

Hello Stella,

Ive been a loyal fan of Island CHicken Inasal evr since i discovered it last year in Bora. When i found out they had a branch in Qc ive been a loyal customer. I was just wondering on who manages the branch in Sct Borromeo? Service is deteriorating and its not helping the restaurant. Food is great but service should also be the same.

Ronnie Orpez

Anonymous said...

Hello Stella,

I googled Island CHicken Inasal and i saw a lot of bad reviews. THe owner should personally attend to these complaints. I was in their QC branch last Saturday...i was craving for their Kansi. I was really disappointed with my meal and service. Their comfort room is super dirty and they prepare their food in the makeshift bamboo enclosure near the CR... Very Unhygenic.The manager should listen to these complaints and use these to improve their product and place.

Sugar

Anonymous said...

is this the nina bustamante, the mother of the other children of a senator from a showbiz clan?

Stella Arnaldo said...

@Anonymous 2:57 pm: With due respect, you've been listening to way to many gossip about Niña, most of them too old and too many to even comment on. But just for the record, no she has no children and has not been involved w/ said senator.

Nevertheless, thanks for your question and I hope you drop by again.