Saturday, October 28, 2017

Green Chicken and Good Vibes: Discover Mindanaoan Flavors at Palm Grill

The rich culinary heritage of Mindanao comes to the metro offering diners a unique taste of the south...

Savor the rich and vibrant flavors from way down south recreated from family heirloom recipes at Palm Grill, and discover another layer in the country's multi-colored tapestry of culinary delights. Drawing inspiration from the local cuisine of Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Jolo, and Zamboanga, Palm Grill lifts the veil on the southernmost region's diverse flavors with their signature Green Chicken and much more...

Located along Tomas Morato Avenue in Quezon City, Palm Grill offers some of the tastiest chicken dishes with a local flair, fried, roasted, spicy or green. And it isn't hard to find, just look for their wittingly designed logo with palm leaves forming the shape of a chicken and you're there.

The cuisine of Southern Mindanao is a melting pot of indigenous as well as Malay and Middle Eastern flavors. Many dishes use coconut milk as the base flavored with a rich blend of spices. Start with Palm Grill's Eggplant Moussaka (P 220), their version of the creamy eggplant lasagna served with fresh homemade pita bread. The creaminess of the cheese plays well with the delicate sweetness of the eggplant for comforting flavors, and a great start to your dining experience at Palm Grill. 

Then, the first of four specialty chicken dishes were served, starting with the Olympus Roast, tender chicken slow roasted for that juicy and succulent flavor and texture and served with Palm Grill's signature peanut sauce.

Perfectly roasted, the tender and juicy chicken delivers richly seasoned notes contrasting with the smoky hints from the lightly charred outer layer and perfectly finished by the mildly sweet and nutty peanut sauce. The use of herbs and spices and the peanut sauce add a distinct Mindanaoan flavor to the chicken, and you can only find it here at Palm Grill.

The crisp and juicy Oswalda's Fried is an homage to the owner's grandmother, family matriarch, and local historian Oswalda Cabel. With its crisp and light outer crust contrasting with the juicy chicken, all the things you love about the classic fried chicken comes through with each flavorful bite. The flavors take you back to Sunday family meals from countless childhood summers, no surprise there, this dish is from another cherished family recipe. And go ahead, use your hands with this one.

But it's the Green Chicken that people are talking about at Palm Grill, and the dish does not disappoint. Slow-cooked in coconut milk and seasoned with seven Asian spices, Palm Grill's Green Chicken draws inspiration from the Tausug Pianggang, a local chicken dish flavored with burnt coconut.

The fork-tender chicken simmered in creamy coconut milk, a blend of spices and toasted coconut that's almost like a mild curry delivers rich nutty notes unlike any other local chicken dish. It's a dish straight from Jolo, Sulu with its predominant Malay influences and unique flavors. Creamy, savory, nutty and full of flavor from the spice blend, yet you can still taste the delicate notes of the chicken for that perfect balance. Pair this with Palm Grill's Turmeric Rice, and enjoy the savory richness that just lingers long after the first bite. Add some of the green sauce to the rice and you'll want another cup of Turmeric Rice.

At Palm Grill, their specialty chicken is served in three order sizes, Solo (P 260) with Quarter Chicken, rice and side dish; Duo (P 390) with Half Chicken, rice, and side dish; and League (P 730) with Whole Chicken and three side dishes. If you prefer Turmeric Rice (highly recommended with the Green Chicken), simply add P 20.

And if you're up for some serious heat, Palm Grill's Labuyo Chicken (P 300) should do the trick. Have an ice-cold beer by your side, this one packs some serious heat. Fueled by what locals describe as the "demonyo" chili, the spice does not immediately assault your palate. There's a gradual build-up of heat, slowly gaining momentum before becoming a runaway train with that serious burn at the back of your throat. Now, where's that ice-cold beer?

Aside from the Turmeric Rice, Palm Grill also offers tasty sides like the Momma's Macaroni Salad (P 70), Doc Chabby's Slaw (P 70) with sweet melon, sweet and tart Cucumber Salad (P 70), and the Cauli Roast (P 70) with roasted cauliflower and orange slices. 

Other must-try signature dishes include the savory Beef Kolma (P 269), tender beef and potatoes draped and stewed in a thick sauce of coconut milk and spices paired with rice or pita bread...

...and the Locon Ala Zamboanga (P 500) with large and plump tiger prawns simmered in garlic, crab fat, and coconut milk. It's flavors like these that make Palm Grill special and unique, and a welcome addition to the blossoming food scene along Tomas Morato. Hearty and comforting, authentic and real, it's the flavors of the south recreated with cherished family recipes. And one can feel the warmth and honesty with each dish served. There's just a whole lot of good vibes at Palm Grill.

At Palm Grill, nothing is wasted. The sweet Cocoroons (P 120) are made with the squeezed coconut used for the signature Green Chicken for a sweet ending to an authentic Mindanaoan meal.

Or how about some Halo-Halo without the shaved ice? The Knicker Iced Treat (P 190) with fresh fruits and ice cream is Palm Grill's indulgent version of the famous Zamboanga fruit halo-halo with loads of fruits topped with velvety smooth vanilla ice cream drizzled with strawberry syrup. The dessert can be traced back to the English Knickerbocker Glory, a layered ice cream sundae with fruits and nuts. As to how it found its way to the deep south is open to debate, but one thing's for sure, this one hits the spot. Discover and savor yet another flavorful layer in local cuisine at Palm Grill, and go for some Green Chicken and more plus a healthy dose of good vibes...

Palm Grill is located at 179-181 Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Castor, Diliman, Quezon City or call 373-1668 for inquiries and more information.

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