If I am craving for an authentic Illongo chicken inasal (Grilled Chicken Ilonggo Style,) one of the restaurants here in Manila that would always pop up in my mind is Jay J’s Inasal and Kare-kare.
Amidst the many Inasal outlets that sprout in the Metro and promise authentic Ilonggo chicken inasal flavor, very few seems authentic and for me, Jay J’s is one of the few.
I think the flavor of inasal shows up when the chicken is marinated in a mixture of lime, pepper, vinegar and annato, and then grilled over hot coals while basted with the marinade.
A common dish in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, Inasal is a specialty barbecue in Iloilo and in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental. Although Iloilo style is a little sweet while Bacolod style more on sour, Jay J’s nailed it based on the latter.
I discovered its newly opened branch in Tiendisitas in Ortigas Pasig one time when we passed by the area. It’s a relief because I felt sad when I learned that its branch in Home Depo Ortigas was closed, although temporarily, since it promises to re-open again for business after the renovation of that complex. There was a time my family and relatives would always dine in that branch.
Jay J’s Inasal Company profile shows that it stands for 4M’s: Masarap, Mura, Malinis, Maganda. I pretty much think that the outlet has so far lived up to these guiding principles. But for me when I think of Jay J’s Inasal, comfort food always come into my mind.
Apart from inasal, the outlet also serves Filipinos comfort dishes like “sinigang, nilaga or bulalong baka” or sinigang sa miso. My favorite “pampabata” dishes like crispy chicken skin, crispy tadyang and grilled “isol” chicken buttom are also available. It also offers “Fiesta” Meals which are variety set meals for the whole family. My son’s favorite is a whole day breakfast Angus beef tapa meal with scrambled eggs, garlic rice and atchara.
I am sure its Tiendisitas branch will always be in my list the next time a craving for Inasal strikes, especially since Tiendisitas is now renovated and airconditioned. Jay J’s Inasal also features live acoustic band in the evenings. And so, it looks like my next suggested venue for the next meet-up with my friend is going to happen in this place.
Jay-J’s Inasal Branches: Timog Quezon City, Metrowalk, Ortigas, SM Fairview and Tiendisitas
Jay-j’s Inasal Official website here