Singapore, the country where eating is regarded as the national pastime—and rightly so. Singapore cuisine is home to a variety of mouth-watering dishes such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, Nasi Lemak, Ba Kut Teh, Xiao Long Bao, and Chili Crabs, among many, many others. Appreciation for the entirety of Singaporean cuisine starts with single dish—and this is different for each person—but I can bet that most fall in love with Singapore cuisine on their first bite of Hainanese Chicken Rice!
And when speaking of Hainanese Chicken Rice, one can’t miss to mention crowd-favorite Wee Nam Kee! Much like all popular chains in Manila, when Wee Nam Kee opened its first branch in 2010, there were throngs of people waiting in line…and all for a bite of Hainanese Chicken Rice! Now with almost a decade of operations in the Philippines, Wee Nam Kee is reinventing itself and has added a host of new dishes to its menu: from interesting takes of classic favorites like Claypot Chicken Noodles to completely out-of-the-box ideas like Grilled US Flat Iron Steak, this chain wants to give diners a reason to keep coming back!
I, together with a few other bloggers, were invited to try the new dishes and let you readers know what we think! Without ado, read on!
First on the list was the new Claypot Chicken Noodles (Php320), a simple twist to the crowd favorite Claypot Chicken Rice. Call me traditional but I just can’t help but feel that there’s really something else that a nice warm cup of rice brings to a dish—while this is a welcome addition to the menu for anyone that prefers claypot chicken on a bed of noodles, I’d still stick to the classic Claypot Chicken Rice (Php280).
Next was the Salt & Pepper Shrimp (Php425). We were told that this was created in response to diners’ request for a slightly more affordable option to the infamous Cereal Prawns (Php490). Replacing the eponymous Cereal Prawn is a huge ask, and this dish cannot take on that role. But taking this dish for what it is—a tasty and plump bed of six shrimps, well-seasoned and likely inspired by Chinese Salt & Pepper Spareribs—it is not half bad and would be something I could order again next time!
Following that was a warm bowl of Pineapple Fried Rice with Chinese Chorizo (Php295). I won’t deny…I was wondering why and how a Thai dish made its way to a Chinese restaurant but then remembered that this is Southeast Asia. A regional hotpot where things are “same, same, but different!” and this dish is as Chinese as it is Thai!
Last for this review is the new Grilled US Flat Iron Steak in Sweet Soy Sauce (Php590) made with tender USDA-choice beef. This this was very tasty—with a nice pop of color thanks to the cherry tomatoes, onions, and string beans—and reminds me of the beef that accompanies one of my favorite Chinese dishes, Beef with Broccoli.
The new additions expand Wee Nam Kee’s offerings beyond what the Little Red Dot is known for to give diners new reasons to keep coming back. But for someone like me who goes to Wee Nam Kee whenever I’m looking to get my fix of Singaporean food, I worry that this may dilute the Singaporean-ness of this brand…fingers crossed that this doesn’t happen though! Where else would I be able to get my Cereal Prawn or Hainanese Chicken Rice fix?
Wee Nam Kee
Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City
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