The ubiquitous Hainanese Chicken Rice has now become somewhat of a staple here especially with more Filipinos traveling abroad (usually to other Asian countries). This eventually developed to a taste for our neighbors’ delicacies prompting for multi-cultural restaurants mushrooming all over the Metro in recent years. While we do have a lot of homegrown Asian restaurants, there’s still something extra special about trying popular franchises from other countries – for one, the dishes are unique and more authentic and two, it allows everyone the opportunity to have a taste of what other countries have to offer without having to board a plane.
Just this summer, Malaysia’s The Chicken Rice Shop has set up shop in the country through the Pancake House Group.
Fast casual is the way to go at this new foodie haunt.
As chicken dishes always make for popular menu items – from the mouthwatering inasal, the classic fried chicken, and the Pinoy favorite tinola, Filipinos most especially, enjoy getting their fill of chicken dishes – rain or shine so why not present this dining favorite in a new, but still delicious and satisfying way?
Chicken, Malaysian Style
Personally I like Malaysian dishes, they're full of flavor and definitely fill up your appetite for something savory. I love the Mee Goreng best of all and sometimes, I indulge in my fair share of Beef Rendang so I was eager to try out The Chicken Rice Shop – just to sample the new mix of Malaysian dishes that they have on offer.
A Malaysian franchise that was brought in to the country by the Pancake House Group, The Chicken Rice Shop, as the name implies, specializes on an abundance of chicken dishes. Not just rice meals but from appetizers to noodles to main dishes. If you’re a big fan of Hainanese Chicken (P128, personal comes with rice and soup; also available in quarter and half), then The Chicken Rice Shop’s is said to be one of the best – perfectly cooked and with a delicious serving of the restaurant’s special chicken rice.
A sampling of The Chicken Rice Shop’s bestselling Hainanese Chicken
First in the Philippines
The Chicken Rice Shop’s first branch in the Philippines (there are 53 outlets in Malaysia and 2 in Singapore) is located at Robinson’s Place Manila wherein it is included in a huge roster of dining outlets (old favorites and a lot of newbies) but with its unique concept, it still manages to stand out and offer something different especially for diners who are eager to dig in to something new.
More than just chicken
Aside from the Hainanese Chicken Rice, another Southeast Asian favorite that they’ve brought in is the Curry Laksa (P148), which is seasoned just right and is absolutely fantastic if you want to warm up during rainy days. Topped with slices of chicken, there are also yummy fishballs included in the rich curry soup. This is something that I’d definitely look forward to having again. The different dishes at The Chicken Rice Shop are divided into Plated Chicken (choose from Hainanese Chicken, Roast Chicken, Honey BBQ Chicken, Braised Chicken, and Curry Chicken), Appetizers, Beancurd & Egg, Noodles, Mains, Vegetables, Soup, and a unique mix of Beverages.
My favorite Curry Laksa
Roast Chicken good for sharing
Honey BBQ Chicken with Dry Noodles
Honey BBQ Chicken with Chicken Rice
Personally, while the chicken dishes are definitely the star of this new restaurant, I highly recommend the Hong Kong Beef Stew (P398, good for sharing). The meat is so soft and the sauce so tasty, that it’d definitely make you want to order another serving of rice. It’s comparable to the best Beef Pares you’ve tasted but meatier, a lot less fatty, and with just some differences in the sauce/soup (more savory than sweet). My mom, who tried the noodle version of the Hong Kong Beef Stew (P188) loved it so much that she craves for it every now and then.
On the side
Side dishes available at The Chicken Rice Shop include the Ipoh Bean Sprouts (P68 regular), Pak Choy with Oyster Sauce (P68 regular), Hong Kong Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce (P68 regular) – all simple vegetable side dishes; as well as the Nyonya Pai Tree (P78 for 4 pieces) which reminds you of fried lumpia only cuter and with chicken bits, Fried Wonton with Special Sauce (P98 for 10 pieces), Kerabu Mango (P138) sweet, spicy and salty green mango salad with fish sauce and rock sugar; Golden Fortune Wings (P218 for 4 pieces), and Golden Fortune Rolls (P108 for 4 pieces, P178 for 8 pieces). Very affordable so you can easily sample a bit of everything especially when you’re dining with friends and family just like what we did.
Nyonya Pai Tee
Another highlight of the restaurant for me is its unique selection of Malaysian beverages which include the famous Kuching 3 Layered Tea (P58), the quintessential Teh Tarik (P48), and other refreshing options such as the Fresh Lime with Sour Plum (P48) and the Grass Jelly Drink (P48). Personally, I love the Kuching 3 Layered Tea, just remember to mix it so it doesn’t end up tasting too sweet.
Something to look forward to in your next visit at The Chicken Rice Shop – Ais Belanda and Ais Cendol (below).
So for those of you who have fond memories of Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur or Kota Kinabalu anyone?) or you’re just fond of sampling new dishes, The Chicken Rice Shop offers good value for money without the stuffy ambiance – just lots of great chicken dishes and other notable Asian specialties.
Visit the first The Chicken Rice Shop in the Philippines, located at the ground floor of the Padre Faura Wing, Robinson's Place Manila.
Additional food shots courtesy of the Pancake House Group