JT’s Manukan (Retiro): A First Impressions Review

My parents usually head to the local wet market to purchase meat and vegetables that we use when cooking at home. Because they go there pretty often (and because we used to own a restaurant and also get most of our stuff there), they have already made friends with a number of the sellers. There are times when these people update us about some developments within the area, especially about  new restaurants which crop up around the vicinity. One of the recommended restaurants was JT’s Manukan Grille, which served chicken inasal. My dad found this to be interesting, so we decided to go there and check it out one weekday night.

The place had an area where air-conditioning was available, but also had tables outside where diners can smoke. We opted to go inside and my brother noticed that the posters and paintings all over the walls were those of a local actor. That’s the only time we realized that JT’s Manukan was owned by Mr. Joel Torre, one of the veteran actors in the Philippines. Mom and I have heard about it before, but the piece of information didn’t really stick.

We went through the menu for a while and decided to order different chicken parts to try, while Dad ordered a serving of grilled milk fish for him and Mom to share. Their prices are pretty high compared to other places which offer the same specialty, and you have to order rice separately. The upside is that their grilled chicken parts are pretty big, so I guess it was still okay for the price.

grilled meat on skewers

My brothers ordered sticks of grilled chicken livers and hearts as well. I was able to try them and they were all pretty good. I enjoyed eating them without having to dip them into the soy sauce/ calamansi (or calamondin in English, according to Wikipedia) / chili concoction I prepared beforehand.

garlic rice

I wasn’t able to try a piece of the grilled milk fish, but I think that it was also okay since I didn’t hear any complaint from my parents. If there’s anything I noticed, it was that the fish was a bit too small for a serving that was supposed to be good for two people.

grilled bangus
Overall, it was a pretty satisfying meal. I was looking for the complimentary bowls of singang (tamarind soup) that are usually given out in places like this, but there weren’t any. I was a bit disappointed with that since I think the soup really does make things a lot of more appetizing for the customers.

In my opinion, I find the stuff from Chicken Deli in SM North Edsa to be a tad better, but if I’m craving for chicken inasal and don’t want to travel too far from our place, then I wouldn’t mind dropping by JT’s again. 🙂

**JT’s Manukan has several branches. This one was along Sct. Alcaraz, corner Banawe. Other branches are along Ortigas Avenue; in Eastwood CityWalk 1; and along Katipunan in Quezon City, to name a few.

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