Calamansi-marinated birds at Bacolod Chicken Haus | Bleader

Calamansi-marinated birds at Bacolod Chicken Haus

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inasal chicken, Bacolod Chicken Haus
  • Mike Sula
  • Inasal chicken, Bacolod Chicken Haus

Speaking of chicken, the Philippine city of Bacolod is famous for chicken inasal, a grilled bird notable for its tanginess—imparted by the juice of the small, sour citrus fruit known as the calamansi—as well as contributions to the marinade like garlic, ginger, coconut vinegar, lemongrass, and sugar. Bacolod Chicken Haus, adopting a bit of the MO of a popular chain back on the islands, has brought it to North Park in a bright, open space on Lincoln Avenue.

It's really good chicken.

Marinated overnight with the calamansi, garlic, and vinegar (not the coconut variety), it has a salty-sweet-sour balance overlaid with a smoky whiff from the grill. The catch is, it's only sold in two-piece servings for $7 to $8, which makes it more expensive than the grilled chicken at Parson's. Still, it comes with a small serving of sweet pickled papaya (atchara) and rice topped with crispy garlic.

Batchoy, Bacolod Chicken Haus

If you expect that will still leave you hungry, for a few more bucks you can order it as combo with the also-regional batchoy, a noodle soup brimming with pork liver, fried garlic, and hard-cooked eggs.

Lumpia Shanghai

But the chicken is really the only pricey thing on the menu, which includes generous servings of mini lumpia Shanghai—tube-shaped, pork-stuffed, deep-fried egg rolls— for $5.

crispy pata, Bacolod Chicken Haus

There's a supergenerous serving of crispy deep-fried pata, or pork knuckles, their fattiness nicely cut with a sharp vinegar dipping sauce. A nearly insurmountable double portion goes for an easy $9.

Other Filipino classics include pancit palabok, rice noodles in a thick achiote sauce with shrimp, squid, smoked mackerel, and hard-boiled eggs, or oxtails stewed in a thick, sweetish peanut sauce, for which you'll add your own funk with some shrimp paste served on the side. Should you show up on the weekend you'll have the opportunity to supplement your libido with balut, the infamous boiled fertilized duck-egg embryos. Fortunately, Bacolod is BYOB. Booze helps the balut go down.

Obligatory cooking content: there are plenty of recipes for chicken inasal out there.

Bacolod Chicken Haus

Bacolod Chicken Haus, 6320 N. Lincoln, 773-293-6210, bacolodchickenhaus.com

Mike Sula writes about cooking every Monday.

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