When was the last time you ate chicken effortlessly? Sounds like a tough question, isn't it? But you know what guys I am just so happy to announce that finally this restaurant near where I live, which my dear foodie friend and I were eyeing weeks ago finally opened last Friday. And mind you, yesterday I was surprisingly invited by these two chowhounds named Yedy and Eugene to try this place called HOLDAK. It was thru them that I first learned that the long wait is over for I can be here anytime. But of course I could not just turn them down no matter how full I was from a lunch date. We just came from a gastronomic adventure somewhere in Quezon City and in no time we were on this part of QC-San Juan area to simply try great varieties of Korean-style chicken. Indeed, we are food fanatics!
But first things first, what does HOLDAK mean? Dak in Korean language means 'chicken' and hol means 'to fall deeply in love'. Hence, Holdak literally means to fall deeply in love with chicken. And that is Korean-style fried chicken for that matter.
Holdak can be found along Mezza Strip just across SM City Sta. Mesa and just a stone's throw away from me. Though the place is still on the soft opening mode, we have witnessed how guests, usually coming from schools, condo dwellers and hospitals, embrace the offerings that seemingly has big difference from its very popular competitors in many ways. It has fine and tidy dining area which could sit around 30 guests plus it has an al fresco area which could cater more customers. In the coming days Holdak will provide a free wifi for a more convenient dining experience.
Since it is new in the food industry, the limited type of menu helps a lot when it comes to a great customer recall because of the easy to memorize list of food items. I want to summarize it into: two types of meal- Mini Meal (2-pc chicken with rice) and Solo Meal (4-pc chicken with rice); four Korean fried chicken variants; some extras; boxes of chicken; and drinks. As per the manager-on-duty, they are still developing more recipes that hopefully will wow its patron most especially that most of us will be celebrating Lent a few weeks from now.
The initial thing that I observed just before I enter the restaurant was the untidy glass panels with a lot of fingerprints and tape marks. Second was the very cool air conditioning which is perfectly okay with the three of us. Customer service was excellent for they have the right choice of smart staff I guess.
Now let me explore you on the most enjoyable part...EATING! :)
Curry Fries PhP55
Plain fries seemed to be a no-no that afternoon so one of us ordered this small platter of curry french fries that is good to be eaten as is. For some reason, even without ketchup nor mayonnaise the taste was mighty good.
Another extras which we ordered was this one which I surmise is better to be named as coleslaw salad . Perfect match for our four different platters of Korean fried chicken.
Padak is believed to be the sophisticated type of fried chicken (well take a look at it closely). Four pieces of thigh chicken fillet exude with zesty Asian flavor that anybody can instantly love. Topped with hefty portion of spring onion with drizzles of tasty sauces and seasonings. I bet this is the safest solo meal to order among the four options for it is not very spicy and with just the right amount of palatable elements.
Jack Daniel uses their very own version of the world's famous sauce (from the name itself). Sure the chicken pieces were all juicy and flavorful but with the aid of the JD sauce, it made the recipe a tad smokey and sweet at the same time. I'm enjoying the burst of flavors that made me want to order this over and over again. A cup of plain rice ain't good enough for me.
Yangnyam is the real Korean fried chicken recipe. So this is the standard in terms of ordering the real kind of stuff. Four incredible pieces of chicken fillet is NOT too much for a chicken lover like me. More so if it is a combination of sweet and savoury taste. Rice would be an issue here. Unlimited rice would be better but for the mean time extra rice would only cost you PhP15. Not bad at all.
For spicy lovers, Spicy Yangnyam would be an ideal catch or a perfect match for plain rice or a bottle of cold beer (not yet available). For my palate, this is too spicy to handle.
All the fried chicken pieces has this crunch responsible for a slight crackling sound in every bite, even if they are drenched in sauces. This thing is what making them so special to me now. This must be the REAL Korean FRIED CHICKEN. Experience now and believe.
Holdak Chicken offers only the tastiest and juiciest of chicken pieces all because they uses chicken fillet (thigh part only). You may have thought that all the while they are using chicken breast for their recipes. And that sets them apart from other Korean fried chicken stores here in the country aside from the fact that they have interesting blend of flavors and that you get to eat them effortlessly because it has no bones whatsoever. Overall, my verdict is almost perfect based on the taste, texture, affordability and general appearance or plating. Improvements could be made more on the additional offerings like beers and approved liquors to sell.
Wait. I am pretty sure you have noticed something from the logo. Looks so familiar, right? But definitely not associated with the said brand. It's just that it somehow looks the same at first sight.
Boxes of 10s and 20s are available with two and four salads, respectively. Something good for take-out and binge session with close friends. Now, what are you waiting for? Come and try this newest Korean fried chicken store in town and I sure hope this is the next big thing :) Check if you'll fall deeply in love with their chicken and sauces.
Aurora Boulevard, Quezon City, Philippines
(02) 359 2725