For Asian travelers, When in Manila, it may be difficult to find the taste that brings you closer to home. Well, as they say, do not judge a book by its cover; so maybe you also cannot judge a city by the visible, well-lit, frequently seen establishments. Sometimes, the authentic ones are situated in quite secluded corners.
That’s what I realized when I discovered Singapore Chicken Rice at the corner of Shopwise Arcade along Gen. Roxas Avenue, Cubao. It looks like the usual fast-food chain that people frequented to for lunch. However unlike other fast-food chains, it offers authentic Asian dishes at a very affordable price!
Jaslin Chua, the owner of Singapore Chicken Rice, took me around Asia as she described each plate on our table. Nasi Lemak (Php 55), according to Jaslin, is a fusion of Malay and Chinese cuisines. I was surprised to have crunchy dilis, toasted peanuts, a special nasi lemak sauce and a sweet coconut flavored rice all on my plate for only Php 55!
Then came Singapore Chicken Rice’s very own Hainanese Chicken Rice (Php 99) — a must have in any Singaporean food establishment. As I took a bite on it, it was surprisingly juicy and tender for a restaurant with this price point. “We started off with just serving this one dish,” said Jaslin; hence the name, Singapore Chicken Rice. I got so curious as to how they managed to keep the meat tender, and being little-miss-inquisitive, I asked. But I could only get “Chicken undergoes a secret process to avoid overcooking” for an answer. Oh well, that means, you have to come here and taste for yourself.
Since Singapore holds approximately 10% of Indians in the country, it is not surprising to find Indian chicken curry in Singapore Chicken Rice. Priced at Php 88, their Chicken curry serves a sizable part of the chicken, particularly the leg and thigh, in a slightly spicy golden curry sauce.
I had almost mistaken their next dish for a Filipino treat until Jaslin enlightened me that the Singapore Adobo (Php 95) originated from their Fukienese forefathers. The Singapore adobo is slightly darker and more caramelized into a sweeter taste than the Filipino Adobo. I could tell that it was stewed for hours because the meat was really soft to chew on.
Next, came what I could say the culminating dish of the night. It is their very own, very new, very tasty, very Singaporean, Singapore Chili Crab. I grabbed the claw part, took out the fairly crushed shell and bit on it. It was very soft that it had almost melted in my mouth. (Try it to believe it!) I also love their sweet and spicy sambal sauce, such that I had to grab more than my fair share of rice just to gulp the sauce down. Their medium sized crab was priced originally at Php 1,800/kg, but now Singapore Chicken Rice offers a special promo for it. It has now been slashed by 50% to Php 900/kg for a limited period only. If you are really a Chili Crab lover, visit Singapore Chicken Rice‘s site. You can ask Jaslin to reserve Singapore Chicken Rice’s best crabs online. See, how convenient? Plus, you may even be invited to their “Crab Party”… so watch out for it!
My taste-buds were led back to Manila with the Singapore Chicken Rice’s Mango & Banana Pie (Php 65). With fruits interspersed between layers of graham and condensed milk, this reminded me of the warm feeling of Christmas in Manila.
Singapore Chicken Rice is also launching their very own loyalty card soon. Like them on facebook and you might just get one for free! So if you want to taste a glimpse of Asia when in Manila, drop by the Singapore Chicken Rice Restaurant. Have it all at an affordable price!
The Original Singapore Chicken Rice
Unit 0051 Shopwise Arcade, GenRoxas Ave.
Brgy. Socorro, Araneta Center,
opens at 10am to 10pm daily
Taste A Glimpse of Asian Cuisines in Manila: Singapore Chicken Rice Restaurant