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Chow King is a very well known oriental fast food chain in the Philippines. They are well known to be of high quality and to be extremely cheap. They serve the usual fried chicken but this is complimented with several Filipino dishes. Most food here is no more than $1.50 – $2.00 Australian and for $5.00 or so, you can fill yourself up quite a bit. Food offerings here including Pancit (fried noodles), Canton Noodles, Saopao (Pork Steamed Buns) and much more. One of the best desserts on offering is the Halo Halo or Mix Mix, which is a concoction of tinned fruits, over shreaded ice with evaporated milk on top, usually served with Ube (taro) ice cream. There are several Chow King stores throughout the Philippine’s and a tourist shouldn’t have any problem finding one as they are conveniently located wherever tourists go. The food quality is quite high and you don’t have to worry too much about the food making you sick. I never personally trust the frozen ice as I am not sure where this water actually comes from. But to this day I haven’t gotten sick from eating Chow King. There are several Chow King stores open 24 hours throughout Manila, so this makes it an ideal comfort food after a good night on the town. Well that is if your after something other than the usually McDonalds, KFC, or Jollibee. I personally enjoy coming here mainly for their Halo Halo as it is normally hot and humid and the Philippine’s and this ice concoction is just what you need to cool off your body after a hot day in Manila.


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A staple of Filipino fast food is no doubt the massive chain of Jollibee’s scattered across the country. Jollibee is a cheap fast food chain, offering fried chicken with rice, Jollibee spaghetti and several other Filipino influenced western dishes. Jollibee’s are probably just as common as McDonald’s in the Philippines and there should be one within walking distance of any major tourist attraction. A meal will cost you about 100 pesos or so or $2.50, extremely cheap by International standards. For what you pay you actually get a healthy serving of rice and a couple pieces of chicken. In Australia I loved KFC but in the Philippines I’m not a huge fan of the KFC chicken and much rather prefer Jollibee’s take on fried chicken. It’s crispy and tender inside and usually not overcooked. Another really good dish is the Jollibee spaghetti, unlike western spaghetti they use ketchup in its tomato base and this gives it a bit of a sweet taste. To add to this taste they also use Filipino small sausages sliced up and added to the sauce. Both of these elements give the spaghetti a rather distinct taste to traditional Italian spaghetti. It’s probably an acquired taste though, if you really like real spaghetti this make-shift version probably won’t be to your liking. Give it a try though if your keen.

If you’ve got a weak stomach it’s probably not a good idea to be sampling street food day in and day out, and make sure you don’t drink tap water as you can vomit within minutes as it contains huge amounts of bacteria and other nasty things that you don’t want to be drinking. Because of these two factors, when visiting the Philippines it’s recommended that you only eat at established restaurants and better eateries to avoid getting a stomach bug. From my personal experience eating home made cooking and sticking to fast food and up market restaurants has usually always paid off for me when visiting the Philippines. All in all, Jollibee is not only a good alternative to other fast food in your home country, but also a good dining experience for your family. If your lucky enough kids can sometimes get a photo taken with the Jollibee bee!


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