It’s charcoal-grilled, purportedly trimmed of fat and bursting with Portuguese spicy love—that’s Peri-peri Charcoal Chicken in a nutshell, so to speak.
Lured to this place out of pure hunger, the SM Annex branch was conveniently situated, when my languor finally gave in and proposed a healthier alternative to adjacent Wendy’s. Chicken lovers can rejoice with the menu filled with chicken dishes from salads, entrees, wraps, sandwiches, pasta and of course, the Filipino staple, platters and combo meals.
The Platters (A, B, C) seem to be making it big, eliminating the need to decide on a 3-course meal, being budget friendly and as a bonus, offering the P49 beverage and soup-all-you-want. With tables basically littered with messy soup bowls, espresso and tea cups, the Platter + P49 Beverage-Soup-Special seems to be the popular family choice. Despite the average soup concoction and less-than-sweet juice, it's still quite the deal, as testified by the filled up tables and endlessly clanking soup bowls.
Platter C (P175) includes chicken, Caesar salad and Bolognese spaghetti. The Chicken is of course, seamlessly grilled, being the main core offering and pride of the place. Mildly yet still entertainingly spicy, the chicken is tender and soft and goes well as an entrée, sandwich center or topping. The Bolognese, on the other hand, appeared rather anemic and seemed to spoil the chicken’s dashing entrance. Good thing the salad made up for this climactic arrival.
The Chicken Salad (P265 to share) came in a large platter with 2 side dressings: ranch and barbecue sauce. The menu description boasts of a salad with a Mexican twist, complete with tortilla chips, jicama, tomatoes and that zesty zing. The serving is good enough for two, but don’t plan on making it your only meal. The tortilla chips were near absent and the ranch dressing resembled more of a mayo magic condiment rather than the creamy sour cream that would go well with barbecue sauce. Going solo with the barbecue sauce though, the salad becomes a sweet and spicy affair topped with enough grilled chicken to fill that meat craving.
The Chicken Rappa (P145) is an excellent choice for those who prefer a lighter meal. Pita wrappers are usually a central complaint because of their poor quality/heating, but Peri-Peri’s whole wheat pita is properly cooked yet still soft and chewy. The wrap is packed with thinly sliced lettuce and chicken and slathered with ranch—a little on the bland side. Served on the side are French Fries so thick and spiced up, the name Peri-Peri would never go to shame in terms of fill and spiciness level.
Peri-peri Charcoal Chicken manages to grill its poultry to its spicy perfection, while managing to court the wallets of its thrifty patrons. While some portions could appear so-so to the hungry and gourmet seekers, it’s fast, festive and well, frugally appealing.
If you come across this place, don’t chicken out! After all, it’s just Peri-peri chicken!