Almost no matter where you are on the globe, you’ll find some sort of “chicken and rice” dish. Singaporeans perform their version with delicious justice. After all, chicken rice as a Singaporean staple is hands down one of the most popular food in Asia. One reason could be that it’s just soothing—exactly what you should order when you want to take a break from the usual fiery dishes. Almost every chicken rice I’ve ever sampled in their local hawkers was good. I have also come across a vegetarian chicken rice made from veggie meat which was equally good.

In the Philippines, one casual joint serving Hainanese chicken rice is Hainanese Delights. This fast food chain has several branches now all over the country. Hainanese Delights was opened by Chinese owners who already have other successful chains of restaurants under their belt. This time around, they have established Hainanese Delights which specializes in Singaporean cuisine. To invite more Pinoy foodies, they have this all-you-can-eat rice scheme offered to diners (just like Tokyo Tokyo, Mang Inasal, etc.) because Filipinos are known to love eating unlimited rice. ♥

After watching Monsters University on a Sunday, Louie and I passed by Hainanese Delights in Robinsons Place, Manila and decided to give their signature dish, chicken rice, a try and see if it matches the authenticity of the “original” Hainanese flavor as expected from its name.

Review of Hainanese Delights (Robinsons Place, Manila)

Ambiance: ★★★★☆

Simple and straightforward, the ambiance here is very fast-food-restaurant-like. With nice contrasting colors, the tables are black and the chairs are white. This branch has spacious area (both indoor and outdoor). Inside got minimalistic designs with pictures of food all on the walls. Spotlights on the ceiling made the place extra classy and quite elegant. Generally, it’s a good venue for hangouts with a bunch of friends.

Service: ★★★★★

Paying before you eat is a thing at Hainanese Delights. You can either sit down and be handed a copy of their menu before ordering and paying at the counter or proceed directly to the counter. In either way, wait staff would serve food on trays promptly and courteously.

Food: ★★★☆☆

When compared to the authentic chicken rice from Singapore (or Malaysia), Hainanese Delights’ chicken rice (PHp 130) is not very close. It tasted like ordinary steamed white chicken that was not too dry but rather supple and delicate.

The chicken pieces were not really seasoned well so you have to put a lot of ginger purée, dark soy sauce and chili sauce for it to taste strong enough and for your buds to accept and realize that it’s chicken rice you’re eating.

Of course, the “chicken rice” dish would not be complete when there’s no chicken rice which typically is cooked from the flavorful stock made from the oily fat of the chicken. Hainanese Delights’ rice, on the contrary, was not aptly gratifying; it failed to be a beautiful accompaniment to the chicken. In my humble opinion, I thought it was only spiced with salt and colored with light yellow to appear like the usual serving of chicken rice. Hmph. 🙁 The texture though was lovely as each grain was easily separated.

In addition to the supposedly “highlight” of our dinner, we had the [EAT THE HEAT] Spicy Fried Squid (PHp 190) that tasted decent. It was salty and spicy so we put lots of vinegar to enhance the taste even more. I could say it was worthy of our calories and thus made the night! 😀

Price for Value: ★★★★☆

A plate of chicken with rice, in average, costs S$3-4 in Singapore. So in conversion, the price is likely the same here. Basing on the prices alone, food in this restaurant are affordable. Budget per person is less than PHp 200.

Note: If you’re expecting to find authentic tastes then resorting to other restaurants like Wee Nam Kee, Makan Makan and Old Penang for chicken rice may most probably be a better idea.

G/F Robinsons Place Manila, Padre Faura corner M. Adriatico Streets, Ermita, City of Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
For inquiries, call (02) 5255583
Date Published: 08/05/2013
16 / 20 stars


Health and technology freak. Food and lifestyle blogger with a large appetite for food and travel.

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30 Responses

  1. Gil Camporazo

    When I was a kid, I used to color my rice to look it like yellow by spoonful of a star margarine. and it tastes too delicious.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Eating chicken rice is quite different from eating the regular chicken from the more familiar fast food chains like Jollibee, McDonald’s and KFC. So I guess with Hainanese Delights’ affordable prices, their chicken rice meal can be a reason good enough for this restaurant to be a go-to place — at least for first-timers.

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      I know that you’re a frequent restaurant diner. 😛 So hearing that you love this place makes it somewhat a star.

      Hainanese Delights, in fairness, is a restaurant where you can dig in dinner comfortably; that is, if you’re okay to settle for average, predictable dishes.

  2. leny

    never heard of this restaurant and the menu they have wow!! gonna visit this on my vacation and bring my family here!

  3. Genzel

    Waaah I love Hainanese Delights. We’ve been here (me and bf) for nth times already. We really love their special, Hainanese Chicken. Your post made me want to go to SM Southmall and eat again but the weather is not good today so I’ll give it a pass 😐

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Food here tastes wholesome and decadent at the same time. Good stuff but not exactly great.

      My boyfriend and I don’t eat at the same restaurant more than once – except for those that truly delight to the full measure of our capacity for enjoyment. 😀

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Hehe. There are chicken rice entrees that are more palate-inflaming than this one. I hope to review other restaurants’ versions to justify a good comparison.

  4. nix

    ..seems like a disappointment.. pero I’m still thinking of trying it..baka masarap sa ibang branch 🙂

  5. lena

    The first time we dine in to hainanese at rob place together with my family we really had a bad experienced because our order took for abt 40 mins to served and to be exact they serve it one by one my wife is already done with her food while me and my son still waiting for the food to be serve andwhen we follow up the staff and the cashier had make face eith me and finally they serve our food they forgot the chapche which my wife got mad and cancelled it the cashier said the chapche is done but they dont do anything abt it they dont wven say sorry for the poor service we ask them if their is a manager on duty but they dont reply how rude all the staff ! We really enjoy the food thats why we ate again last night at megamall branch we thought that maybe it wont happen but we are really dissapointed same thong happened

  6. lena

    Same thing happened the staff qasnt able to served the food on time we ordered white chix and bite of both just the other night it took about 45 mins of waitung we made 3 x follow up and yet it was pack take out!!!omg!! We re so upset!! And when we ask for anextra rice for unli they dont mind and yet they manage to gave the irher table while wr re the first ang nearest customer in the area so we keep im waiting again. We ask again fr rhe manager they said nasa admin po its already 10pm ns admin the other one said wl po kming manager anu ba ang totoo?!!! We w

  7. lena

    We really had a bad experienced twice!! We are not gonna eat again to this resto, we also work in food industry and manager at the same time im nit expecting too much but the staff needs training maqawalan kau ng customer or else kayang tiyagain ang artitude ng staff nio i hope u will do something wirh this thank u

    • Rochkirstin Santos

      Whoa! Hi Lena, thanks for sharing your awful experience here. Hope the management would get to read this to improve their customer service to the max level! 😀


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