Monday, November 1, 2010

Jollibee - new Filipino fast food near SeaTac



1372 Southcenter Mall, Tukwila WA
Jollibee on Urbanspoon

Food: 3.5
Price: Fair

Although Vancouver is THE place to try any type of food from all over the world (IMO), but it seems like most chain restaurants from overseas prefer to open in the States, at least initially. For example, I first tried Beard Papa in 2003 back in LA, and it's only in recent years, they have started to take over the lower mainland. Another shining example would be Ding Tai Fung (a very popular Taiwanese restaurant who is famous for their Xiao Long Bao), will also be opening in Seattle later this month. Although we have a much bigger Chinese population, yet there is absolutely no indication that it may one day open here. Oh well, I guess at least it close enough to drive to :P

Anyways, Jollibee is a very popular Filipino fast food joint that has opened its first location in Seattle. Since now it's within driving range, M suggested we head down to the States for some shopping and dining. Honestly, this trip was more for dining than anything (we just love to eat XD).
Since M had friends who already tried Jollibee, so they suggested to try their chicken and pasta. This combo along with a drink cost $6.25. The sauce was really the star, because the pasta was slightly over cooked. Although the sauce is tomato based, but it has more of a sweet flavor (similar to ketchup). Personally, I liked this tomato sauce over the traditional type.
Although I wanted to try the same thing, but since M already got the pasta, I went with the Palabok combo for $$7.25. Palabok is essentially noodles topped off with a seafood based sauce.

Initially from the picture on the menu, I thought it was rice, but upon a closer look, it is indeed noodles. Since I have no idea if this was considered good/authentic, I asked M to be the judge (she had authentic ones before. She thought it was average. I thought it was not bad, but I didn't particularly like the sauce, which had a fish sauce taste to it.
Now, I heard the chicken is a hit or a miss sometime, but I guess today is definitely a hit. The skin fried to a golden crispy, and the meat was quite tender and juicy. The chicken wasn't overly salty or heavily battered. I have to say, this was one good piece of deep fried chicken.
Oh I forgot to mention, all their fried chicken come with a side of gravy. Even though the chicken was already really good by itself, but it was even better with gravy. The gravy here is rich and flavorful, but on the runny side.
Lastly, we ended the meal with a popular Filipino dessert: halo halo ($3.95). It's essentially a shave ice dessert soaked in evaporate/coconut milk, coconut meat, fruits and beans. This particular one had kidney beans, red beans, chickpeas, coconut meat, taro/mango ice cream, and a piece of lech flan (I probably missed some ingredients). After mixing everything together, this was like eating really chunky coconut milk slushy. Although I liked the taste, but I found it to be overly sweet.

Overall, I found the food to be pretty good, but a bit on the greasy side. Also I heard sometimes their line up is really long, but luckily we only had to wait about 10 minutes. I think this location will probably remain busy, because they are conveniently located inside Southcenter Mall. So the ultimate question is 'was it worth the 3 hour drive?' My answer would be 'no', if you only plan to drive over for this. However if you are already heading down there, then it is worth to check it out, as they do have very good chicken :).


Ben and Suanne November 1, 2010 at 3:40 PM

HI Jenny: I heard a lot about Jollibee, like it's even bigger than McD in the Philippines. Good find. Too bad it's all the way to Southcenter Mall. That's a loooong drive from the border. Ben

Crispy Lechon November 1, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Yes!! Jollibee!! It's about time Jollibee opens in Canada. Hopefully in Vancouver.

Jenny November 3, 2010 at 3:14 PM

Ben: I know.. it so far away... at least we got a bit of shopping in there to mix things up, so it's not simply a drive for food.

Crispy Lechon: yeah, I don't get why everything opens in the States first, maybe they have lower taxes?

Anonymous January 16, 2011 at 8:37 PM

yes! I am so excited to see and eat jollibee again............ no matter how far it from Pitt Meadows.......... see you Jollibee very very soon.............'' Sinong bestfriend mo doon? Siyempre ikaw lang JOLLIBEE.......................................''

Unknown June 18, 2015 at 9:41 AM

Just resurrecting this post from 5 yrs ago. We will finally get a Jollinee jn Vancouver next year. Toronto is getting theirs first by the end of the year. I can't wait.

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