CHECK IT OUT: 101 Hawker Food House in Makati
Make your way to this hole in the wall when hankering for Singaporean eats.
101 Hawker Food House
Unit 102 Campos Rueda Building
101 Urban Avenue (near the corner of Buendia and Ayala Ave.)
Tel. No. 886-7329
Open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mondays to Fridays); 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturdays); closed on Sundays
Hawker food central: Nasi Goreng, Char Kway Teow, and more. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) Inspired by Singapore's famous hawker food stalls and centers, 101 Hawker House opened in Makati last year. This hole-in-the-wall spot isn't set up with dozens of food stands the way Singapore does hawkers, but their menu is the real deal. Chef Rex Chua, who’s done culinary stints in luxury hotels such as The Grand Hyatt Singapore, Michaelangelo's Singapore, and Dusit Thani Manila, serves Singaporean favorites such as the Hainanese Chicken, Char Kway Teow, and Braised Pork Belly without the expensive price tag. With the help of his brother Red, chef Rex dishes out Singaporean dishes which are influenced by Thai, Malaysian and Philippine flavors. Discerning foodies can even request the kitchen to spice up their orders as they please.
Aside from the Hainanese Chicken and the Char Kway Teow, there are plenty of other must-tries on the menu: Start with a hearty bowl of Singapore Laksa (P110, single serving), which features a creamy combination of coconut milk and laksa paste that the chefs make from scratch-and not the powdered kind that you purchase from the grocery. For a crunchy alternative to the Salt and Pepper Squid, try the Cereal Prawns (P370, good for two to three persons), large, oatmeal-crusted deep-fried shrimps with a hint of spice. Or go for the Chili Prawns in fresh sweet chili sauce (P370, good for two to three persons).
For those dining with a large group, 101 Hawker's a la carte or short order portions serve two to three people for only P160 to P370 a plate. Try the Beef Hofan (P120, single serving; 190, for sharing) salty beef strips stir fried with flat rice noodles, and the Seafood Curry (P120, rice topping; P180, for sharing), an Asian fusion take on the classic Indian curry. Then there's the Mapo Tofu (P150, for sharing), a flavorful mix of tofu, ground pork, onion leeks and fresh whole chili peppers in sweet chili sauce-with portions so big that we could've asked a fourth person to join our feast, which we washed down with Singaporean staple drinks Teh Tarik (P40) and Milo Dinosaur (P45).
For the budget-conscious, go for the P120 set meals such as the Nasi Goreng Set (with fried chicken) or the Thai Bagoong Rice Set (with caramelized pork). They come complete with the main dish, a hefty serving of rice, a bowl of broth and a large glass of juice.
101 Hawker's regular customers will be happy to know that chef Rex has come up with new additions to the menu, such as Roti Prata, Roast Duck Breast, and Coffee Spareribs. We tried the latter, which was a surprisingly pleasant combination of bittersweet coffee sauce and savory sweet pork. Expect these dishes on the menu in 2012.
Photos by Majoy Siason, additional photos courtesy of 101 Hawker Food House