Unjolly Chickenjoy @ Jollibee

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Jollibee is a popular fast food giant from the Philippines which set foot on our shores three years ago. From their very first outlet at level 6 of Lucky Plaza, Jollibee has since expanded to another four outlets here at Square 2, Changi City Point, Paya Lebar Square and one more at the basement of Lucky Plaza.

When news of them opening an outlet in Singapore first broke, the most ecstatic would be the Pinoy community here who understandably, made up the bulk of the queue. On its opening day and the subsequent weeks that followed, the turnout was so huge that they had to use the neighboring vacant unit to accommodate the snaking queue.

I thought I will wait for the craze to die down before I visit but weeks soon turned into months. As non of the outlets are near me and I hardly see any advertisements from Jollibee, I had clean forgotten about it - for three whole years - till recently!

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It was slightly past 11am when I reached the outlet at Square 2 but the infamous queue was no longer. In fact, there is no queue at all. I could just march right up to the counter and place my order.

After browsing the menu, I decided to go for the Chickenjoy which Jolibee is reputed for. I opted for the non-spicy version as I wanted to have a taste of the 'original'. The ordering system is similar to what McDonald's is doing right now. You make and pay for your order then wait for your number to be called to pick up your order at another counter.

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My two piece Chickenjoy value meal ($7.10) includes two pieces of fried chicken breasts, a regular french fries and a coke. It also comes with a small tub of gravy.

When I opened up the box, I was honestly quite repulsed by the pale color of the chicken. Not only that, it seems like a big patch of the batter has gone missing. If you compare them with the fried chicken from the competitors, those will whet your appetite but the appearance of this seemed very unappetizing. It does not give me the urge to want to eat it.

And to add insult to injury, my fried chickens were served cold, or lukewarm at its best.

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To give credit where credit is due, the chicken do taste good especially when dipped with the savory gravy that is uncannily similar to the brown sauce found on top of the competitor's whipped potato.

Jolibee's chicken is cooked to the point where it is fork tender and juicy. The same chicken parts from its competitor tastes dry, stringy and may or may not contain running blood.

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For $7.10, I had expected at least a medium fries instead of a regular one. The same goes for the beverage. I felt like I am being charged adult price for a kiddy meal.

While placing my order, I was asked what side would I have. As it is my first time visiting, I wasn't too sure what my options were therefore I asked the crew about it. She pointed to the laminated menu on the counter and said in a uncaring manner, "it's all there" before resting her head on the counter.

Yep. She laid her head on the counter albeit briefly, like I was being a very difficult customer.

My chicken breasts may be cold but the service I received is even colder. I have always thought that the Filipinos are known for their warmth and hospitality. Perhaps I was wrong all this while.

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I think it will take another three years or maybe even more before I step into another Jollibee.

 
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