Wee Nam Kee, one of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice(HCR) restos in Singapore(SG) is finally venturing out of its haunts. Manila is so lucky, we have the first store outside Singapore thanks to Linfred Yap, who courted the owners for 3 years before they agreed.
Since we were all quite excited, we arrived at the restaurant 30 min earlier than our designated time slot for the preview dinner. I was really surprised at the nice interiors, I initially expected it to mirror the look of the SG stores, with its lack of air conditioning as well as sticky floors.
Entering the restaurant you can see a round Chinese entrance framing the kitchen. I also loved the interiors especially the birdcage lights hanging from the ceiling.
Enough of my ramblings and on to the main event, the food. The Hainanese chicken wass served first. The plate was composed of half roasted and half steamed Hainanese chicken. I liked the steamed chicken better than the roasted one, just like the traditional way they serve it. I also like the abundant cucumber slices at the bottom sucking up the chicken juices and also provides a nice crunchy contrast.
I busily made my sauce from the 3 available options (ginger, dark soy and chili sauce), I usually only have dark soy sauce with my HCR, but decided to try it out with ginger and later on added some chili for the complete mix due toCarlos’ prodding.It really tasted better with a mix of all three sauces but be forewarned that their chili sauce packs quite a punch. I actually commented to Junior Wee, the one running the Singapore stores that the soy sauce lacked the stickiness that I was looking for. Junior Wee then told us that all ingredients were sourced locally and that they are still improving the soy sauce since they make it themselves.
Whats a HCR meal without the chicken rice, made with chicken stock which makes it fragrant and flavorful. The serving is quite large and I would have wanted them to serve it in a bigger plate.
Cereal Prawns came next, each one of us got 1 prawn each, the way they cook theirs is similar to Boon Tong Kee’s since they both come with the shell. The prawns are so deep fried they encourage you to eat it with the shell, but some people might not like it that way. So a tip if you prefer it de-shelled is to coat the shrimp in the cereal before eating. The cereal is plentiful and quite addicting, we couldn’t help getting spoonful after spoonful while chatting away.
Baby Kailan served as our attempt at getting some fiber into our meal. The kailan was cooked with that perfect crunch intact, topped off with some garlic bits and
We washed all of the food down with Barley, a popular drink in Singapore that served to cleanse the pallet.
Great chicken rice has finally arrived in Manila in the form of Wee Nam Kee. Its first branch offers a departure from the hawker look of its SG branches with a nice view of Ayala Triangle Gardens to boot. Its great to know that they do not import any ingredients and try their best in duplicating everything locally.
I can’t wait to go back and try some of the other dishes as well as have more helping of the steamed chicken.
Wee Nam Kee
Ayala Triangle Gardens
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