I officially graduated today! It feels so strange to be reminded of finishing a significant chapter in my life. And yet there is no more fitting way to launch this blog than with a luncheon that symbolizes new beginnings.
My Dad has been wanting to try this place at the Ayala Triangle called Wee Nam Kee. We’ve been hearing so many good things about its authentic Singaporean Hainanese Chicken. The last time I went to Singapore was almost 9 or 10 years ago, and to be honest I can’t remember a thing! On October 10, 2010, the restaurant was brought to the local Manila scene by two entrepreneurs, Linfred Yap and Wyser Co.
On a regular working day, this small restaurant is filled with people, most of them from nearby workplaces in the Ayala vicinity, with the area being the business capital of Metro Manila. To give you a general idea of how popular this restaurant has become, during eating hours, customers do not mind waiting 30 minutes to an hour just to be seated. And it is the fact that people line up just to dine here that has gotten our attention.
Since we went on a Saturday (a non-work day for most Ayala offices), we were able to have a seat right away. We came straight from my graduation ceremonies and I can’t imagine what people dining inside were thinking about three people walking into a casual restaurant dressed in fancy clothing. The restaurant’s interior is patterned after the original Wee Nam Kee in Singapore, to give local diner’s a feel of what it could be like to dine there. The decor is relatively simple, but noticeably very Asian and cozy.
Now if you’re having a hard time deciding between having roasted or steamed chicken, you can opt to have the half and half option (Php488 for half a chicken), just like we did. They are very generous with the lean chicken slices, and the chicken is cooked tender and moist. Each table has its own set of condiments, where you can choose to have your chicken with the traditional ginger scallion oil, some chili, soy sauce, or all three mixed together! Personally I enjoy it with the ginger.
Since there was only three of us (Mum, Dad and I), we opted for only three dishes, plus a rice dish- the Wee Nam Kee Fried Rice (Php190). It is your usual shrimp-scallion-egg cooked using Hainanese chicken rice, which makes it more moist, fragrant and delicious. My Mum always likes ordering some sort of tofu dish, and so we had the Hot Plate Beancurd (Php225), which is a mixture of the right amount of sweetness and a little spicy kick at the end of every bite. The Honey Crispy Squid (Php230) was very chewy and sweet, and came highly recommended by our waiter.
The food was served rather quickly, and the wait staff was courteous enough, asking us how our food was. It makes one feel better about paying for the 5% service charge. I don’t expect any type of local Hainanese chicken to surpass the original ones cooked by Singaporeans, but I would say, for the price, the food here is quite good. I can see why people would line up for it.
Wee Nam Kee is located at the Ayala Triangle Gardens (behind the Philippine Stock Exchange building)– Paseo De Roxas cor. Ayala Avenue cor. Makati Avenue. Telephone number 846-8924.