Savoring a 58-year-old tradition at The Classic Savory Chicken
() - February 3, 2008 - 12:00am

This chicken offers a taste of history. In 1950, four Ting brothers, hoping to start life afresh after World War II, put up a panciteria in the bustling district of Quiapo, serving mainly lomi. This little eatery became popular by word of mouth (contented mouths, we’re sure) and soon, the Ting brothers had to come up with more dishes to serve their loyal customers. They created a special recipe for fried chicken and gravy, which became so popular that not only members of the local Chinese community but also Filipino families came to savor this savory fried chicken dish. And thus, the first Savory Chicken House was born, with its first branch opening in Escolta. The menu grew to include other Filipino and Chinese dishes.

And now, after over 50 years, the third generation of the Ting family has relaunched Savory under a new name: The Classic Savory Chicken.

And as sure as the cock crows every morning, the Savory tradition lives on. The Classic Savory Chicken serves the same tasty, juicy, tender fried chicken that’s steamed for 30 minutes in secret spices and then deep-fried, which is why it’s crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Even the gravy has not changed. “It’s made of pork bones and secret spices, and boiled for 30 minutes,” says Jewellyn Mapua, supervisor at The Classic Savory Chicken, Mall of Asia (entertainment mall, ground floor).

The classic favorites that Filipino taste buds have cherished through the years are still around. Like the Savory Classic Lomi Soup (hearty thick noodle soup with vegetables, seafood, and meat, P160); Long Life Pancit Canton (festive braised noodles with meat, vegetables, and seafood, P160); and the Yang Chow Fried Rice (traditional Chinese fried rice with shrimps, minced pork, egg, and green peas, P140).

New on the menu are the Beef Stir Fry with Broccoli (stir-fried beef with broccoli florets in oyster sauce, P190); Butterfly Shrimps (panfried seasoned shrimps with sweet and sour sauce, P195); and a jazzed-up version of the Miki Bihon Binondo-Style (thick egg noodles and rice vermicelli stir-fried with vegetables, seafood, and meat, P160).

To beef up its menu, The Classic Savory Chicken also serves combo meals A (P225), B (P155), and C (P115) with chicken, steamed rice, Savory Shanghai Rolls, and Long Life Pancit Canton.

To wash all of that down, The Classic Savory has mixed its own Savory Blend Iced Tea (a house specialty made of real black tea leaves and citrus blends) and Savory Tropical Cooler (a refreshing blend of pineapple, orange, and guava fruit juices).

Known mainly for its chicken whose recipe has remained a tightly guarded secret, The Classic Savory now stakes its sweet reputation on its desserts: Pandan Fiesta Salad (a festive treat made of real pandan and a medley of tapioca and nata de coco, P50); Almond Fruit Float (sweet lychees afloat a sea of almond jelly cubes, P50); Black Iced Jewels (classic Chinese jelly dessert with sugar syrup and crushed ice).

This has got to be the juiciest chicken story ever told. — Ching M. Alano

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