Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hey Handsome at Bonifacio Global City

I never thought I'd be missing Singaporean food this soon. Definitely not after close to two months of temporarily bidding goodbye to the Lion City. Well, apparently all it took was one bite of something so familiar to let all those wondering memories come rushing in. Talk about a "Ratatouille" moment.

hey handsome ph 2
We were invited by our dear friend C to check out his newest restaurant called Hey Handsome. Such a cheeky name for quite a classy restaurant that's located at the heart of Bonifacio Global City but as with everything in the restaurant, the name comes with a story. Apparently, the name "Hey Handsome" was inspired by the what most hawkers would randomly call out to customers or perhaps in this case, what they've been calling the chef when he was in Singapore. I suddenly remembered this cleaning auntie that we used to have in the office who would refer to most of my male colleagues as "handsome boy", "ey boy boy" and the like. Nonetheless, I think the name gave the restaurant a really cool personality as it's totally not your typical Southeast Asian restaurant.

The menu was simple and pretty straight-forward. I'm glad that I didn't have to go through pages and pages of dishes but instead it highlights the best of the best that the restaurant specializes in. None of the dishes are the kind that you'd find in any of the Singaporean/Malaysian/Indonesian food stalls as Chef Nicco made it a point to add his own twist to it.



hey handsome ph 3
We weren't sure which ones to try though so thankfully we were nicely guided through. For starters, the Fried Egg (Php. 280) was highly recommended and we were promised that it's not your usual fried egg. Of course, I was really wishing we won't be given a plate of sunny-side-up or that would be super funny. True to their promise, our Fried Egg came in a beautiful nest where it's really fried that you could hardly make out anything that resembles that of an egg. Mixed with the famous Thai Nam Jim sauce, bits of lap cheong (Chinese Sausage) and local herbs, it's a good starter when dining in a group.

Honestly though, I found it a bit too oily for my liking so I stopped after a few bites but perhaps for those who do not mind a bit of grease then you'll definitely be delighted with this interesting appetizer.

hey handsome ph 4
Moving on to our mains, we had the Beetroot Curry with Paneer  (Php. 490). This was my favorite dish of the night and it seems like it was Paul's too. In fact, this was the only one that we quickly wiped out as it was so delicious! First off, we are huge fans of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and were surprised at how well it goes with the beetroot curry. It's also served with oyster mushrooms and homemade yogurts presented in cute onion cups.

We've never had anything like it in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia and we're so happy that it's available here in Manila making it so easy for us to enjoy over and over again. Trust me, I'd gladly head back to Hey Handsome for this and a bowl of Nasi Liwet (fragrant Chicken Rice) to make for a delicious and satisfying meal. I definitely highly recommend this!

hey handsome ph 5
To go with our Paneer, we had the Roast Lamb (Php. 1,330) which was cooked in rich buah keluak sauce. This Peranakan inspired dish is a very hearty number as it comes with black kerupek, herbs and their very own sambal tempoyek. Buah Keluak, as we all know, has a very distinct flavor and this is definitely a risky move for Chef Nicco to include in his menu. Given that the Roast Lamb is one of the most sought after dish in the restaurant, guess the local market is bold enough to embrace this new flavor. The lamb was so tender and it literally falls of the bone with just a slight nudge of our fork. Serving is also quite big making the price very reasonable.

hey handsome ph 1
Lastly, we also had the Fried Pekin Duck (Php. 780) which is closely similar to Bali's famous Crispy Duck which we enjoyed a year ago. Served with sunny-side-up egg, sambal serai and rhubarb, this is a very safe dish for the non-adventurous eaters out there. Go easy on the sambal though as it can burn!

I'd say that we did a great job in ordering a good variety of dishes that evening. Chef Nicco has clearly impressed us greatly with his personal rendition on what are considered to be your typical Singaporean/Malaysian/Indonesian fare. Hats off to you, Chef!

I can't wait to go back for more of that amazing paneer!

*photos by Paul Ang

Check out Hey Handsome at the Ground Floor of the Net Park Building, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City. Do note that the building only offers Valet Parking starting at Php. 80 so I would recommend that you park at Fort Strip and just cross the street to where Hey Handsome is. Call them at +63-2-9463815 / +63-917-1020355 to make a reservation. 

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