Monday, May 21, 2018

Fat Fook Kitchen in SM Megamall

Oh boy, time flies so so so fast! Has it really been 7 long years since my visit to Taipei, Taiwan? Still, memories of visiting their delicious night markets and indulging in the yummiest street food is still very clear in my memory. I particularly love the Oyster Cake (orh-tsien) as well as this Baked Stuffed Potato that got me so addicted for all 3 days that we were there. Our visit to Taipei was super short and I can't wait to go back! I'm sure my twins will love munching around town with us too. Someday.. someday.

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Since, my twins are still in the process of enjoying their first taste of solid food, Paul and I can relive our gastronomic Taiwan trip right here in Manila! Finally, I was able to visit Fat Fook Kitchen, which opened a new branch at SM Megamall. I've been wanting to try this out since they opened at SM North EDSA last year but the proximity and my delicate pregnancy just made it really challenging. So, imagine my excitement as I stepped into their SM Megamall branch for an impromptu lunch date with Paul one day.

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I love how they have a snack take-out counter right at the entrance. Being close to the cinema area, this is one snack option to take with you as you catch the latest movies. I highly recommend their Taiwanese milk teas as well as their skewered snacks. If you're feeling extra hungry, then go for their famous Chicken Chop which I'll tell you more about later.

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We visited the restaurant on its second day and were surprised that it was in fact, jam packed! Well okay, we went right during lunch hour but still. Indeed, Fat Fook Kitchen got a very warm welcome from the SM Megamall dining crowd. I love the modern interiors and this Instagram-worthy wall of Chinese plates.



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Our meal began with a basket of Steamed Xiao Long Bao (Php. 138 / Php. 198). This is definitely a must-try if you're dining at a Taiwanese restaurant and in my opinion the main item that should never go wrong as this will tell if the restaurant is authentically Taiwanese or not. Luckily, Fat Fook has passed the Xiao Long Bao test with flying colors. I love the perfect texture of the wrapper where it's neither too thin nor was it too thick. There's a generous amount of hot soup as you take your first bite and the meat itself was very flavorful already. Of course, no matter how flavorful, xiao long baos will never be complete without the soy-vinegar-ginger dip.

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Taiwanese food is known for its yummy street snacks and you can get an abundant of these at Fat Fook. We started with the Fried Intestines (Php. 198) which may not be the top choice of picky eaters but if you love our local isaw then this is somewhat similar to that. I grew up eating this and I love it especially when I dip it in some spicy vinegar. I love how it stayed so crunchy and it wasn't too oily as well.

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Of course, one of the most popular Taiwanese street snack is the Taiwanese Sausage (Php. 288) and I was surprised that they served it with thin slices of garlic just how it's normally served in Taiwan. I love it! Admittedly, Black Bridge (oh-kyo) is still my favorite sausage brand but this one comes pretty close to it. It's also very reasonably priced given how expensive Taiwanese sausage can be.

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Here's one that's not for the faint hearted. The Fried Stinky Tofu (Php. 198) which can still make heads turn and noses crinkle up. Take a deep breath and give it a try, you might end up loving the silky tofu inside.

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Moving on to our mains, we had the very special Kiampong (Php. 358) which is a very generous portion of steamed savory rice topped with lots and lots of hebi (dried shrimp). I was really surprised by this as hebi is quite pricey and to have this much to top an entire steam basket full of kiampong is something quite impressive. One serving is good for probably 3-4 pax making this very reasonably priced once again.

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To pair with the kiampong, have the Fat Fook Chicken Chop (Php. 238). The restaurant's signature dish and one that you should never leave out too. Delicious and tender chicken cutlet that's seasoned with salt, pepper and my guess would be some 5 spice powder then deep-fried till golden brown. So yummy! I would gladly grab this to take to the movies if the cinema people will allow it.

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The highlight of my meal though was the Oyster Omelette (Php. 258). This is your legit kind of Taiwanese style of omelette where they did away with the sticky gawgaw inside and you get a delicious egg omelette filled with a generous amount of oysters. So good! I suddenly remembered my first oyster omelette experience at Shilin Night Market.

For beef lovers, try the Beef Tendon Hotpot (Php. 298) which was Mommy's favorite. She said, not a lot of restaurants locally can do this properly as some tend to make the tendon extremely chewy, some too gamey or some just blah. This one was very good with a slight spicy kick too.

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As for Paul, he loved the Oyster Misua (Php. 98) which brought him back to that night we visited Xi Men Ding Market. We spotted the famous Ai-Chung Rice Noodles where he fell in love with their Oyster Misua. Unlike its Taiwanese counterpart though, this one wasn't spicy at all catering to the local palette.

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Lastly, if you just want a quick yet delicious Taiwanese meal, then try the Taiwan Minced Pork and Egg Rice (Php. 168). One serving will definitely fill you up and it's complete with a generous portion of stewed pork and one whole boiled egg too. I was so full with the kiam pong and pretty much everything on our table that I just had a spoonful of this but was quite pleased at how authentic it tasted.

We obviously had a delicious feast at Fat Fook Kitchen and I can't wait to go back! This is definitely a good place to go if you're craving for legit Taiwanese food or you're just nursing a food "hangover" from your recent trip to Taiwan.

*photos by Paul Ang

Check out Fat Fook Kitchen at the 3rd Floor of SM Megamall Building A, J. Vargas Avenue, Mandaluyong City. They also have branches at SM North EDSA, Robinsons Galleria and they recently opened at Glorietta  1 too. Follow them on Facebook for more details

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