Well, not actually all birthdays, but I turned 22 this month and decided to celebrate at our local Hap Chan. This is the Robinsons Antipolo Branch.
If I were to decide, I would have wanted to eat pizza. But my mom is already dead-set on getting some Camaron Rebusado that she’s been craving on and off for a few months.
She’s treating me so I can’t really complain. And besides, I like Chinese food. It looks healthy, you know?
Hap Chan actually serves Hong Kong Chinese cuisine and calls themselves the “leading authentic Hong Kong Chinese restaurant in the Philippines”.
Do they live up to their claims? Read on to find out about our experience!
There’s nothing really special about the interior of the place. In fact, I would say it’s a little cramped, and moving about can be a little difficult when the place is just half full.
A mix of circular and rectangular wooden tables line up the center of Hap Chan for large groups, while on the side are 4-seater face to face sofas. We sat on a side table, which is too small if you order more than 3 types of dishes.
The place runs hot, though, despite its small size and the three air conditioners. My mom also complained that the seat covers are already battered, although it didn’t really affect my appetite.
A straightforward red and white theme with little decoration. I guess that’s how businesspeople who frequent the place like it.
The highlight of any food post. A bad move that I did, is eating some hopia on the way. As a result, I was already not hungry when we arrived at Hap Chan. I still ate well, though. We ordered rice, 3 main dishes, and 2 desserts. Let’s look at them one by one. (Please forgive the blurry pics)
(Please forgive the blurry pics)
What’s a meal without hot soup? Hap Chan’s Nido Soup is thick and tasty, and is a good way to start our birthday lunch. It has a lot of egg so there’s an obvious texture with every spoonful.
It’s got a nice, mild taste to it that helped warm-up my stomach for the Chinese food marathon ahead.
We ordered the best kind of flavored rice, which is Garlic Rice. My mom actually opposed to this at first, saying that it might affect the taste of the other dishes. But seeing as one cup of plain rice is worth P40, I convinced my mom that we’ll have more rice by getting a platter.
You can smell and taste the garlic alright, but it’s not enough to actually overpower the taste of the dish. It still gets on your breath, though. So wash it down with tea.
As for the quality, it’s nothing special. Feels similar to P37/kilo market rice.
Beef Steak Chinese Style
For something with Chinese-Style in the name, this Beef Steak sure tastes very western. It’s spicy and has a certain kick, but the most apparent taste is undoubtedly salt followed by pepper. Even for me, this dish is too salty and had to be watered down with the Nido Soup.
As for the meat, the first one that I ate was surprisingly tough, as if it was taken out of the cooker 20 minutes early. I was worried that I chose the wrong dish to have, but thankfully, the next cuts I had were much softer.
Go easy on the sauce because that’s where most of the saltiness comes from.
Ahh, Chinese Tempura. The Camaron Rebusado has an outer shell that will remind you of the chicharon from Chow King, both in taste and crunch factor. Inside is a nicely cooked, meaty piece of shrimp that tastes better when dipped in the mayo.
My mom says it’s a little too oily, but I think she’s just being sensitive. These shrimp crackers taste fine and actually goes well with a little sauce from the beef steak.
What’s Chinese cuisine without noodles? I forgot what this Hap Chan dish is exactly called, but I remember it being “Meaty Noodles.” There’s not really that much meat at first glance, especially since it’s swimming in sauce. But dig in and you’ll find bits of shrimp, pork liver, squid meat, and others.
There’s a healthy mix of veggies in there too, which when paired with the noodles, should give me longer life (according to popular belief). Tastes authentic, alright.
I doubt that milkshakes originated in China, but the Strawberry Milkshake at Hap Chan is a welcome dessert-slash-drink that is just the right amount of sweetness. It’s not the type of cold shake to give you brain freeze so I sipped this one up quickly.
Another great counter to the saltiness of the beef steak.
Chilled Taho with Sago
Hap Chan’s take on this traditional Filipino merienda makes it look as gourmet as Taho can go. However this Chilled Taho with Sago feels more of an acquired taste because of its unfamiliar texture.
While taho sold on the streets have a jelly-like texture to it, this one feels like it was made of flour. It’s still pretty edible nonetheless.
The waiting staff of Hap Chan are automatic so you don’t have to call their attention that much.
After entering the restaurant, we were greeted at once and seated to a table. Tea was served a few moments later while we were looking at the menu.
When it was time to order, the waiter was courteous with us and was patient even if we were ordering in an unorderly fashion. They would refill our glasses with water even without asking them to.
We had a lot of leftovers, and they wrapped it up for take-out pretty nicely, too.
And that concludes our visit!
My mom didn’t quite like the food, although it can be attributed to her current stomach problems that prevent her from eating foods that are too oily or too salty.
I liked Hap Chan’s menu, however, and am willing to come back to try some of their chicken-centric dishes. I would have to choose a different branch, though. One with a cooler airconditioner.
How about you? What are your thoughts on Hap Chan, the “leading authentic Hong Kong Chinese restaurant in the Philippines”? Share with me on the comments below!
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