Noriter Chicken and Beer, Ortigas Center
The past 3 years were filled with lots of life-changing experiences. From experiencing the first ever (and hopefully the last) pandemic in my life to being on lockdown for a really long time, to learning to accept the change and adapting to it and to finding new hobbies and interests while confined within the four walls of our home.
It was in 2020 when I discovered the Kdrama Crash Landing on You and luckily, I had my dongsaeng (lilttle sister) J at work who shares the same interest for kdrama (or in her case, all things Korean) with me. I'm not new to watching kdrama, in fact, I have watched the likes of Full House and Winter Sonata many years back. Life just got so busy that I never got around to watching more plus it was harder back then as you had to either patiently download it on the internet or buy a DVD to watch it. Thankfully, we have Netflix now taking all our kdrama watching to a whole new level.
The show Crash Landing on You (CLOY) took the entire nation by storm, I would have to say. Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin became household names and hundreds found ways to watch the show during this time. As for me, I began craving for real good and authentic Chicken and Beer because it's what the characters love to eat all throughout the show. Imagine ha, they went from North Korea to South Korea and with all the drama in between, but the Chicken and Beer scenes stayed consistent all throughout -- totally drool-worthy!
That's when J and I made a pact. Since we were both on the same team at work and we had targets to hit, we agreed that if we managed to hit our targets that year, we will soon go out and celebrate with Chicken and Beer. Well, 2020 was indeed one of the best years for our company as we were not only able to hit our targets but this grew the business exponentially. Sadly, the current lockdown state hindered J and I to go out and meet.
Fast forward to a few months back, finally, J and I agreed to go get that much-awaited Chicken and Beer dinner and after doing a quick search on Google, we found out that Noriter Chicken and Beer is one of the highly recommended ones that's accessible for the both of us. It's located along Ortigas Avenue corner Meralco Avenue and is within the Caltex station compound so there are parking slots available.
The menu was quite extensive with not only Korean fried chicken but with a lot of traditional Korean dishes. We also noticed that there were a lot of Korean guests thus it's safe to assume that they may be serving pretty authentic dishes.
We got the Noriter Special which is a great package! For only P1,000, you get 2 half-sized chicken (choose from fried chicken, seasoned chicken, soy garlic chicken), half order of Baconion and half order of Bacontato.
Initially, I found the Bacontato so weird but wow, this was the highlight of my dinner! I coudn't stop going for more. They were out of onions that evening so we got a full order of Bacontato instead. No complaints there. It's similar to Chicken Cordon Bleu only you have the thin strips of chicken fillet wrapped around creamy mashed potatoes. Served with crispy potato chips, it's a bit of a potato-overloaded dish but the bacontato was really amazing. Truly 맛있어요 (massiseoyo)
Before we dug into our baskets of Chicken, we got a gigantic mug of draft beer each. I haven't really drank much with my former colleagues but it sure was so fun unwinding and relaxing over good food and drinks with J. No wonder chicken and beer is so big in Korea! These two totally goes so well together just like peanut butter and jelly, toyo and calamansi.. you get the drift.
The Soy Garlic Chicken was an easy favorite! I love the crunchy outer coating with a bit of caramelized texture and taste which contrasted with the tender and juicy chicken meat inside. This didn't need any dipping sauce as it's super flavorful on its own.
The Seasoned Chicken was spicy and may not be for the faint hearted. I like it though as I do enjoyed the spicy kick but you can feel your tongue slightly burning as you go for more fried chicken. This is served with some fresh cabbage salad which I highly recommend that you try with the seasoned chicken.
I enjoyed my first Noriter visit so much that a week after my Chicken and Beer dinner with J, I went back with my current colleagues and mentors, C and S. S saw my gigantic beer post and was curious to give Noriter a try! Well, any chance that I can go back to Noriter to try more dishes, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
For my second visit, we had the Sunsal Padak which is a plate of boneless fried chicken with onion leeks and honey mustard soy sauce. It's different, definitely not spicy but goes well with our beer as well. This is a perfect option for those who wants to do away with having to work on the bones.
We also had a piping hot bowl of Dakgejang Kalguksu. This is Spicy Chicken Noodle Soup which is perfect as we came from a mini hiking trip to our newest development and I truly enjoyed this soup which was super comforting. The spicy level was just right and the noodles had a good bite. I was also excited to try kalguksu which translate to knife-cut noodles. This is a popular type of noodles in Korea and is regularly mentioned in food shows and documentaries.
I have several favorite Korean dishes such as chap chae, kimbap, woo galbi, jalbi jjim and korean fish cakes. When I saw that Noriter had Nembi Eomooktang, I requested that we give it a try. So, it came as a soup as well but with a clear broth and done shabu-shabu style, It had several sticks of fish cakes in the mini pot and meat and seafood balls too. I liked it! I'll definitely order this again. I love the soup and the fish cake was delicious plus it balanced the fried chicken out. Thumbs up for this!
Noriter still has a looooooong list of menu items to try, looks like it will take me a long time to try most of them but I'm glad to have discovered this delicious and authentic Chicken and Beer place within the Ortigas area.
Fun fact : If there's one thing that I hope Noriter and the entire Caltex station admin can work on is to improve on their sanitation. It's not found inside the restaurant but for two consecutive visits, I got a live, free and rather unwanted entertainment from the ratatouilles running around the station. Yikes! 🐀
Noriter Chicken and Beer is located at the Caltex Station, Meralco Avenue corner Ortigas Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.