There was a rare sight in the wee hours of the morning on June 27 in Macau, Circle Square. Hundreds of people were patiently waiting for something, queuing and anticipating – the earliest was in line since 4:45am. What were they waiting for? Well, they were all there because of a single Facebook announcement posted only two days before. What was this mysterious announcement? Jollibee finally arrives in Macau!
“Okay, Jolli-what?” Never heard of it before? Well, try asking a Filipino and you’ll spend the next five minutes being religiously told that it is the best fast food restaurant in the world. The brand started as an ice-cream parlor in 1975 and slowly evolved into the fast-food giant, and now it is considered the best in the Philippines…and the world, according to some. They serve typical American fast-food staples such as fried chicken with gravy, burgers, and hot dogs – all reinvented to cater to Filipino taste buds. You’ll even see some unusual items in the menu like rice and sweet-style spaghetti. The red and white colored bee continues to dominate in the Philippines and make waves overseas. And we’re also overjoyed they finally made it to Macau.
The long early morning queue consisted of an amusing mix of people – the majority of them Filipinos standing in line with excitement. Families, elderly folks, people who came straight from work, students who came from exams, plus a few curious non-Filipinos all intermingled patiently for hours, eager to get their first taste of Macau Jollibee.
The star of the menu is clearly the chickenjoy – people were ordering buckets of it. The combination of the crispy skin and well-seasoned juicy meat perfectly matches its savory gravy – this has captured the hearts of many Filipinos. But if you’re going solo and a bucket’s a little too much, try ordering jolly spaghetti with a piece or two of chickenjoy on the side. This spaghetti is far from what you can expect to get from an Italian trattoria and it may potentially confuse you with its slightly-sweet, cheesy sauce with chopped sausages on top, but this is exactly why fans of the dish love it. Crispy savory chicken plus sweet spaghetti is a match made in meat-heaven! Once you try these two together, you’ll begin to wonder why fried chicken and spaghetti isn’t served together more often.
Other popular choices from the fast food joint include the classic and cheesy jolly hotdog, the amazing aloha burger, and their super addictive peach mango pie – so make sure you try a different item each time you visit.
But how does Jollibee truly resonate with people who grew up eating it?
“Jollibee had a strong impact on our childhood,” one man says after arriving from a 10-hour shift at work. “We grew up loving Jollibee. Every time we had a celebration, our family would always go to Jollibee to eat chickenjoy. Now, Macau feels more like home to Filipinos, because we finally have Jollibee here.”
Another customer agreed. “It played a very big part of my life growing up.” Being one of the first 100 hundred people to line up, he was rewarded with a bee doll of the restaurant’s mascot. “I stood in line at 5:00am to get this doll so that I can give it to my son. It’s worth it!”
Ringing true to its name, it is clear to see that Jollibee doesn’t only fill the stomach but also brings joy to the hearts of many. So don’t miss out on the joy – try the ultimate treat and order a few buckets to share!