How do you like your chicken, steamed or roasted?
It took me a while to try out Wee Nam Kee. It isn't because my mom was tired of it, having eaten there numerous times in Singapore. And it's also not because my brother hated anything that reminded him of Singapore as of the moment (bad experience, don't ask!). Ok fine, I'm being sarcastic. When I finally convinced the two to accompany me (which came with a lot of begging), they reluctantly dragged their feet inside the restaurant.
The branch in Alabang Town Center just opened recently. The place was a bit small -and packed- and we just chose to sit at one of the tables outside. Caged lamps hang from the ceiling, pretty much a trademark of their branches here in Manila.
I especially love the Honey Crispy Squid (P350) with its bright yellow orange coated rings. The orange sauce infused onion strips intermingle with the crispy squid and a splattering of sesame seeds. An echoing crunch precedes a sweet lingering taste in the tongue highlighted by a touch of spiciness that slowly disappears within seconds, tugging at your palate, inviting you to munch on without end. It's one of those foods that whets the appetite and leaves you yenning for more.
I'm not sure why we ended up with the Wee Nam Kee Fried Rice (P190). I had intended to have a taste of the Chicken Rice, but failed to notice that it only came with the personal set of Hainanese chicken (you'd have to order extra for the bigger servings). In hindsight, I think I was too excited about convincing my brother to eat here that I didn't pay much attention to the rice. In fairness though, the fried rice was still good albeit nothing out of the ordinary. Pale yellow in color, it was adorned with chopped carrots and greens, ribbons of scrambled eggs and small shrimps.
Their flagship product is the Hainanese Chicken (P168-P888). Have it steamed or roasted or even a combination of both especially if it's your first time to order it. Both ways result in a juicy and tender meat, the difference only skin deep. While I preferred the roasted version this time, I believe opting one over the other would depend more on my mood rather than one being more delicious than its counterpart.
Three sauces are available to complement the chicken -- chili sauce, soy sauce and some pounded ginger. I prefer the quite sticky soy sauce since I don't like ginger much.
It was actually my first time to try Fresh Iced Barley Juice (P55). Though the surface is filled with ice, the bottom part was still warm. A sip releases a deluge of velvet liquid, pretty much similar to the consistency of milk teas, only silkier. Small oval spheres - which I'm guessing are barley grains- gather in clusters at the bottom of the glass. The overlapping cold and warm temperatures titillates the senses and piques your interest of this novel drink.
The Salt and Pepper Spareribs (P225) is an example of the popular cliché, "Don't judge a book by its cover". In front of us lay a dish that exudes dryness and toughness of meat. Chopped green and red bell peppers, as well as flower-shaped carving of a carrot, provided a colorful atmosphere to an otherwise arid dish. A fork's effortless impalement though gives you a clue that it isn't what it seems. The most cautious of bites is greeted first with a mild crunch and immediately followed by a tender crushing of the porcine meat that I was almost taken aback and did a little double take to make sure I had chewed on the right viand. The seasoning was spot on, and I was pleasantly surprised to observe that the meat juice was preserved.
I was happy with the dishes despite the fact that my brother kept on rolling his eyes with every new dish that was laid down before us. Not because he didn't like them, mind you, it was just because every plate conjures up not so pleasant personal memories of his. I'll still be back for that Chicken Rice, though -- sans the brother I'm guessing.
Wee Name Kee
Spot: New Wing Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa City
Contact No.: 478.9103