This Little Stall in Makati Is Here for Your Taiwanese Street-Food Fix
At budget-friendly prices, too!
Hole in the Wall, 4/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City
Open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday to Saturday), and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) Yes, Famry is a tongue-in-cheek reference to how someone with a stereotypical Asian accent would say the word “family.” “We thought it was funny but endearing,” shares Angela Lim, events manager at Hole in the Wall. “And that's how we wanted to showcase our food. It’s casual and it’s simple, home-cooked Taiwanese food.”
What makes this new Taiwanese stall in Century City Mall’s food hall different the rest of the food stalls is that it’s a completely in-house concept by Lowbrow Casual Restaurants owners Charles Paw and Dwight Co, with the help of culinary director Talia Cortez. The team went to Taiwan several times for research, and went through months of trial-and-error before they perfected their compact menu of four dishes.
Bunplings A.K.A. Shenjianbao
The street market-inspired stall is designed by Hole in the Wall’s design group Bad Idea, who also came up with Famry’s bun-shaped sign. It sums up the Bunplings A.K.A. Shenjianbao (P220) perfectly: Fresh, hot, and plump. You can watch as the staff fry up each bun before serving, and the Bunplings come to your table piping hot. Plump also describes them pretty accurately, with buns that are considerably heftier than your usual xiao long bao, though still a smaller size when compared to the average siopao. “It took us four months to perfect the thickness of the wrapper,” says Talia. “We don’t want it too thin or chewy, and also not too crispy.” They are indeed not too crispy, but frying gives each bun just the right crunch to contrast with the gingery pork broth. Do be careful biting into this as the soup can burst out messily from the bun—Famry doesn’t hold back on the filling.
No casual Taiwanese joint is complete without some dumplings. Famry’s Spicy Dumplings (P190) look like your regular dumplings, but pop one in your mouth and you’ll notice something different—a richer, more savory flavor that’s not exactly pork nor beef. “We used duck broth,” Talia shares. They use the same broth in the spicy sauce, which is surprisingly not as fiery as you would expect from its bright red color. Made with a blend of fresh and dried chili, three different kinds of soy sauce, and rice wine, this lip-smacking sauce would be hard to come by anywhere else.
Crispy Duck Rice
Duck reappears and takes center stage in the Crispy Duck Rice (P290/Famry size), which comes in the “Famry” size that’s good enough for two, or one if you’re really hungry. It almost feels like eating bacon and eggs, with crispy-fried duck cut into thin strips and a soy egg (add P40). Pickled cucumbers and red cabbage add a refreshing tang that balances out the salty duck and gives color to this flatlay-ready bowl.
Minced Pork Rice
Rounding out the concise menu is the Minced Pork Rice (P140/regular size, P240/Famry size, includes pickled vegetables). This bowl is pretty amazing, considering it packs a well-crafted medley of textures and flavors in a bowl that won’t cost you much. There’s the minced pork, almost creamy and with that distinct sweet-spicy flavor only five-spice can provide. It contrasts beautifully with the soft-boiled egg, the crunchy zesty vegetables, and, of course, the warm fluffy rice.
Famry may keep things casual and simple, but their menu is far from slapdash. You get the impression that much care was put in constructing each bowl and dumpling, but nothing is overly complicated. You'll get wholesome Taiwanese street food you’d want to have every day—and the best part is, you probably can afford to.
Photos by Jilson Tiu