Hainanese Chicken Love : Wee Nam Kee in Serendra

My first taste of Wee Nam Kee was during our honeymoon trip to Singapore where Paul and I met up with our Singapore-based friends for a post-wedding celebration. The restaurant wasn't hard to locate as we carefully followed the directions given to us -- take the train to Novena and cross the street to find Wee Nam Kee. I wrote about our wonderful experience here and to this day, I still daydream about the yummy cereal prawns and Hainanese Chicken that we had that evening.

A few months after we got back from Singapore, we heard some juicy rumors that Wee Nam Kee is coming to Manila!  This was confirmed by a dear colleague who's very own brother is the man behind Manila's very own Wee Nam Kee. In other words, we now have a Hainanese Chicken savior. Hooray! Finally, good and authentic chicken rice is coming to our shores!

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Sadly, hectic schedule and a bad case of amoebiasis restrained me from trying Wee Nam Kee right on its opening month. I died with envy upon hearing raves from fellow food-loving friends. I wrote Wee Nam Kee down on my restaurant wish list and vowed to visit it someday.

Fast forward two years after, it was Paul's younger brother's turn to celebrate his birthday and we all decided to dine at Wee Nam Kee in Serendra. How silly that it took me almost two years to finally try our local Wee Nam Kee. That was exactly how long I've tortured myself with my never-ending Wee Nam Kee daydreams.

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It was Alvin's birthday and so we had to have a plate of noodles! We tried the Hong Kong Fried Noodles (Php. 255) which was one of the Chef's Recommendations. One order was good for all 8 of us since we also ordered other dishes as well. The egg noodles were well-cooked and I love how they have added plump shrimps and pork into it. It wasn't too overwhelming and filling.

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That was just our first dish and we had 6 other dishes to enjoy that day. To ensure that no one will end up choking halfway through the meal, we tried their two new drinks-- the Cucumber Lime and the Mango Mint Shake. I was nursing a bad cold that day so I truly appreciated the citrusy flavor of the Cucumber Lime. It made me feel like I'm getting an extra dose of Vitamin C. Paul loved the Mango Mint which was a surprise as he's not a fan of anything with mint. I guess the sweet mango flavor overpowered the possible minty taste.

Let me show you what we had for Alvin's birthday lunch:

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Whole Chicken Rice - Half Hainanese, Half Soy (Php. 888)
According to the menu, this is good for 6-8 pax and they were pretty accurate about that. Our party of 8 happily tried the two types of chicken and each one had his or her own pick. As for me, I was pretty loyal to the white Hainanese Chicken as I love to cover my meat with lots of ginger oil.

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Honey Crispy Squid (Php. 350)
Another Chef's Recommendation. The squid rings were perfectly caramelized but the size was just a tad too small for our liking. I would have loved this had it been more sticky, with a dash of sesame seed and perhaps with a little spicy kick too.

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Sweet and Sour Pork (Php. 225)
I love Sweet and Sour Pork and for me the best, so far, is from Passion in Resorts World. Sadly this one was pretty ordinary and paled in comparison to that dreamy Sweet and Sour Pork with Fresh Fruits.

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Roast Pork (Php. 220)
My mommy-in-law loves two things -- Roast Pork (Lechon Macau) and Salted Fish Fried Rice. She loves them so much that she can easily detect a good crispy Roast Pork with just one bite. I don't think she was very impressed with this one but it was a-ok for me. How I wish they'd serve this with some mustard the same way other Chinese restaurants would.

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Salted Fish Fried Rice (Php. 215)
We loved this! Well, how can you go wrong with this type of fried rice? This went so well with our choice of dishes that day. For a while there, I forgot all about my 14-day Nestle Fitnesses Challenge! Obviously, I went beyond my supposed "balanced and healthy" meal that day. No regrets though, I'd definitely go back for more Salted Fish Fried Rice soon.

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Cereal Prawns (Php. 395/4 pieces)
My sis-in-law and I love love love cereal prawns. Sadly not a lot of restaurants here in Manila can do this perfectly. Thus our great excitement to order not only one but two plates of Wee Nam Kee's Cereal Prawns upon seeing this in the menu. We loved it! The prawns were deep-fried to perfection allowing the shells to be edible. The sweet cereal that covered the prawns goes so well with our rice too. It was pretty addicting that I ended up polishing one plate off as I made sure to get the leftover cereals and dumped it all on top of my rice. Yum!

For dessert, the kind staff of Wee Nam Kee gave us three complimentary desserts to try.

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Mango Sago Pudding
I loved the mango jello on top of the creamy base. This one was pretty good as the mango tasted really refreshing and none of the artificial flavor you would get from concentrates and syrups.

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3 Flavor Buchi
The buchi honestly needed a little bit more improvement yet. While the chocolate filling was very rich and decadent, the buchi covering still needed to be a bit more sticky to make it authentic. I loved the milk chocolate while I found the white chocolate to be too sweet as I felt a slight shiver up my spine after taking a bite. Was that my blood sugar shooting up?

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Roti with Fried Banana and Milk Tea Sauce
We had mixed feelings about this. It wasn't bad but it could have been better. The roti was a bit too flat and dry yet the banana was delicious when dipped into the caramel sauce.

Since Wee Nam Kee is a Singaporean restaurant, how I wish they'd consider bringing in traditional Singaporean desserts such as the Banana Fritters and or even the $1 ice cream sandwich! That would have been more fun to indulge on after enjoying a plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Happy birthday Alvin!!!

Want to win a free meal at Wee Nam Kee? Watch out for my upcoming Holiday Giveaway happening soon!

Wee Nam Kee currently has three branches in the following areas: Ayala Triangle in Makati (846-8924), Serendra Piazza in Bonifacio Global City (822-7095) and at Alabang Town Center (478-9103). They are scheduled to open three more branches before the year ends. You may also call City Delivery to enjoy your Wee Nam Kee meal at home.

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