New York's very own and World Famous The Halal Guys food cart is now in Manila!
Founded in 1990 by Muhammad Abouelenein, Ahmed Elsaka, and Abdelbaset Elsayed from Egypt, the trio wanted to bring an authentic Halal street food concept to New York City.
From a single food cart to what is now considered one of the most successful food chains in the Big Apple, The Halal Guys have establishments across the US and are now expanding into the international market--with the Philippines being the first location.
Here are some tips on how to enjoy your Halal Guys PH experience...
The Halal Guys PH offers the same popular menu found in their New York Street Carts, including the rice platters (chicken, beef gyro, combos) to sandwiches (chicken, beef gyro, combos), falafels, and their famed white sauce and hot sauce.
The first branch is located at the 5th level SM Mega Food Hall, SM Mega Fashion Hall.
It is the first ever restaurant accredited by the Halal Development Institute of the Philippines (HDIP), a globally recognized Halal Certification accepted in the US.
The sandwiches range from P175 - P369, while the rice platters range from P199 - P469. (Click here for a bigger menu version)
We like how they customized their serving size according to a regular Filipino's appetite.
For the ladies, we suggest you order the small, for the guys the regular, and for those with a big appetite the New York size. The New York Size portion is huge and big enough for sharing. Add +P30 to have it with drinks.
★ Gyro & Chicken Combo (P469 - solo, New York Size).
We recommend ordering their best seller--Gyro (beef) & Chicken combo to share. It's shredded grilled chicken meat with roasted beef chopped to bits before crisping on the grill.
Served with pita bread, bright orange jasmine rice, shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes drenched in their mayonnaise-like creamy, tangy white sauce.
The Philippine franchise decided to use a better tasting jasmine rice instead of the basmati rice used in New York.
★ Gyro Sandwich (P369 - solo, New York size)
The Halal Guys beef is juicy and seasoned well with spices. My personal favorite. :)
Their halal beef is imported from Chicago, from the same supplier as the one in NYC.
★ Chicken Sandwich (P349 - solo, New York size)
Their spiced grilled chicken is the bestseller. The locally-sourced halal chicken has a light seasoning but a bit dry.
Don't forget their mysterious white sauce called “crack”, which can actually be quite addicting.
They are serious about their extra spicy hot sauce! Chili heads would love this.
Falafel is a deep-fried ball made from ground chickpeas. It was quite dry but flavorful, with a crunchy exterior and soft middle. Best eaten together with the vegetables and sauce.
Falafel Sandwich (P199 - solo, small)
The pita bread is thick and the PH version is not as porous as that of New York's, but it tastes almost the same. :)
We love The Halal Guys in Manila! It gives you a taste of the street food flavors of New York City.
For people who have tried the original, they say it is as good as the one at New York's 53rd and 6th. It's exactly the same recipe and ingredients except for the rice and pita bread.
Order the Gyro & Chicken Combo with extra white sauce and hot sauce. It's more expensive than New York prices if you convert it but relatively cheaper if you order it with a drink. Budget about P300/head.
(Tip: For dessert, order ice cream from Dojo Dairy or drinks from Sweetea's by da.u.de.)
The location in the SM Mega Food Hall is a bit off, but I heard they will soon open a take out counter in Fully Booked in Bonifacio High Street, BGC.
Congratulations to Jaime and Chris Daez of Fully Booked for bringing The Halal Guys to the Philippines!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We attended the Private Tasting Event of The Halal Guys Philippines. We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights. Read Our Awesome Planet Complete Disclosure Policy here.
P.S. The original founders will be in Manila on Monday, Oct. 12 for a private by-invitation-only event at SM Megamall Food Hall. Let's give them a warm welcome to Manila!
P.P.S. The first 100 customers will be treated to a free New York Size Chicken and Gyro Combo Platter with drink of choice on their opening day October 13, Tuesday.