fresh no ads
Curious yellow about chicken at Wee Nam Kee |

Food and Leisure

Curious yellow about chicken at Wee Nam Kee

Ching M. Alano - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - People around the world agree that yellow is the color of happiness. I agree without a trace of doubt. Which is probably why, when it comes to food, yellow chicken gives people a dollop of happiness.

Curious yellow about this chicken that has become popular by word of mouth — surely, contented mouths?

Simply follow the assorted crowd making a beeline for Wee Nam Kee come lunch and dinnertime.

“Yellow Chicken is like the Wagyu, Kobe or Kurobota of chicken,” says Linfred Yap, managing partner, WLA Food Concepts Inc. which owns and runs Wee Nam Kee. “It’s more premium than regular chicken. It’s starkly different in terms of color. And the skin is also thicker so when it’s cooked, it’s juicier and crispier.”

The yellow color comes from the high-protein diet of the chicken, which is primarily maize or corn, making the meat more juicy, flavorful, and tender. “Also, they walk this chicken to exercise it,” Linfred whets our curiosity about this chicken even more.

And now, you don’t have to go to the Hainan province in China to indulge in the world’s finest, tastiest chicken with Wee Nam Kee’s Yellow Chicken Festival, running from May 1 to June 30 at Wee Nam Kee branches in Serendra, Bonifacio Global City and Glorietta 2, Makati.

“This chicken comes all the way from Malaysia and will be offered for a limited time only, but if there’s a clamor for it, we will consider rolling it out on a regular basis,” Linfred tells us. “In fact, it was our regular customers in Serendra, who live in Forbes and travel to Singapore and Malaysia, who always tell us, ‘Have you seen the Yellow Chicken? Why don’t you use that to make the Hainanese Chicken Rice.’ So, we told ourselves, ‘Why don’t we offer both options — the regular and more premium Yellow Chicken?’”

Truly, you probably won’t hear anyone whining for shelling out P388 for a small order of top-grade Yellow Chicken meat or P1,380 for a large order.

It was the Chinese immigrants from the Hainan province who brought their most treasured chicken recipe to Singapore. “Being a foreign franchise, we have to follow the standards in Singapore,” Linfred shares. “Preparing the different ingredients is really labor-intensive. It entails four hours of cooking, starting early in the morning (perhaps as soon as the cock crows?). And the chicken stock is also used to flavor the rice, which is why it’s very malasa (tasty).”

Cooked either steamed or roasted, Hainanese chicken is best enjoyed with chicken rice and a choice of condiments such as pounded ginger, chili sauce, and dark soya sauce.

Linfred shares a funny anecdote, “When we opened in the country, we were told to prepare quite a lot of chili because in Singapore, sometimes they don’t put ginger or dark soya anymore but just chili sauce because they have a propensity for hot dishes there. Their consumption of chili is double that of ginger. But here, it’s the reverse, Filipinos don’t like spicy as much, we were surprised because nobody was getting the chili. But there’s really no right or wrong way of eating your chicken — it’s all up to you as to how you want your sauce or how you will combine the sauces.”

For three years in a row now, Wee Nam Kee has been voted as the No. 1 chicken rice concept in Singapore. Surely, most everybody in Singapore is high on Hainanese chicken! You’ll see office people in crisp suits and creaseless shirts as well as groups of families and friends diving into their bowls of Hainanese chicken in many a nondescript hawker center or fancy restaurant. No fuss, no muss, no sweat!

But of course, Wee Nam Kee has a lot more to crow about other than its world-famous chicken. “Have you tried our marmite pork ribs?” Linfred tickles our taste buds. “It’s the vegemite (brown food paste made from yeast extract) that the Australians eat with their breakfast. We turned it into a dish  â€” pork ribs fried and then coated in sauce with sesame seeds.”

Other bestsellers on the Wee Nam Kee menu are the cereal prawns, salted egg prawns, chili crabs with fried mantou bread, clay pot roasted pork with tofu and taosi, stir-fried clams in spicy sauce, sambal kangkong.

To wash it all down, you might want to order some lime juice or a mango mint smoothie or cucumber lime fizz.

Of course, we left room (lots of it) for the dessert(s). Fortunately, we have desserts here, unlike in Singapore. “There’s been a clamor for desserts here, so what we did was to come up with more playful renditions of Southeast Asian desserts like warm roti coated with milk tea sauce with caramelized bananas and mango sago pudding, where we took components of mango sago and turned them into a tapioca pudding with panna cotta at the bottom.”

And don’t forget the three-flavor chocolate truffle buchi oozing with white, dark or milk chocolate with every bite! Surely, not your old tired, boring buchi.

While Wee Poon Ouut, the founder of Wee Nam Kee, was simply content with having just one restaurant  from 1989 to 2008, Wee Nam Kee in the Philippines has mushroomed into seven branches, the biggest being Glorietta with 90 seats.

“Seventy percent of our business comes from the chicken, which is what we are really known for,” asserts Linfred. “Customers would order the chicken and then other items to complement the mix.”

Chicken will never be the same again. Wee to go!

* * *

Experience authentic Yellow Chicken goodness at the Yellow Chicken Festival at Wee Nam Kee in Glorietta 2, Makati, 478-8477 and 0917-828-5016) and
in Serendra, 0917-828-5025 and 822-7095.

For more details, visit Wee Nam Kee on Facebook via www.facebook.clom/WeeNamKeePH or follow Wee Nam Kee on Twitter via @WeeNamKeePH.

vuukle comment










Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with