November 15, 2010
You'll probably forget other Hainanese Chicken places in Manila once you've tasted Wee Nam Kee's delicious offering (maybe with the exception of Tao Yuan). Most of the foodies confirmed this during last night's Secret Resto's "First Taste" event!
A Foodie Welcome to Wee Nam Kee in the Philippines!
Steamed is healthier because it is cooked as a whole chicken in the chicken broth. Roasted, on the other hand, is a combination of fried and roasted to bring out the flavor. You have to judge the quality of any Hainanese Chicken Rice based on the steamed version.
Btw, the secret to WNK's (shortcut for Wee Nam Kee) Chicken is that the chickens are freshly delivered everyday from 3 small farm suppliers that alternate delivery. They are chilled -- not frozen. And NO, they don't get their chicken from commercialized dressed chicken suppliers like Magnolia, nor do they import their chicken.
This first Wee Nam Kee in the Philippines seems to be going for a classy, street food alley ambiance. You're supposed to feel as if you're eating along a road in between two houses (which isn't immediately obvious when you enter the restaurant). The overhanging birdcage lamps add a nice touch to the place.
I understand why the owners did it that way, but I would have preferred a hole-in-the-wall, kungfu type of ambiance like Wabi-Sabi's. (Maybe for the next branch?)
Wee Nam Kee Menu:
Message from the Founder | Signature Dishes Chicken Rice / Pork | Rice Toppings, Soup & Dimsum | Chicken, Tofu | Beef, Pork | Seafood | Rice and Vegetables | Dry Noodles, Noodles in Soup | Cold Desserts, Hot Desserts | Beverages
We love WNK's Hainanese Chicken! It is delectably juicy and flavorful. It is not too oily and has the right amount of drizzled soy sauce and sesame oil. The chicken skin does not have that extra layer of fat, though.
With the popularity of Chicken Rice among Filipinos, it's about time that we get to learn what is authentic and what is NOT. WNK's Chicken Rice is very affordable and comes in different serving sizes and flavors:
Personal Set (P168) served with Chicken Soup.
Small - Quarter 2pax (P248)
Medium - Half 3-4 pax (P488)
Large - Whole 6-7 pax (P888)
Steamed, Roasted or with Soya Sauce
The secret is really in the broth, which is prepared on a daily basis.
For me, the best part of the Wee Nam Kee experience is the UNLIMITED ginger, chili and soy sauce. I really hate it when, in other restaurants, they would purposely give you tiny amounts of condiments.
The pounded ginger is smooth and never oily, which is a sign of quality. Most of us probably grew up thinking ginger sauce should be oily -- but this will change when you get to taste this. The chili sauce is not too spicy and has just the right heat. The soy sauce, we were told, is prepared using WNK's own secret technique.
I liked it. :) The prawns were medium-sized, though. In a way, this is good because they were sweeter. Some people commented that the cereal tasted a bit sweeter (like Nesvita) than usual. This dish has bits of chili, so it is not ideal for kids.
The vegetables were sweet, crunchy and fresh. Don't forget to order your veggies with the chicken rice! :)
We're grateful for Foodie Delivery because we were able to order this Dulcelin Mango Torte via 87878 just an hour before the dinner.
Congratulations to Wee Jr. (Wee Nam Kee Singapore Owner), and partners Linfred Yap and Weyzer Co (Wee Nam Kee Philippines) for bringing the Best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore to the Philippines!
Tip: Wee Jr.'s father (WNK's original owner) will be arriving in Manila this week, so don't miss the chance to get to interact with them. It was such a pleasure meeting WNK's humble owners because I learned a lot just by talking with them.
He was one of WNK's original cooks, and he will be flying back and forth as he also heads kitchen operations in Singapore. He will be leaving behind his Asst. Chef though from Singapore to take care of local kitchen operations in the Philippines.
We only got a few negative comments, like the barley drink needs improvement by putting lime, and the servings were not enough for the big eaters in the group.
Considering it is on its launch phase, it would be wise to be patient with the service since most of the people are new.
Don't expect the Philippine experience to be exactly the same as the one in Singapore -- after all, the branch uses all-local chicken and ingredients, but it does share the same master cook and the same techniques as its parent restaurant.
Based on the positive reception of foodies at the First Taste Event, Wee Nam Kee Philippines definitely has a bright future ahead, especially since it has one of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Manila.
Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice
Restaurants at the Ayala Triangle Gardens
Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
Telephone: +632 846-8924
Operating Hours: Everyday 11am to 10pm (9pm last call)
Reservations are accepted on Weekends & Public Holidays only
1st Option: Park on Makati Ave., near the corner of Ayala beside the Makati Stock Exchange
(closed on Sundays & holidays)
2nd Option: Park in the Basement. The entrance is along Paseo de Roxas, right after you turn from Ayala
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We paid P350/head for the set menu. Linfred, one of the owners of Wee Nam Kee Philippines, is a friend from my P&G days.
P.S. Thanks to all the foodies who joined us for this Secret Resto First Taste Event! :)