Lunch time in Philly can be boring. There are many great options. There are a good amount of inexpensive options as well. Unfortunately there is a lot of repetition. I often find myself limited in deciding where and what to eat. I was very happy when I heard of Maru Global opening. Maru Global is Philadelphia's only place dedicated to Takoyaki. Takoyoki are small grilled balls of fresh batter traditionally filled with octopus and grilled to order in special pan. At this point I am sure readers are wondering what any of this has to do with fried chicken. Bear with me as I think outside of the box.
As much as I am loving the traditional and some of the newer methods of doing fried chicken, I wanted to look at how some other cultures include frying in their cuisines. The Korean fried chicken craze is currently all the rage in food culture but the Japanese have also given us Tonkatsu. Tonkatsu is traditionally a fried pork cutlet, but if you look you will sometimes find a chicken version. that is what drew me to Maru Global. I decided to take the chef Ryo Igarashi's advice and try it with his house made vegetable curry instead of the traditional Tonkatsu sauce and it was good advice. The tender fired breast of chicken was enhanced by the curry. It also reminded me that although takoyaki is the specialty at Maru, there is great food to be found throughout the menu. The chef's wife also mentioned a special they were thinking of doing before the end of the month inspired by chicken and waffles. Although this was the most non traditional chicken and waffles I have ever seen, it was also quite good. The fried chicken leg, glazed with teriyaki and waffle batter takoyaki and syrup was a nice suprisingly tasty lunch. And much like the other menu items at Maru, very affordable.
255 South 10th Street (btwn Locust & Spruce)
Philadelphia, PA 19107