Friday, October 7, 2016

Second Bite: Hey Handsome

I was lucky enough to sample some of Hey Handsome’s dishes on its first day of operations thanks to Charlie Paw. A single bite of its Nasi Lemak convinced me that this place will surely delight foodies craving for Perakanan dishes. And just when I was about to wobble my way out, I was asked by the amazing restauranteur to visit again the following week and bring some foodies with me to sample the other dishes. I giddily invited my favorite foodies and they quickly said yes. 
Hello again, Hey Handsome!
We were supposed to come here for lunch but since Hey Handsome is still testing the waters, they switched from "lunch only" service to "dinner only” service. I’m sure you’re wondering why a talked about restaurant would only focus on lunch or dinner. I had the same question in mind but Charlie said that it is because of their kitchen’s limited capacity. They are still working on their commissary and once it is set, they could manage to hold lunch and dinner services. For now, we have to settle with either lunch or dinner. (Make sure you check their Instagram account to make sure when they’re open.)
Hey Handsome has two seatings for dinner, one at 6 pm and another at 8:30 pm. Since most of us are getting old, we went with 6 pm. However, the insane traffic made us start at 7 pm.

To start off, we ordered some drinks. 
Some of us tried Magic Milk (PHP180) and loved the slight tangy taste from yuzu yogurt and passionfruit. Surprisingly, they said that it was not spicy at all. I had the impression that it is because of the thai chili. I got Cherry Pop (PHP150) since it looked so pretty. It tasted great too! I was worried that it would have a strong taste of cherry (which I hate) but the lemonade flavor overpowered the red fruit’s taste. My drink also had a very faint taste of rosemary. R on the other hand went with Donkey Punch (PHP130) and liked the refreshing combination of lengkuas (or galangal), lemongrass, passionfruit and elderflower. I still find Donkey Punch spicy though. 
After a while, the first batch of dishes were served.
The picturesque Beetroot Paneer (PHP480) was so photogenic that I could not help take a gazillion photos of it. It is the only vegetarian dish on the menu and I would easily skip this one on a typical day given my undying desire for meat. I’m so glad though that we got to try this one as it was delightful! 
I felt so healthy munching on quinoa tabbouleh (an Arab Middle Eastern vegetarian dish traditionally made of mint, tomatoes, parsley, onions and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and pinch of salt), yogurt, beetroot and crisp pappadum. I loved the subtle sweetness and graininess of the beetroots which complemented the slightly chewy quinoa tabbouleh. Friendly tip: Do not underestimate this dish. It may sound light and meant gor our vegetable-loving friends but one order could fill the good ol tummy. 
The Laap Phet (PHP380) or minced duck with deep fried egg, and herbs was also delicious. As the most pocket friendly main dish, one plate could satisfy two hungry tummies. The whole dish was flavorful and had a nice herby taste. However, I wouldn’t really have known that I was eating duck if I haven’t read the menu. It was like your usual ground meat with scrambled egg made fancy with herbs. 
One of the favorite dishes that night was Buah Keluak (PHP560) which is made of goat, buah keluak (a naturally poisonous fruit which I mistook as a nut), nasi ulam (steamed rice dish), sambal matah, Belacan (dried shrimp block) and topped with kerupek (or what we know as kropek). The overall taste was spectacular! It was a lovely mildly spiced goat stew. 
If you’re the type who want to play it safe, Hey Handsome also offers Nam Tok (PHP580) which means waterfall in Thai. This dish is made of grilled short ribs served on green papaya salad or som tam and some rhubarb sauce. 
I loved that the short ribs were so flavorful. It had a rich taste of coconut milk and aromatics. Each bite guarantees a burst of flavors making you eat more rice without even noticing it. But if you prefer more exotic dishes, you might not be very impressed with this one. 

After a while, the last two dishes were served. 
The Bebek Penyet (PHP680) was an instant hit that night with its crispy duck skin and juicy meat. We were told that the dish was sous-vide for 10 hours to attain such rich flavor. 
Served with nasi ulam and achar (or what we call achara), you have a fabulous deep fried Pekin duck meal. 
Nasi Lemak (PHP645) was the last one I sampled as I already tried this when I visited last week. I fell in love with the sea bass otah last week and now, I have developed a very clingy relationship with this marvellous dish. I smile like a lunatic just thinking about how the flavors of sea bass otah, nasi lemak (rice in coconut milk) and ikam bilis brittle play together. Oh, and this time was a lot better as I learned my lesson and skipped the sambal to avoid gasping for water.  
While trying to nibble the last morsels of duck meat, the desserts were served.
Yogurt (PHP200) was the crowned the best dessert that night with its tangy taste which complemented the sweet black bean base and lace wafer. 
Kueh Dadar (PHP180) or rose crepe with gula melaka (sap from budding flower of a date), coconut meat and galangal cream was just so-so with the group. I loved the sweet coconut meat though as it reminded me of local favorite palitaw
The least popular choice was Cream Puff (PHP180) as apparently, no one was fond of durian. I loved it though even when I’m not a fan of durian. I guess it was because my tastebuds were prepared for its strong taste. It was just hilarious though to see my favorite foodies’ surprised faces after a small bite of the infamous dessert. 
Overall, it was a lovely dinner and fun night with fellow looloo-ers. It was hours filled with laughter, food talks, and Pokemon tips. 
If you’re planning to visit Hey Handsome, do try the Nasi Lemak and Bebek Penyet. Another must try dish is the Buah Keluak. Do not skip yogurt for dessert! 

Hey Handsome is located at Ground Floor, Net Park, 5th Avenue, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City.

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