Negros Occidental runs hundreds festive occasions, and some of its largest festivities are popular even for people who are not from this province, such as the Sinulog Festival, which will take place in Kabankalan City this week, Masskara and Panaad sa Negros in Bacolod City.
There is food to match every festivity, and it is shared with families and friends. That’s why dishes that are for sharing almost always work.
Amidst the dominance of chicken inasal and lechon manok in this province, there is an eating outlet that is able to create a niche in the market by offering Portuguese- style chicken to the Negrenses’ palate, with a casual and bar-like restaurant concept to match.
I am referring to Peri Peri Charcoal Chicken at the Citywalk Robinsons Place Mall in Mandalagan in Bacolod City.
Peri Peri is spelled ‘piri-piri’ in Portuguese and Africa, and according to Wikipedia, the term refers to a manner of marinating the chicken (usually chili, garlic and lemon) and grilling the chicken. If there is one stand-out quality about the seemingly exotic dish, it would be the skin-deep flavor, suggesting that the chicken has been soaked in unique spices and condiments.
When we ordered this dish, restaurant manager Darry Villegas Demetillo said that we could have the option to choose if we prefer it mild, hot or fiercely hot, and Peri Peri’s cook would adjust the basting of the chicken, and likewise its sauce. Similar to the inasal, peri-peri style chicken means it is not cooked from frozen, so you get the taste and freshness of the chicken in full.
Munching through, it is hard to realize that it’s actually healthy, because of its full flavor that does not deprive you of delicious taste. To offset the binge which will likely happen while in this place, it is comforting to know that the chicken dish is flame-grilled, thus, all the fats are gone.
There are also other healthy sidings like salads, coleslaw, and vegetable mix. For those who are on the ‘fried’ or crunchy side, French fries are also available, along with boneless fried chicken with mashed potato and gravy. Starters also include my favorite mozzarella cheese sticks.
Some of the other unforgettable dishes at Peri-Peri are chicken wings tossed in hot sauce and cheesy cordon bleu dip. If you come in group, it is essential that you also try the Grande Chicken burger as it size can feed 4-6 hungry people. Other Mexican dishes also abound, such as grilled chicken quesadillas, nachos and wheat tortilla.
Around the time of my visit, the restaurant also offered a special promo, where, at P49, I’d get unlimited soup and drinks, which could be a choice of juice, coffee or teas (iced tea, red tea, blue lemonade).
Aside from Bacolod City, other branches of Peri-Peri are in SM Davao City, SM North EDSA, SM Megamall, and The Promenade in Greenhills.