When In Manila, my first encounter with Hainanese Chicken rice was when I was a small girl. Once, at a mall we used to frequent, my dad sat me down at the Food Court and told me we were to have a very, very good meal. The order came and I was disappointed. It was chicken so pale, it looked like it hadn’t been cooked. I cringed at the thought of putting it in my mouth, I wondered why we didn’t just have fried chicken. “Trust me”, he said. So, I took a bite.
I’ve been a fan of Hainanese Chicken Rice since then.
This happened years ago, and that shop has closed a long while back– I can’t even remember the name. All I had was the memory of how good it was. The question always was, When In Manila, where is the best place to eat Hainanese chicken rice?
So, you could just imagine my glee when NTUC Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice invited us to the inauguration of their newly opened restaurant in Manila. Could this be the chicken I’ve been craving for?
When we got there, we were greeted by Mr. Bernard Zeng, the restaurant’s part owner and chef. He welcomed us inside and told us that NTUC Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice has been around for two years. They had previously set shop in Binondo, but have now moved to accommodate more customers. Here, they have a bigger place and parking isn’t a problem since they are directly in front of Robinsons Manila.
The restaurant is a very simple and spacious place. It is clean and non pretentious. What really got my attention, however, was the number of Singaporeans already inside eating. I’ve always figured that I was eating at a good and genuine restaurant when I spot locals sampling the cuisine.
NTUC Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice wanted to serve their customers what you could and would usually eat, were you in Singapore. They then came up with this menu.
We were served two kinds of chicken, roasted and steamed. And although the steamed chicken does not look as appetizing as the roasted, do not be fooled. The steamed chicken is a bestseller, I personally preferred this over the other. I found it to be juicer. Now, this would not be complete without the Hainanese Chicken Rice, which we were told was cooked with chicken broth. A perfect marriage, I believe. This, topped with a little ginger sauce and chilli– It was wonderful.
It was my first time to try Hokien Noodles. This was sort of a Singaporean pancit. There were prawns and and squid. Very interesting!
Next on the list was the Singapore Salad. It looked interesting enough, and it included pineapples, kang kong, sinkamas, togue, and chinese donuts or bicho bicho, just to give you an idea. This was really good! The texture of those chinese donuts with everything else just works for me.
For the last, and probably most exotic, part of the meal, we were served Stingray. I was so curious about this dish at first. It turns out that this was normally served in Singapore. I went in and took a bite.. it was so good! My favorite out of everything here. It was like fish, only it had the texture of meat. Very, very good.
They accept catering and even party reservations. If craving for a certain dish, you could call ahead and ask for these special dishes, they’d be happy to accommodate you if they could. They also deliver within the area.
Mr. Zeng told us that “A hungry man is an angry man”. NTUC Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice strives to keep each and every customer happy and well fed. With people coming from places as far as Batangas and Pangasinan, this restaurant is certainly worth trying.
So When In Manila and craving for Hainanese Chicken Rice, or authentic Singaporean food, head on over!
NTUC Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice makes you taste Singapore. Not only do they have good Chicken Rice, but their array of Singaporean food will make you feel like you’ve travelled to the Lion City.
NTUC Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice
1547, ADRIATICO ST.,ERMITA MALATE
(02)831-28-78 / (02) 387-84-71