When in Manila, with only an hour to crunch a whole lunch meal into the stomach, it is tempting to flock to the nearest food place and eat conveniently prepared junk foods. While I was still working in the Ortigas business district, I was guilty of following the “Supersize Me” documentary with his food choices. Burgers. Fries. And all things fried. If you know what I mean and perhaps feel the same way, I have some great news for you!
Manila Ortigas, take a little walk to SM Megamall, there is a savory and hearty meal waiting for you.
Orchard Road, named after the famous-for-shopping-and-dining road in Singapore, offers Singapore hawker-inspired dishes with a bang. Not only is it a healthier option, it is also a refreshing sight that can take you away from the busyness of the day to…Singapore!
Walk along its neatly tiled floors and see chefs churn out your food behind those authentic-looking hawker stands. You can see your noodles enveloped in bold and beautiful red flames as the chef stir-fries it for you. Even the preparation of your drink is applause-worthy.
On top of the stands are pictures of Orchard Road’s Singaporean specialty dishes. These mouth-watering pictures greatly helped my friend and I in our indecisiveness.
For appetizer, we ordered Roti Prata (Php110), the Indian chewy flat bread that is toasted to a crunch. It is usually dipped in curry sauce. But according to my friend, it tastes even more heavenly when partnered with Teh Tarik (Php 75), the Singaporean milk tea.
The noodle dishes arrived just in time when our stomachs started growling. Char Kwey Teow (Php 195) is the flat chewy noodles stir-fried in sweet oyster sauce and topped with soft pink shrimps and chorizo. It’s sweet to taste and a perfect comfort food for those with sweet tooth.
Their Laksa (Php185) is my personal favorite. Laksa is a coconut-based curry noodle soup that speaks of Singaporean culture. It has merged certain Chinese and Malay elements, just like how Singapore has been a melting pot of various Asian races. The Orchard Road’s Laksa has an initial creamy coconut flavor with a tangy after taste. There’s a surprising kick upon swallowing. This is a wonderful hot dish during a cold rainy evening.
Next came their cool Hainanese Chicken Rice (Php 195) with its colorful array of oyster, chili vinegar and ginger bits sauces. The best way of eating this is to use your chopsticks, grab a piece of chicken and dip it on the three sauces. You’ll be able to taste the sweetness of oyster sauce, spiciness and sourness of chili vinegar, all mellowed down with the refreshing ginger bits.
According to the server at Orchard Road, this Hainanese Chicken Rice is best partnered with Bandung (Php 75), the cold rose tea that is said to be filled with antioxidants. Bandung together with the Hainanese Chicken Rice is a favorite pair of gym goers in SM Megamall.
Time for desserts! The server highly recommended Orchard Road’s Sago Gula Melaka (Php 85), a cup of sago (pearls) and black jelly on a bedding of crushed ice and coconut milk. Indeed, it was a wonderful meal ender that can cleanse the palette.
So if you would like to experience Singapore when in Manila, get your dining pass and dine at orchard road. This dining pass (the piece of paper on the chair beside David below) is for free. No boarding pass needed.
Just purchase any of the 10 dishes featured on the dining pass and you will get a stamp. For every five stamps, you will receive a Php 200 gift voucher, which is more than enough to cover your hearty meal.
When In Manila and looking for a refreshing food trip, try Singaporean food lah! :)
2nd Floor, Bridgeway, SM Megamall
EDSA corner Julia Vargas Ave.
Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
Phone Number: (63 2) 470-4546