Rina and I have a tradition, where we go on what she calls a "Parlor Date" (but naturally I call it a "Barber Date"), where I get a P100 haircut and she gets a P100 pedicure. Unfortunately for my wife, fate threw a monkey wrench in her plans, because the resident Pedicurist, hadn't arrived yet. So instead, she decided to do a little window shopping (You never know when you'll need an extra window *rim shot*).
Word of advice, never fiddle with an electronic device or anything that will distract you when getting a haircut. Otherwise you just mind look up at the mirror suddenly and not recognize the person looking back at you. I know the barber asked me if I wanted to trim my bangs a bit, but don't recall ever giving him the go-signal to lop a big chunk off (Darn you Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter!).
Anyways, not happy with my hair, Rina went with me to go shopping for a new bonnet and a few other things we would need for Christmas. As we were about to leave, I asked Rina to call up our helper to let her know that we would be on our way home so she could prepare our lunch. Since the holidays was coming, I wanted to tighten our belts for the mean time and not eat out so much. However, as we made our way to the escalator I got distracted by a sign of a store a few feet in front of us.
I stopped in my tracks and said, "Rina.. Put down the phone."
With its cool white interiors, the place looked spic and span. However, as soon as I sat down on my table, I was disturbed by seeing the presence of a dead fly in one of the small sauce dish. I called out the attention of the head waiter, who immediately whisked the plate away apologetically.
In the wake of the infamous Chic-Boy incident that's been making the rounds on facebook, you would think that would be enough to turn a customer off, but I decided not to make a big deal about it because it honestly looked like someone planted it there. The fly was in the sauce dish, that had a fork placed on top of it to kind of cover it. I highly doubt that a fly chose that precise spot to be his final resting place.
At any rate, I refused to let what i suspected to be the machinations of some wise guy affect my opinion of what looked like an honest, hard-working establishment.
Service wise, the food was brought to us within five minutes. Regarding the staff, The guy at the counter was very nice. He was very helpful with his suggestions on what I should order, and seemed very well informed about the menu, and was in a jovial mood. The head waiter was also very attentive and accommodating, as he happily entertained my questions about the establishment. The only glitch was the dude who served us the food, who may need a remedial session in charm school, because he seemed awfully pissed off about something. Apart from him, the Hainanese Delight staff didn't treat the place like a fast casual restaurant, and I hope they keep it up.
My Singaporean food trip usually involves the classic ginger sauce that comes with Hainanese Chicken. When I eat, I can just pour this over Chicken Rice and make it a meal in itself. The condiments included a yummy Ginger Sauce, a chili paste and your average ordinary soy sauce.
Surprisingly though, I actually thought "Take The Cake" wasn't so bad.. even if it is Radish. I would have preferred a crunchier coating to it, but I liked how they cooked it they way you would "Salt and Pepper Spare Ribs", giving it a light spicy kick.
Hainanese Delights's "Hainan Rice" (P40 for individual) is nothing that would have Wee Nam Kee quaking in their boots, but it is a good version of Chicken Rice. The flavor of chicken is highly evident in each biteful, and the best thing about it is.. Its unlimited refill with every rice meal you order! (Either that or I owe Hainanese delights another P120 bucks because between Rina and I, we got an extra 3 orders of rice)
Naturally I had to order the signature dish of the restaurant, "Hainanese Delights" (P120 with rice). If you're expecting the traditional Chicken Rice meal you'd get in Singapore, then you will be disappointed. First off, I give them plus points for giving me a quarter thigh part of chicken even without me asking. Also, I gotta give them points for drowning the chicken in the yummy sweet sauce, which isn't the norm for "Chicken Rice". The sauce actually tasted similar to the pineapple sauce in a fiesta ham. The chicken itself was cooked masterfully, with every tender strip of chicken shredding easily off the bone with the flick of my fork.
A dish worthy of the name.
I also ordered the Porky Chop for Rina and I to try. The pork chop was grilled very well, and had nice char marks on the meat. They also used a piece that had a good amount of fat on it. Despite it being grilled (and relatively cheap), the meat was nice and tender juicy, and not the tough kind you would expect from cheaper establishments.
The BBQ sauce was a yummy sweet blend of herbs and spices that complimented the smokey flavor of meat. Again, another nice dish for its price.
Too bad we weren't able to try any of the noodle dishes, but Rina went back with her dad and Chaikka a few days after we went, and she tried the "Bring In The Beef" (Beef Brisket P120) and said they found it a bit salty, but she seemed to like it (She has a remarkable tolerance for salt (almost to a super power level), so I'm gonna say that I trust her dad and sister's taste a bit more).
The food of Hainanese Delights, or at least everything that I've tried, is quite delicious and one of the best bang for the buck fast casual restaurants you'll find in Metro Manila. Everything I ordered was under P500 bucks.. hell it was barely over P400 (P425 to be precise)!