Wee Nam Kee’s Hainanese Chicken Rice Now in Manila!

You’ll probably forget other Hainanese Chicken places in Manila once you’ve tasted Wee Nam Kee’s delicious offering (maybe with the exception of Tao Yuan). Most of the foodies confirmed this during last night’s Secret Resto’s “First Taste” event!

A Foodie Welcome to Wee Nam Kee in the Philippines!

There’s much debate on which is better — Roasted or Steamed?

Steamed is healthier because it is cooked as a whole chicken in the chicken broth. Roasted, on the other hand, is a combination of fried and roasted to bring out the flavor. You have to judge the quality of any Hainanese Chicken Rice based on the steamed version.

Btw, the secret to WNK’s (shortcut for Wee Nam Kee) Chicken is that the chickens are freshly delivered everyday from 3 small farm suppliers that alternate delivery. They are chilled — not frozen. And NO, they don’t get their chicken from commercialized dressed chicken suppliers like Magnolia, nor do they import their chicken.

This first Wee Nam Kee in the Philippines seems to be going for a classy, street food alley ambiance. You’re supposed to feel as if you’re eating along a road in between two houses (which isn’t immediately obvious when you enter the restaurant). The overhanging birdcage lamps add a nice touch to the place.

I understand why the owners did it that way, but I would have preferred a hole-in-the-wall, kungfu type of ambiance like Wabi-Sabi’s. (Maybe for the next branch?)

Wee Nam Kee Menu:
Message from the Founder
| Signature Dishes Chicken Rice / Pork | Rice Toppings, Soup & Dimsum | Chicken, Tofu | Beef, Pork | Seafood | Rice and Vegetables | Dry Noodles, Noodles in Soup | Cold Desserts, Hot Desserts | Beverages

Chicken Rice – Medium Half Chicke
n (P488 +10% service charge)
. Mixed Roasted and Steamed Chicken.

We love WNK’s Hainanese Chicken! It is delectably juicy and flavorful. It is not too oily and has the right amount of drizzled soy sauce and sesame oil. The chicken skin does not have that extra layer of fat, though.

With the popularity of Chicken Rice among Filipinos, it’s about time that we get to learn what is authentic and what is NOT. WNK’s Chicken Rice is very affordable and comes in different serving sizes and flavors:

Personal Set (P168) served with Chicken Soup.
Small – Quarter 2pax (P248)
Medium – Half 3-4 pax (P488)
Large – Whole 6-7 pax (P888)
Steamed, Roasted or with Soya Sauce

Wee Nam Kee has the best Chicken Rice I’ve tasted in Manila. Literally, rice pa lang ulam na.

The secret is really in the broth, which is prepared on a daily basis.

Soy Sauce, Chili Sauce, and Pounded Ginger (Unlimited!)

For me, the best part of the Wee Nam Kee experience is the UNLIMITED ginger, chili and soy sauce. I really hate it when, in other restaurants, they would purposely give you tiny amounts of condiments.

The pounded ginger is smooth and never oily, which is a sign of quality. Most of us probably grew up thinking ginger sauce should be oily — but this will change when you get to taste this. The chili sauce is not too spicy and has just the right heat. The soy sauce, we were told,Β  is prepared using WNK’s own secret technique.

Cereal Prawns, 4pcs. (P375 +10% service charge)

I liked it. πŸ™‚ The prawns were medium-sized, though. In a way, this is good because they were sweeter. Some people commented that the cereal tasted a bit sweeter (like Nesvita) than usual. This dish has bits of chili, so it is not ideal for kids.

Taiwan Pechay (P190 +10% service charge).

The vegetables were sweet, crunchy and fresh. Don’t forget to order your veggies with the chicken rice! πŸ™‚

We celebrated Joshua’s 3rd Birthday in Wee Nam Kee! Joshua’s smile is very elusive these days, and this is the closest that we got to capturing it in a photo.

We’re grateful for Foodie Delivery because we were able to order this Dulcelin Mango Torte via 87878 just an hour before the dinner.

Congratulations to Wee Jr. (Wee Nam Kee Singapore Owner), and partners Linfred Yap and Weyzer Co (Wee Nam Kee Philippines) for bringing the Best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Singapore to the Philippines!

Tip: Wee Jr.’s father (WNK’s original owner) will be arriving in Manila this week, so don’t miss the chance to get to interact with them. It was such a pleasure meeting WNK’s humble owners because I learned a lot just by talking with them.

Wee Nam Kee Philippines’ “secret weapon” is Master Loh, who has been cooking chicken rice for 40+ years in Singapore!

He was one of WNK’s original cooks, and he will be flying back and forth as he also heads kitchen operations in Singapore. Β He will be leaving behind his Asst. Chef though from Singapore to take care of local kitchen operations in the Philippines.

Wee Nam Kee got the thumbs up from the food critics from Binondo. My friend Ivan was happy with the chicken and the condiments. πŸ™‚

We only got a few negative comments, like the barley drink needs improvement by putting lime, and the servings were not enough for the big eaters in the group.

Considering it is on its launch phase, it would be wise to be patient with the service since most of the people are new.

Don’t expect the Philippine experience to be exactly the same as the one in Singapore — after all, the branch uses all-local chicken and ingredients, but it does share the same master cook and the same techniques as its parent restaurant.

Based on the positive reception of foodies at the First Taste Event, Wee Nam Kee Philippines definitely has a bright future ahead, especially since it has one of the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Manila.

Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice
Restaurants at the Ayala Triangle Gardens
Makati Avenue, Makati City, Philippines
Telephone: +632 846-8924
Operating Hours: Everyday 11am to 10pm (9pm last call)
Reservations are accepted on Weekends & Public Holidays only

Parking Options:
1st Option: Park on Makati Ave., near the corner of Ayala beside the Makati Stock Exchange
(closed on Sundays & holidays)
2nd Option: Park in the Basement. The entrance is along Paseo de Roxas, right after you turn from Ayala

Live an Awesome Life,

Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com
Call or Text Me: +63917 5683-627 (LOVE-OAP)
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Disclosure: We paid P350/head for the set menu. Linfred, one of the owners of Wee Nam Kee Philippines, is a friend from my P&G days.

P.S. Thanks to all the foodies who joined us for this Secret Resto First Taste Event! πŸ™‚

53 thoughts on “Wee Nam Kee’s Hainanese Chicken Rice Now in Manila!

  1. This is certainly an upgrade from the Singapore outlet which is a hole in the wall. Am certainly looking forward to having this soon. I am so happy that we finally have good Hainanese Chicken Rice for a reasonable price.

  2. Anton,
    This is good. We may try this one of these days.
    Not sure if anyone has feedback this, but I find the website responding slower.

  3. Anton, great article on Wee Nam Kee. Can’t wait to go there with my hubby and kids. Great to know that the resto itself is airconditioned, which is good when the chili kick will set in.:)

  4. Hi Anton, I tried this today for lunch, the place was packed! Its a good thing I came early today, I should have just made a reservation. I’ll just share, The experience was okay, I can udnerstand since their still on the soft opening phase. The food is definitely delicious, and the servers, although inconsistent when it comes to service (again, understandable) were very friendly. The owner Linfred himself was very approachable as he checked up on different guests. I guess they just need to get their service sequence back on track (serving the soup and the house water at the last part of the meal). Too bad I wasn’t able to try the sauce. I kept following up but it never came, and I didn’t want to wait anymore for the delicious chicken to cool down, especially since it was raining and we were seated outside. Sayang, they didn’t have a lot of things on the menu yet, i wanna try their dimsums soonand the desserts they offer.
    Congrats to Wee Nam Kee, I’m sure it wll fluourish into a long-staying restaurant in the metro.

  5. Yes the chicken definitely the best I’ve tried so far. Not malansa, cooked just right, no red parts and very tasty. They should have a soft opening menu so people don’t expect too much variety and be told out of stock or wala. Our waiter only informed us long after ordering that most of what we ordered were not available. Even the alternatives he suggested were not available in the end. However, the chicken made up for all the hassle. Thanks for posting. Your posts are so helpful because it includes all the info with thoughtful details like where to park πŸ™‚ thanks Anton !

  6. Thanks for posting this new restaurant. We would like to try it. My husband and I love Hainanese Chicken. I just cannot help but notice your statement “Steamed is healthier because it is cooked as a whole chicken in the chicken broth”. There is a difference between steamed and boiled. Maybe, what you mean is steeping?

  7. i was there that night, and although the white chicken was pretty good, the service was sloppy, and the cereal prawns so-so. the roast chicken was also a bit dry.
    as for your comment: “The pounded ginger is smooth and never oily, which is a sign of quality. ” – this is untrue. the reason it’s NOT oily is because ginger sauce for SG hainan chicken is made with chicken stock, not oil (unlike ginger sauce for HK white chicken).

  8. anton,
    its a good write up about wee nam kee, I just came from singapore and i’d tried the hainanese chicken of wee nam kee in thompson road and also that of tian tian at maxwell but they don’t have the ginger sauce only the hot sauce and sweet soy sauce. maybe because the place are too crowded. so i guess the one in makati is better and che is right the chicken is not steam but steeped in broth with different spices. more power

  9. WNK Manila menu price is exhuberant for such an underrated dish. its just a steamed/roasted chicken, c’mon. chicken rice is the CHEAPEST DECENT meal you can get in singapore that shouldnt cost you more than 6sgd (180pesos), high CBD rent perhaps…
    the sauces are water based and not oily, but they sometimes use the roasted chicken oil dripping to flavor the dish…

  10. You’re right Anton. Wee Nam Kee is good but Tao Yuan is still the best. My family and I ate there on the second day of its opening and it still needed a lot of improvements in terms of service. I’d still go back there, though. I’ve tried other restaurants with hainanese chicken and Wee Nam Kee/Tao Yuan are exceptional.

  11. you are right tao yuan still the best, also old penang at resort world is okay also. very bad experience ….long waits not worth it…..nothing special…they must serve it hawker style…anyway u just order their specialty..the rest….baaad…too salty……service…baaad also…..no second time….hahahaha

  12. We dined at Wee Nam Kee last Saturday night, and the service was atrocious. The food was good but not great, and definitely not worth waiting almost an HOUR for all our dishes to be served. Also, would you believe they RAN OUT OF HAINANESE CHICKEN. And it was only 8PM on a Saturday night! How’s that for poor inventory management? Fortunately someone from our table knew the owners so we managed to get one of the last roast chicken from the kitchen. We had to follow up on our orders multiple times, and it wasn’t until we threatened to walk out that the waiters snapped to attention. Very disappointing. “Soft opening” should NEVER be an excuse for shoddy service. If the staff isn’t ready to handle a busy dinner crowd, DON’T OPEN YET.

  13. your definitely right when it comes to service , the service is really baaaaad , i hope they improve , the hainanese chicken is just ordinary , i can say old penang hainanese chicken is much better in newport branch

  14. yellowillow , we strongly agree with your comment , last sunday we waited an hour and a half , just to be seated , and then waited another 45 minutes for the food to be serve , and then the waiter came to ask kung may kulang pa sa order niyo sir , sabi ko , lahat , isa palang ang dumating . i had been following all the blogs of anton , but this is the first time , we are really disappointed in particular restaurant .

  15. went there last night. waited for like AN HOUR to be seated just to know what all this hoolabaloo is about. yes, food was good but not great. chicken was moist and ginger sauce was yummy. several servers turned their heads away when they saw us call their attention! timing of the arrival of food on the table was baaaaaaad! there was like a 15 min gap from the arrival of our first plate of chicken to our second plate of chicken so eating time was dismally stalled. for Php900.00 for 2 small servings of hainanese chicken,1 taiwan pechay and 4 hainanese rice, it’s too expensive! would rather spend that amount somewhere else.
    btw, ayala triangle park was teeming with people! too crowded for my liking.

  16. Upon entering the restaurant, my bestfriend and I agreed it smelled like Singapore hihihi!:) Because of my very unfortunate experience at Bon Chon two nights ago, I insisted to my bestfriend that we dine in early at Ayala Triangle and we we’re easily seated and served at Wa Nam Kee.
    Our experience was good since waiters are attentive and prompt but yes they have flawed service like serving the soup half way through our meal but since the chicken was ssssooooooo ggggggoooooooddddd we didn’t mind hehehe! I have not tried Tao Yuan yet but definitely this is closes as you can get from the real mcoy.:)Rice pa lang worth it na! I do hope the ginger sauce were a bit oily though like that in Singapore and the sauce a bit more sweeter but the chili oil is hands down authentic.:)I would still vouch for Tian-Tian but for my cravings here in our country, we will definitely recommend WNK.
    One comment though, Ayala Management should do something about the size of the restaurants in the strip.It really gets too crowded there at Ayala.Maybe it is another factor for poor service but then again it should have been anticipated and never an excuse.:)

  17. I was there today and I agree with most of the comments here about the bad service. The waiters seem to bringing the wrong orders to the tables (not just our own). It took more than 3 follow-ups for us to get utensils and customers that came in later got their orders first. πŸ™
    Anton, since you know the owners, can you let them know about these complaints? I think they should improve the service fast. It’s just the novelty that keeps people coming for the first few weeks but unless they improve, people won’t come back.

  18. I agree with Lohan and most of the comments here about the service and food being ordinary. Hailing from Malaysia and Singapore, we tried out Wee Nam Kee outlet here in Manila to try it out and what all the hype was about. To sum it up, we were disappointed and I can only say that it is overrated! Can’t see it deserving a rating of more than 2.5 out of 5. Definitely not one where I would queue up again and wait for over an hour. For that kind of wait, the expectation is nothing short of stellar service and food.
    – was very slow.
    – hainanese chicken rice was ok not great. The highlight of the dish was probably the rice only. It was good but wasn’t great. Meat was too dry and sauce had too much sesame flavor.
    – the rest of the dishes we had were nothing to shout about (hot plate tofu and kangkong).
    For me, the verdict is out. If you want Singaporean and Malaysian food, head over to Tao Yuan (Malate and Resorts World) and Old Penang (Resorts World) as they are probably the best in town at this moment.

  19. try 101 hawker food house, also in makati, urban ave. near makati med. that meal you just described above will cost you only Php 200.

  20. don’t bother. I will be fair and try not to compare it to Singapore hawker stalls (but they are a lot better). The service was fast on their main draw which was the chicken so I will give them that. For the price though, you are left wanting for something better. The taste is not bad but not great either. The rice could be more fragrant and the sauces being in jars at the table somehow is not that appetizing especially with flies as big as eyeballs wanting to share your food (seriously, you would have thought the slaughter house was right beside the restaurant).

  21. Anton,
    I called to make a reservation for this coming Mother’s Day and the receptionist said they DO NOT accept reservations on a WEEKEND.

  22. Best freakin’ hot and sour soup in the entire Philippines. All other hot n sour soups from other establishments pale in comparison.

  23. I just recently went to Singapore and I learned that Boon Tong Kee is the most famous resto there when it comes to Hainanese Chicken Rice. And I definitely agree! They also have a lot in their menu unlike Wee Nam Kee’s..and I also find Wee Nam Kee’s chicken rice already bland compared to Boon Tong Kee. I hope someone would bring this to Manila.

  24. Ex T.Pinpin St., Binondo, Manila (Singapore Hainanese Chicken Rice) have been relocated to 1547, Adriatico St., Ermita Malate, now we are operating from 10am to 10pm. We are directly opposite the new wing of Robinson Mall cosmetics section,we also can been seen on the new Robinson condo Tower 2, our neighbour is a Korean resto,we are located along Adriatico St. after Padre Faura and before Pedro Gil, Thanks for your pass support

  25. Overrated and expensive. The chicken they serve here is an insult to true Hainanese Chicken. I’ve really had better chicken than what they served.

  26. in singapore there is another hainanese resto much better than wee nam kee.its name is boon tong kee,it is more famous than wee nam kee,every singaporean knows where it is.its main resto is in baleister rd and the other one is in river valley road,we prefer the river valley branch though.i hope you can try this when you visit singapore..=)

  27. just ate there 2 weeks ago.
    ratings: top is 5
    1. ambiance – 4
    2. food – 2 only enjoyed the crabmeat rice, white and roast chicken is just plain
    3. price – 0 no value for money too expensive better spend it elsewhere
    4. service – 3
    cereal prawns are too sweet and way way too expensive.. food cost nun mga 80 pesos lang.
    they use NESTUM for the cereal, sa bahay nalang kayo mgluto sure mas cheap at as marami ang serving πŸ™‚

  28. I have forever been in search for the best Hainanese Chicken Rice in Manila. I have missed it because it was a part of my childhood since I grew up in Singapore. I would have to say, WNK’s chicken rice is good, but just now, I got to taste Sing Hainanese Chicken Express’ version at the Landmark Foodcourt in SM Ayala (I know! Of all places!), and I was just ecstatic! It blew my mind! Only P129 for a whole meal, complete with a drink, and just… WOW!!!
    Personally, I haven’t tried Stevie’s, but I’ve tried a whole lot of other restaurants’ versions, and SHCE is just the best yet. WNK for me failed in their serving of soup which didn’t taste like how it is in Singapore. I think the whole Hainanese Chicken Rice experience should be complete with how the chicken is cooked, the taste of the rice with its three sauces, and the soup.

  29. Oh! And Sing Hainanese Chicken was the only one I tasted that had the exact same dark soy sauce as those in hawker centers in Singapore. A lot of the other restaurants that serve HCR just take away the experience by serving second-rate three-sauces in my opinion.

  30. Recent publicity of their yellow chicken festival had me recalling our bad experience with one of the owners.
    There was an error in our bill and I asked to talk with the manager or owner. The waiter approached him and he didn’t do anything. After some time I had the owner called again. He finally went to us, but with a bastos attitude. Nonetheless we just left.
    This happened at Ayala Triangle Gardens when they first opened. Now, whenever I pass their branch at Alabang Town Center, the employees are sleeping in front of the restaurant!

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