Tucked away at the second floor of Manila Ocean Park, Makan Makan Asian Food Village deals with super hungry hordes who insanely crave for mixed Asian cuisine, particularly authentic Singaporean, Chinese, Malay, Thai, Indian and Filipino food.
My family and I found out about this “hawker-style” Singaporean dining place only last weekend coincidentally, when we accompanied my sister for her monthly braces adjustment at Vaxcen Clinic (located at the first floor in the same building). We had just finished with lunch at that time. Still, I was urged to take a bite and grab a quick meal here to know how promising their dishes are.
Review of Makan Makan Asian Food Village (Manila Ocean Park)
Makan Makan has two entrances: front and back. You can enter from either way and you will see cooks in their own stations right through to the depths of open kitchens, as they showcase showmanship and artistry in cooking and preparing food.
The concept combines typical Singaporean hawker fare which basically consists of a good mix of standalone pushcarts put together featuring different food options that can make you quite dizzy, especially if you don’t know exactly what you want. If you’ve been to Food Republic or Food Opera in Singapore or Hong Kong, you will get a clearer idea and picture the ambiance of Makan Makan more vividly. Why? They are likely the same, except that this localized version has less overwhelming crowd and fewer food stalls.
Makan Makan Asian Food Village offers open dining and free seating to guests (not exclusive to stalls where you order your food from). Theme is vintage, invoking a nostalgic kampong atmosphere.
The staff were polite and courteous from beginning to end. Unlike the mentioned food courts in Singapore, here, dining customers order through the waiters after reviewing the menu and not through the staff inside each food stall. This non-self-service arrangement gives Makan Makan Asian Food Village a fully decent and classy restaurant setting.
With so many international food choices on the menu, it was hard for us to decide which ones to order. Finally, we went for my two favorite Singaporean dishes: Laksa (PHp 160) and Char Kway Teow (PHp 175). My mom and my sister didn’t get to taste these before when they came to visit me in Singapore because there were a lot more they sampled. Despite that, they had the inkling and feeling that they won’t like them, especially laksa. :O But of course, that had to change!
Let’s start with the Cha Kway Teow. Cooked in sweet and savory soy sauce and oyster sauce, the kway teow was neither too oily nor dry for anyone to dislike. In fact, it was really delicious! Ingredients used were slices of fish cake, squid, lup cheong (chinese sausage), bean sprouts and egg. I think this was a Singapore-style char kway teow, a darker and sweeter version of its Penang rival.
As for the laksa, the soup and the noodles were superb and flavorsome! The taste of curry and coconut milk with the usual herbs and condiments was very evident, making up for the sour, sweet and spicy concoction. Small prawns, bite-size chicken meat, shredded vegetables and tofu were present in the bowl.
End result? My mom and sister gave positive feedback on the food. 😀
It’s confirmed then. Makan Makan’s food flavors are authentic! I’m so glad it’s here in Manila, so I don’t have to travel far to quell my cry to Singapore and Malaysian food once in a while.
Other must-try dishes are:
- Wanton Mee (PHp 160) – egg noodles in special sauce with asado
- Oyster Omelet (PHp 160) – topped with stir fried spring onions and fresh oyster served with chili dip
- Singaporean Carrot Cake (PHp 160) – stir fried radish cake
- Hainanese Chicken Rice (PHp 500 for half chicken and PHp 900 for the whole) – poached chicken served with sauces
- Crispy Cereal Prawns (PHp 550 for 2-3 and PHp 900 for 4-5) – stir fried prawns in butter and cereals
- Chili Crab (PHp 200 per 100 grams) – stir fried crabs in chili sambal sauce
- Pepper Crab (PHp 200 per 100 grams) – stir fried crabs in chili pepper sauce
- Pad Thai Seafood (PHp 190) – stir fried seafood rice noodle with pickled radish, bean curd and special tamarind sauce
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
When compared to prices of hawkers in Singapore, prices of food in Makan Makan Asian Food Village – Manila Ocean Park are quite the same. Eating here will cost 1-2 diners around PHp 150 to PHp 300, or around S$4 to S$9. Given that it’s a gastronomic paradise filled with specialties from various regions constituting to a proper foodie destination, the rate is affordable and reasonable. 🙂
Note: You don’t need to pay for any entrance fees to the Manila Ocean Park shows and theaters to dine inside.
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm daily