TAO YUAN – Best Singaporean Food in Manila as Attested by the Singaporean Embassy

  Read: 10 Most Awesome Chinese Restaurants in Manila!


Tao Yuan-2-2

I received a lot of raves from the Chinese community about this popular restaurant in Malate called Tao Yuan. Originally, they were only serving Hong Kong Cantonese dishes but when they brought in the Singaporean chefs, the word of mouth about their Hainanese Chicken spread like wildfire among the Chinese foodie community. A few days ago, I received a Facebook message from our foodie friends from the Singapore Embassy that Tao Yuan serves the Best Singaporean Food in Manila. I definitely agree! 

Tao Yuan’s Hainanese Chicken Rice (1/2 Chicken – P450 +10%SC) and Chicken Rice (P100 +10%SC)

I’ve eaten twice at Tao Yuan and I can’t get enough of their Hainanese Chicken Rice. Tao Yuan’s version has more fat, which I think makes it yummier than those offered at other restos that claim to serve the Best Hainanese Chicken in Manila. (Any other theory why Tao Yuan’s version is so good?)

You can order a half-chicken, which is good for 2-4 persons. The color is a bit pale, and it is served neither hot nor cold. They serve it with tiny servings of the chili, garlic and soy sauce but you can get a refill of those as often as you want. You have to order the chicken rice with the chicken broth — this combination is what makes the Hainanese Chicken Rice the stuff of foodie legend.

In Singapore, our Favorite Hainanese Chicken Places are Boon Tong Kee, Chatterbox in Meritus Mandarin along Orchard, and Wee Nam Kee in Novena. The latter is the closest one to the P&G Singapore Headquarters. Hainanese Chicken Rice was always on the agenda every time a Filipino visitor would go to Singapore.

Wee Nam Kee (Singapore) Hainanese Chicken Rice (S$8) and Plain Rice (S$1)


Wee Nam Kee’s version is served a bit roasted. The meat is tender and tasty. It is also served in half-chicken servings. They offer the best flavorful chicken rice, which you have to order separately.

What also makes the place special is this unlimited serving of garlic ginger, chili, soy and jalapeno sauce. How I wish Tao Yuan would have condiment offerings as yummy-looking as these!

Tao Yuan gets fully packed during the weekend, so you have to reserve in advance. The best time to go is during weekdays. To date, only Tao Yuan and Shou Zhou Dumplings are the only two restaurants worth visiting in Malate.

The Tao Yuan Menu (Most of the Singapore Specialties are off-menu items)

Tao Yuan Hot Pot Menu | Seafood | Barbecued Specialties | Shark’s Fin and Soup | Dimsum MenuSignature Dimsum and Dessert | Rice and Noodles | Chef’s Recommendation and Classic Dishes | Abalones


Asado Tart (P100 +10%SC)


For starters, I recommend you order this Asado Tart — crusty on the outside, with sweet asado sauce inside. Spanx couldn’t stop raving about these tarts.

Chili Crab (P650 for 500g+10%SC)

This is the closest that you can get to very good Chili Crab in Manila, with matching fried buns (although I still prefer Singapore East Coast’s Black Pepper Crab). The sauce is quite thick and yummy by itself. In fact, we brought the sauce back home and used it as a rice topping.


Cereal Prawns (P150 per piece +10%SC)

We ordered the cereal prawns for the kids because of the cereal but, apparently, it had chili bits. Maybe you can order this for your kids and ask them to serve it without the chili. Overall, the flavors of this dish merged wonderfully, especially with the spicy kick.


Fresh Mango Sago Cream (P78 +10%SC)

Each time we ate here, we were served complimentary Mango Sago Cream dessert. (I wonder if it was because I was shooting the food with a big DSLR camera? Hmm…) Let me know if you have a similar experience or if they really serve complimentary desserts.

The Mango Sago Cream was very smooth, the sago was cooked very well, and the mango used was fresh — just the way we like it.

Tao Yuan Restaurant
Lourdes Chu (Telephone: +632 489-7218)
508-512 General Malvar Street, corner A. Mabini Street, Malate, Manila
(below Reyna Isabelle Mansion and across Pan Pacific Hotel, beside Music 21 Plaza)
Telephone: +632
5227009 and 5227010

You can park in front of the restaurant or avail of the parking space along A. Mabini Street. If you pass by A. Mabini, watch out for Shou Zhou Dumpling on your left. Once you see it, you’ll see the parking entrance on that left side as well. Tao Yuan is just walking distance from that place and you can show your receipt to get FREE parking. 

Live An Awesome Life,


Anton Diaz
Founder, OurAwesomePlanet.com
Mobile: +63917-LOVEOAP (5683627) 
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60 thoughts on “TAO YUAN – Best Singaporean Food in Manila as Attested by the Singaporean Embassy

  1. OMG, I just ate here like last week before UTT 3.0 hahah… =)
    Anyway, you are right about the black pepper crabs Sir Anton.. I really love em so much I had to “not think about” my Seafood allergy in Singapore. I had to buy medicine the night after LOL.. I like the chicken rice a lot bar none! and NO they did not give me those complimentary desserts LOL… I bet they were just lookin at Aidan and Joshua that’s why you were given some of it coz they’r cute!… =)
    Gonna try and see you this Sunday at WTC for the iblogMini@CEL =)

  2. Hi Anton, we celebrated my dad’s birthday at Tao Yuan last weekend. The place was packed but it’s nice to finally see a decent Singaporean restaurant in the heart of the city. You should also try the curry bihon and the fried garoupa with mango. Sarap!

  3. I’ve had tao yuan before… pero… calling it as best singaporean food in manila is kind of stretching it.. one reason is because their singaporean food choices are quite limited. They’re a chinese restaurant first, their singaporean offering is limited lang.
    Their Bah Kut Teh is also highly recommended. You can ask for the order to be split into two.
    Also, good job for pointing out another thing: Hainan Chicken is NOT COMPLETE without the Rice and the broth. without those, the dish is just another poached chicken.
    i think a more apt description for this restaurant would be: Good Hainan Chicken, Chilli Crab, and Bah Kut Teh (maybe cereal prawn nadin).. pero imo, best singaporean restaurant would easily be KF Seetoh’s makansutra @ manila bay. 🙂
    another recommendation: minsan, they’d have soft shell crabs. have them cooked into “Chiwwi Cwab!” 🙂

  4. hi anton! our family ate here today. my parents loved the chicken! I didn’t have a DSLR camera with me and they still have us complimentary mango sago cream for dessert. =)

  5. Looks good! haven’t been to Malate in a long time…i agree with you on the East Coast Black Pepper Crab, yummy! I assume that Shou Zhou in Malate is a branch of the one along A.Mabini here in San Juan? this one is a family favorite

  6. Yes except that the Malate Shou Zhou is the original and a lot lot better than the San Juan. If you love the San Juan branch, the Malate is awesome 🙂

  7. The chicken rice chilli was definitely as good as anywhere. I am constantly amazed how Hainanese Chicken Rice has such huge following here in Manila.

  8. They do serve the complimentary dessert. 🙂
    Another chicken rice stall you should check out while in Singapore is Tian Tian Chicken Rice. It is located in the Maxwell Food Centre. The line there is really long, but worth it. Cheap too. Around 3 SGD only per plate of rice and chicken

  9. yes i’ve tried all these places. i miss singapore… i love boon tong kee and wee nam kee… the chicken there is fatty. for tao yuan, the fish with mango sauce is also good.

  10. For Malate, you should also try Wok Inn. I know there is a Wok Inn in QC but the one in Malate is the original, and the best. Their stuffed squid, salt and pepper spare ribs and vegetable dishes are to die for! (am craving for some now)
    Was just at Singapore. Do you know where there are decent Singapore-style barbecued chicken wings here? I think I got addicted to that while I was there – had it at Makansutra and one mall, I forgot which one. But I am eyeing the picture of your Hainanese chicken ha, and transporting myself to Malate. Now na!
    Thanks for the great post 🙂

  11. Food is good, but service is slooooow, like a 500yrs old Turtle. Daming tao sa lunch because they have special promos on some of their dishes, 185pesos lang, ordered the sotanghon prawn hotpot and duck hotpot, not bad at all.Pero sobrang bagal ng service, nakakainis talagaaaaaa.

  12. Halo! Ger and I were quite excited to find out that there’s finally a resto in Manila that serves authentic-tasting Hainanese Chicken Rice. Though we find it surprising that you have to order the soup and rice separately. A bit pricey though, but it’s ok if you get your Sing food craving, then you don’t have to fly all the way to Singapore.:)
    Yes, we love Wee Nam Kee and Boon Tong Kee in Singapore! The cereal prawns are to-die-for.

  13. Awesome food at Tao Yuan. Bak Kut Teh wasn’t great though– I think the one at Chatterbox at Meritus Meridien is fantastic. And we got free almond jelly with lychee instead of sago. Hmm I should’ve asked for mango sago!
    You should also try the roast duck at Tao Yuan by the way, and the Bird’s Nest in Almond Soup

  14. Oh and P.S. I actually found a place that sells this ginger sauce per bottle! It can be found by one of the food stalls at UniMart! If you enter from Gift gate/ Cinnabon into Unimart, it’s on the first food stall that sells soy chicken/ pigeon on the right side. 🙂

  15. Awesome tip, Ingrid! Thanks for sharing, I've been always craving
    about the ginger sauce… I want it and I know now where to buy it….
    Thanks so much!

  16. I agree–Tao Yuan has the best Hainanese chicken rice in town and the best chili crab too, much like Singapore’s east coast. The owners are quite nice and accomodating, often giving us freebies especially during our initial visit. My only comment–I wish they would use the thicker, sweeter soy sauce for their Hainanese chicken.

  17. my boss always ask me to reserve a table at this place everytime he has a dinner meeting at malate.. now i know why?.. i’ll make sure me and my partner will eat here as well.. 🙂

  18. I love Tao Yuan restauant! It’s one of my two top Chinese restos in Manila, the other one being Choi Garden in Annapolis. I come to Tao Yuan whenever schedules permit, since it is situated in the Malate area, and with different groups of friends I shepherd to this place. To me, they have the best Hainanese Chicken in Manila thus far. It comes soft and moist and it sits on a plate with just enough of its juice. The Chili crab is pretty good too. Their other, non-Singaporean dishes are quite good and the overall eating experience is worth the trip to the Manila are. Although I have not tried it, I hear the Peking Duck is good too.

  19. now authentic hainanese chicken rice is available in 366, T.Pinpin Binondo Manila tel 3812878 the price for chicken rice topping at P79, they also serve other hawker foods from singapore namely bak kut teh, laksa, chilli crab and ….others all food are prepare by singaporean cook

  20. Hi Anton. I remember reading somewhere lately that Tao Yuan is opening another branch soon. I can’t remember where. Would you know?

  21. Hi OAP,
    Just want to inform you that the number for Tao Yuan should be 5227009 and 5227010. We tried the numbers posted on your website and can’t get through their lines.

  22. best singaporean resto in manila? i don’t think so…
    they just opened a new branch in rw manila. it’s good but not the best. the price is way to high to match the quality and quantity of the food. we were disappointed with the cereal prawn… it was bland and the size was so small to be called a prawn. in order to be called the best, you have to be consistent. consistency makes century seafood and other old timers better than tao yuan.

  23. “To date, only Tao Yuan and Shou Zhou Dumplings are the only two restaurants worth visiting in Malate.”
    What about: (1) Tanabe; (2) Gyumon Yakiniku; (3) LiLi; (4) Fireplace; (5) Sosing’s Carinderia [granted, it is smack in the middle of the boundary of Malate and Palanan]; (6) El Garaje Paella; (7) the original Chateau 1771; (8) Miyabi; (9) Hizon’s Bakeshop and Za’s Cafe [OK, these venerable institutions are, technically, in Ermita — but they definitely have excellent ensaimada and lengua picante]; (10) the original Aristocrat [granted you can have your barbecue with java rice in any Aristocrat across the Metro, but the bustle of the original Aristocrat location can’t be beat]; (11) the Diamond Hotel Coffee Shop for to die for ube ensaimada; (12) Cafe Adriatico; etc. etc. etc.
    I’m just wondering why “Malate-phile” Carlos Celdran has not yet smacked you in the head with a lead pipe for making such an extremely poor generalization of the Malate culinary scene. Tsk…tsk…tsk

  24. Ate at the Greenbelt 5 branch a couple of days ago and the service was really bad. We came in, and ordered, first before the older couple beside us, and another group with a foreigner on the other side. We ordered the same hainanese chicken, and theirs got served first. We had to follow-up to get ours served. And we had to follow-up to get drinks served, and normally drinks are served first. Service was slow and discriminating. Apparently there is no consistency in the quality of service if the one in the Malate branch is ok. Certainly not the best if things are not consistent among all branches.
    All it takes is one bad experience to get us turned off from a restaurant. After all, there are other choices out there. And I think I like Wee Nam Kee’s hainanese chicken and unlimited ginger better.

  25. we ate in tao yuan gb3 last week. service was bad, so many items in the menu were not available, and they would inform us of non-availabilty after an hour. we got sick pa the following day. never again tao yuan. and yes, there are other restaurants in malate that are worth trying. what type of one-sidedness does this blog offer? maganda lang ang pictures mo.

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