Orchard Road – A Little Bit of Singapore in Manila

Last Saturday, we were at Megamall come dinner-time looking for a place to eat when we chanced upon this recently opened fast-food style eatery called Orchard Road. I had just gone to a trip to Singapore and was on a spicy oriental food hangover and this restaurant, bearing the name of Singapore’s most famous main road, caught my attention in an instant. The place was packed at 7 in the evening so we decided come back when the crowd had thinned a bit.

Orchard Road in Manila

A couple hours later, we came back to find the restaurant a little less busy so we decided to order and get settled in. It was a different kind of ordering system that welcomed us at the entrance, you get a slip of paper with their menu on it and a pencil. You can go around the kitchen area, which is right at the entrance and check out how the food is being cooked and how it actually looks like compared to the ones in picture. And then you tick the checkbox on the menu items that you wish to order.

The kitchen- right dab smack in the middle of the main dining area

Their kitchen is up front and center, with glass panels that almost make it look like a large aquarium minus the water. Actually, this kind of kitchen transparency is a good idea I think, you hear many horror stories of what really happens behind kitchen doors. With this kind of setup, you and everybody else see what’s going on in there. The dining area reminds me of the elegant food court at Ion Mall along the actual Orchard Road in Singapore.

Now let’s get on with big scoop here- the food. Obviously, with a name like Orchard Road, they serve dishes that are bestsellers in Singapore. And there were so many tasty-looking orders to choose from, it was difficult to order just enough- we wanted to try them all.

What we ended up ordering-

Main course orders:

For the main course we had: (clockwise from top-left) Hainanese Chicken, Laksa, Chicken Satay, and Chicken Curry
  • Hainanese Chicken- steamed chicken seasoned with ginger, salt and pepper. I didn’t get to try this one, but my date liked this dish best compared to everything else. He says the texture of the chicken was good, firm and tender. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Chicken Curry- this was an order good for two, it was a bowl filled with several pieces of tender chicken in rich and tasty curry sauce with just enough spice. This was my favorite. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Laksa- spicy coconut-based noodle soup that’s a popular dish in Singapore. Tasted exactly like the Laksa I had in SG, which is a good thing. Rating: 5/5
  • Chicken Satay- 4 sticks of barbecued skewered chicken fillets; also pretty tasty and the order was bigger than what I expected. Rating: 4/5
Side orders:

Popiang and Ice Kachang
  • Popiang- this was sort of like the Filipino lumpiang ubod. Chopped vegetables in a soft wrapper flavored by a sweet peanuty sauce topped with chopped nuts. Rating: 2.5/5
  • Shrimp Dumpling- hakaw, is what they call it in Chinese restaurants. Steamed shrimp wrapped in a translucent and gooey dumpling wrapper. Pretty good. Rating: 4.5/5
  • Ice Kachang- if we Pinoys have the halo-halo for dessert, they have this. Soft crushed ice drizzled with brightly colored syrup and syrupy corn with coconut milk (gata), gelatine (gulaman) and sugar palm (kaong) as the base. Rating: 3.5/5 (Nothing beats our halo-halo!)

Bandung and Milo Dinosaur
  • Bandung- a prettily colored Malaysian drink made of milk and rose cordial syrup. It’s an acquired taste, is what I can say. It reminded us of the Pinoy street cooler, scramble. Rating: 3/5
  • Milo Dinosaur- this happy drink is very Filipino. Creamy iced Milo topped with more Milo powder. That just says everything. Rating: 5/5
We ordered a bit too much for just two people, but the food and the ambience was that good that it made us want to fatten ourselves up s’more.

Main dishes cost about Php120-Php200 per order, which I think is a pretty reasonable price range considering the serving size and food quality. The staff were also very nice and helpul throughout the entire process, our orders arrived without delay, requests were handled with smiles and prompt service, the food tasted great and the dishes were a nice change from the usual.

Overall rating: 4/5

All in all, it was a fun dining experience. Good nomz! (^_~)d

*sorry for the grainy photos, I hadn’t brought a proper camera and used the cellphone’s cam instead


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