With restaurants being a dime a dozen these days, how do you, the consumer, choose the one that you’re going to dine in next? While a catchy name and an attractive space can be quite enticing, price, accessibility, and most importantly, taste will always be the main factors that will keep customers coming back. Keeping these in mind, Hainanese Delights has managed to gain a loyal following in spite of being a relative newbie in this tough industry.
Given that there’s such tight competition going on in the food service industry these days – with restaurants and food stalls opening left and right each month – with some closing after just a year; Hainanese Delights made a conscious effort to come up with a “marketing strategy” of sorts to attract customers and somewhat set itself apart from similar restaurants. Instead of just the usual “all-you-can-eat-rice”, they took it to the next level by offering all-you-can-eat-Hainan-rice instead and matched it with a selection of viands and noodle dishes that can’t be found in every restaurant out there.
The variety of dishes available is something that will quickly draw any hungry diner’s attention. From the house specialty, Hainanese Delights (Hainanese chicken rice) to fail-safe dishes like Pork Passionate (yummy breaded pork cutlet) and Eat the Heat (slightly spicy deep fried squid), the restaurant offers a decent selection of popular Asian favorites that both kids and adults will enjoy.
Eat the Heat
Personally I tried the Pork Passionate (P100), Eat the Heat (P170), Take the Cake (fried radish cake, P70), and the Pure Pork (fried pork dumplings, P95) – not all in one go and definitely not just by myself! Just sayin’.
So far, I enjoyed all the dishes that I’ve tried, the Pork Passionate was cooked just right – not oily wherein you end up looking like you have gloss all over your lips and the meat was quite tender; Take the Cake is a great alternative if you want to try a new snack (you can also eat it with rice if you want to), and how can you go wrong with fried dumplings?
Take the Cake
As for the variety of chicken dishes that it offers, Hainanese Delights manages to serve quality meals on a budget along with a limitless supply of dipping sauces like extra hot chilli or the restaurant’s very own ginger sauce. The dipping sauces are a must especially when you’re having the Hainanese chicken as it gives the dish more flavour. And while the Hainanese Chicken dish (P120) is the restaurant’s house specialty, its other (and equally popular) variant, the Hainan Fried Chicken (P120) was a favorite among my friends. I guess anything fried can be expected to be a big hit among diners?
Three dipping sauces to complement your meals
Hainan Fried Chicken
In case your taste buds are craving for more, Hainanese Delights has more interesting dishes available like Kutchay Kraze (P95), if veggies are a must for you, then have some of these tasty kutchay dumplings that you can enjoy either steamed or deep fried; Bring in the Beef (P115), this is something that I ought to try next time I visit the restaurant, it’s tasty beef brisket served with Hainan rice (of course); there’s also noodle dishes like the Surf and Turf (P95 for a regular serving and P80 for a merienda sized serving) which has a combination of pork and shrimp dumplings complementing the restaurant’s special noodle soup; and the Singapore Staple (P120) which stars the restaurant’s main dish, the Hainanese chicken soaked in a delicious soup matched with filling noodles.
The restaurant’s focus is more on treating diners with savory meals that will keep their tummies satisfied so expect generous servings for the different dishes that they have on offer. Also, seeing the affordable price points, getting to enjoy the different dishes at Hainanese Delights surely won’t put a dent to your wallet and gives you more reason to keep on coming back for more.
Meanwhile, the restaurant’s layout – well-lighted, uncomplicated, free-seating setup is also good for diners who want a fuss-free dining experience and would just want to enjoy a filling meal. Of course, this is not the best place to take your date to given that it can get crowded during peak hours, so if you’re looking for some privacy don’t count on it.
Read up on what Hainan rice is all about while you wait for your order
Another thing worth noting about Hainanese Delights is its attentive staff. While courteous dining staff is always expected especially at high-end restaurants, it’s not always the case so you can really appreciate the effort that the dining staff at Hainanese Delights puts into catering to their customers’ requests. So don’t hesitate to ask more Hainan rice, dipping sauce or whatever it is that you need.
With its strong following in its Robinsons Galleria branch, Hainanese Delights is actually fast expanding to various cities all over the country with a second branch in Robinsons Place Ermita, a third one in Robinsons Forum, then another in SM Fairview all opening just a few weeks apart. There are actually a lot more branches opening soon making Hainanese Delights easily accessible to more foodies on a budget.
If you’re on a budget, try out Hainanese Delights the next time you get a rumble in your tummy, it’s definitely good value for money and a nice alternative to greasy fast food fare.
Visit Robinsons Galleria, Ground Floor near supermarket (687-1802), Robinsons Forum, 2nd floor (687-0786), Robinsons Place Ermita, ground floor Pedro Gil Wing (525-5583), SM Fairview, ground floor main mall, (921-7928).
Additional photos courtesy of Hainanese Delights