Ramblings about food, cooking, recipes, travels, history and walking around Manila.
I know it’s been awhile since my last entry, my apologies. I recently got sick and needed to recuperate at home. That means no smoking… Sheesh! Anyway, I was in the Makati area to pick up some documents from Teletech Makati. I needed to wait for someone so I had to stay in the lobby. It was a happy and overwhelming day for me. Now I know how Sandra Bullock felt in Ms. Congeniality. Why? Here are the reasons:
• The security guards on the 5th floor of Ecoplaza still recognized me, and greeted me with courtesy and a big smile… as if I was still a trainer in the company and I hadn’t left.
• Colleagues from Operations- agents, TLs and OMs, the QA team and the Training team greeted me with smiles, beso-beso or bear hugs. Some of them who were shocked to see me sitting at the lobby gave me the exaggerated-wide eyed reaction with screaming combo (figure it out yourself.. visualize my dear readers).
• I saw my so loved USCR 14 trainees… my babies who made me very proud before I left Teletech.
Since I have my documents secured and the rush hour would definitely get on my nerves, my friend Paul and I decided to do the next best thing… Go on a food trip! I was thinking of a specific burger joint in Taft Avenue, but Paul said it was packed during weekdays since it was near DLSU Taft. I checked my little notebook and decided to go to a small place that offers Asian food, 101 Hawker Food House. When I say Asian, they offer dishes from Singaporean, Malaysian, Indonesian etc.
101 Hawker Food House is run by brothers Rex Chua and Red Chua. Rex Chua is Bles Wong’s husband, my classmate way back elementary to high school. I don’t know him personally, we aren’t close though I’ve been to their daughter’s birthday and met him in one of our reunions. It’s a good thing though, because I can blog about the food without being bias.
What’s a Hawker Centre, it’s a name given to open-air complexes not just in Singapore but also in Hong Kong and Malaysia. They were considered to be a venue for the less affluent. These stalls sell inexpensive food. During the 1950’s and 1960’s in Singapore, hawkers were unlicensed and can be found in the streets near urban areas. Though unhygienic, it was good and cheap. However, as time goes by, local authorities pressured these to get licenses; therefore, hygiene in terms of food handling was maintained. They were no longer found in the streets like our “jolly-jeeps” here in manila, but in food centres. Soon, air-conditioned versions of the hawker centres’ are found in malls.
I’ve been hearing a lot of good reviews and recommendation for this small place, called 101 Hawker Food House, but haven’t had the time to drop by since I’m now working in Taguig City. Believe it or not, I had no idea that it was owned by Bles’ husband. (I know… I should’ve done my research…) I spoke to Bles a week ago about dropping by the place and doing a review. That was the only time I found out that Rex and his brother runs the place. She confirmed it.
101 Hawker Food House is located in Urban Avenue, corner of Buendia and Ayala Avenue. For my colleagues in PeopleSupport, this is near Sukina! The best landmark I can give you would be Aegis PeopleSupport and Mercury Drug beside Tropical Hut. A few cartwheels away from Makati Medical Center.
Both Paul and I were famished. Both of us didn’t have lunch. I don’t know what his reasons were, but I was in a hurry to pick up my documents to sit down and get some lunch. It was hot and humid outside, and thank God for the establishment’s air-conditioning!!! It’s as if both of us we’re yanked out from hell to heaven! There were a few people dining, it was late in the afternoon, almost dusk when we came in. We took the seats next to the air-conditioning unit (yeah, i like to sit near the air-conditioning unit… polar bear mode.)The first thing I noticed, the place is clean. It’s not the typical cramped establishments scattered in Makati. I know some of you guys experienced spilling your drink or food when someone passes behind you. Or you’re about to put a spoonful of food in your mouth then someone bumps your chair and you end up stuffing the spoon all the way inside your mouth.(It happened to my classmate way back in college!)The place is nice, no fancy ambiance since it’s not a fine dining restaurant. But it’s a great place to eat and chat. No loud music to drown the conversation, the staff are efficient too!
After we decided where to sit, one of the establishment’s staff came and handed 2 menus. I saw Rex inside, I think he was talking to someone on the phone. I didn’t want to disturb him either. I thought I should order, eat without him knowing I was going to write a blog about the food when I get home. And so, we ordered. Paul didn’t have any idea what to order. After a few minutes, we ordered our drinks as we chat about celebrity chefs on the Lifestyle Network and the Asian Food Channel. We didn’t pick the “chef” topic on purpose, we tend to talk about random topics. Let me show you what we order and give you the details:
Paul ordered a cold Milo Dinosaur…( YES, Ladies and gentlemen! It’s called a Milo Dinosaur!) For this drink you have an option if you want it hot(P35 or $0.81) or cold(P40 or $0.93). It’s a Milo chocolate drink with a spoonful of Milo chocolate powder on top of the foamy drink. Chocolate and Milo addicts will love it! Paul proceeded to eat the chocolate powder on his drink with the straw.
I on the other hand ordered Kopi Tarik… I love coffee… when I saw Kopi… the word immediately sent alert signals to my brain to order it. And I want it cold! It’s similar to the Milo Dinosaur but instead of using choclate powder, they used coffee. It was refreshing. Visualize me drinking the iced Kopi Tarik near the air-conditioning unit (again… REFRESHING!)Paul took a sip of my drink and said the coffee flavor was bland/ weak. It was good enough for me, though I would agree that it lacked a little kick of coffee flavor. Or then again, since he had something sweet and I was used to having strong coffee, it might have affected our taste buds.
Please excuse the picture for the Kopi Tarki. It’s supposed to be full! But I forgot to take a picture before sipping. My bad!
I started taking notes on my little notebook. I needed to make sure I remember everything so I won’t stare blankly at my monitor when I get home. ]
We didn’t wait too long for our grub, wait time was about 10 minutes.
The rice we ordered is called Nasi Goreng. It literally means “fried rice” in Indonesia (yes folks, it’s Indonesian). The dish is often served as a main meal accompanied by additional items such as a fried egg and chicken. 101 Hawker Food House offers a set meal(P120 or $2.79) However, we ordered a good for 2 order (P150 or $3.48). The difference, the set meal has the chicken and the fried egg, we ordered the good for 2 since we ordered 2 more dishes. Good flavor, rice consistency not too dry, and you can see pieces of shrimps and cuttlefish.
I’ve always been on the look out for good Hainanese Chicken. I tried a few places in the Metro, and believe me, I could name a few establishments that deserves two thumbs down! I don’t go looking for Hainanese Chicken to criticize, but because I LOVE them. I can make good Hainanese Chicken, but it’s so much better to eat it without doing the work yourself. The chicken was cooked perfectly. It was juicy and not bloody. It wasn’t overcooked either. The skin had the “jelly like” texture and no bruising on the chicken too. The sauce had the right flavor, not bland or overpowering. I tasted the chicken without the ginger dip at first, to taste the chicken. They again offer Hainanese chicken bowl, single serve bowl (P100 or $2.32). We ordered the good for 2 Hainanese Chicken(P150 or $3.48)
To complete the Hainanese Chicken dish, you need a ginger dipping sauce. Normally, they serve it with shredded ginger mixed with sesame oil and you have an option if you want chili sauce with it. As you can see, there’s ginger, oil, soy sauce and I’m not sure if it was a bit of chili sauce. I like the dipping sauce, but since I like chili sauce with Hainanese Chicken, It would have been better if there was more chili sauce.
We also ordered the good for 2 Beef Curry(P190 or $4.41). If you’re eating alone, you have an option to order a beef curry bowl, single serving (P120 or $2.79). I can this is the priciest among all the dishes we ordered but its worth the splurge. The sauce was remarkable! The beef was tender, it doesn’t have a gritty texture which I hate about beef curries (THANK GOD!!!)
Everything we ordered was supposed to be good for 2, but frankly, it was good enough for more than 2 people. I can say 3 people can share each dish. We assumed it to have a small serving because of the price. And another thing, they served the Nasi Goreng, Hainanese Chicken and Beff Curry all at the same(as it should be), but again, we assumed that it would be like Ongpin style that it takes forever for your next dish. What I’m trying to say is we placed our foot inside our mouths for assuming. And to top it all, we order Shark’s Fin Siew Mai( that’s how they spelled it on the menu… but it’s siomai, it’s just spelled differently probably because of the pronounciation ) and pork Siew Mai(again.. it’s just siomai peeps! No need to search it on google).
An order of Shark’s fin Siew Mai costs P65 or $1.51. It’s okay, nothing spectacular. But considering the amount that they charge per order basing it on the taste, I think it’s reasonable. Do expect this to have extenders, guys, its not cheap to get shark’s fin. If it’s pure shark’s fin expect it to be a hell lot pricier.
An order of Pork Siew Mai cost as much as the Shark’s Fin Siew Mai shown above (P65 or $1.51). I think almost everyone loves them,whether its from Chowking or from the street vendors. But I’d rather have 101 Hawker Food House’s Siew Mai than Chowking. it’s bigger in size, and i can taste the texture.
So, with all the food we ordered, here’s a photo of our table… I’d like to call it “GROUND ZERO”
I know we’re a pair of gluttons, all in the name of food blogging and appreciation for good eats. We reached our thresholds to the point of us having difficulties breathing. Remember the quantity of serving per dish. It said good for 2, but it was actually good for 3! All the dishes we ordered were good for 2… can you imagine what it feels like? I felt like Rolie Polie Ollie and I would just like to roll out of the establishment.
I highly recommend you guys to visit 101 Hawker Food House. I don’t want to sound like a broken record or an ad whenever I stumble upon a good place to eat, but this is another place to enjoy good food at reasonable prices.
You can visit their website: http://www.101hawkerfoodhouse.com/index.html
Unit 102 Campos Rueda Building; 101 Urban Ave., near corner Buendia and Ayala Ave., Makati City, Philippines
Delivery Hotline: 2121212
Store Hours: Monday to Friday 6AM – 10PM
Saturday 6AM – 3PM
I’ll be back to feature more places to eat! ‘Til next time!