Jollibee: A Bastardized Version Of The Filipino Cuisine

by NED HEPBURN · March 23, 2010

For those of you living in this splendiferous City Of Angels, there are vast amounts of places for you to spend your hard earned cash in return for some foodstuff: such as vaguely popular Philipino establishment Jollibee. It's the kind of place that - driving around the city - you pass a hundred times before noticing and another hundred times before you pluck up enough courage to enter.

Today was the day I drove up to Jollibee. I have Filipino roommates who have themselves never been, so I was dying to figure out what the fuck they were trying to sell. I pulled up in my trusty non recalled Prius and balked at the choices: spaghetti and fried chicken, and even more chicken sandwiches of various indifference.

I asked the lady "what's good?" and she too had a hard tine answering. "The... Uh... Number 8?", she said, her voice halfway between indifference and her own questioning. I ordered the number 8 and sat in line for five minutes. NPR was trying to tell me something about foreign affairs. I twiddled my thumbs. Finally, the car ahead rolled away and there I was, faced with the window and the kind lady who had taken my order. I handed her money, and proceeded to wait another 5 minutes as my order of: spaghetti and a fried chicken drumstick - was being made.

After receiving it I pulled into a parking spot and dug in. The meal had cost $10 with an additional Ube shake which in itself would have made a great purchase, and I was shaken to discover that the order quite literally was a dollop of spaghetti covering the whole chicken drumstick. The spaghetti sauce was sweet and threw me off, while the chicken was not bad but covered in what tasted like tomato ketchup and sugar. Not a fun thing. Not a fun thing at all. Indeed, I found no jolly in the Jollibee, no fun in their so wrongly named Funburger. It was abysmal prison food. Maybe I just got a bad batch, but eating spaghetti in the car just seemed strange. While I understand this is a taste and menu specific to the culture, my roommate Frank, a 2nd generation Filipino gallery curator, even said that Jollibee was a bastardized version of their cuisine. That's why Frank had never been, and it made sense now.

In short, I wouldn't recommend it to an enemy. Maybe it's your thing, maybe you can eat spaghetti in your car, but this was just bad food -and there's much better places and near equal prices that you should go to first. This was nothing more than a sad novelty. :( Sorry, Jollibee.