When I hear the words, “it tastes like chicken,” I’m often flummoxed by what the saying really means. Rather than describe what something tastes like, chicken loses all meaning in an infinite regress that didn’t involve an egg and whether or not one came before the other. It begs the question, if everything tastes like chicken, then what does chicken taste like? One poultry purveyor from Dumaguete, renowned for their roasted chicken, offers clarity in this tastebud-twisting dilemma.
Jo’s Chicken Inato is a classic restaurant chain tracing its roots all the way to 1985 Dumaguete. The enterprising owners, Jesse and Josephine Ng, have had success since and have opened branches in Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, Palawan, Davao and Quezon City to name a few.
Their perfectly barbecued crispy chicken leaves a tasty tingling impression you won’t soon forget. Jo’s serves only the freshest meals so you won’t find any pre-cooked frozen chicken here. I remember the first time I had a bite of their original recipe; I paid a visit to the original store in Dumaguete and was floored by this chicken a friend of mine had so casually suggested. It was so good that I ordered another plate and took advantage of the unlimited rice the restaurant offered.
The chicken was tender and salty sweet and the seared parts of the skin crunched nicely with every bite. I finished two plates full in less than five minutes and suffered the judgment of everyone who saw. This led to an interesting saying between my girlfriend and I that went something like “Inato nato!” (Said in a ridiculous made up accent) I’ve woken up a few times with the chicken in my mind but have never gotten around to trying the more accessible Quezon City branch. Suffice it to say, the taste of chicken has made its mark in my head in the form of Jo’s Chicken Inato. I’ve never missed an opportunity to eat at the Dumaguete branch since.
The original Jo’s Chicken Inato is located at Siliman Avenue Dumaguete. The Jo’s Metro Manila branch is located at 27 Visayas Avenue Corner Congressional Avenue, Quezon City.