Quick Bite: The Halal Guys (Manila)

The famous street food from New York, New York, The Halal Guys had arrived on Philippine shores with its first branch opening at the Fashion Hall of SM Megamall.  I’ve had the chance to visit their maiden branch on a relatively lean time so I was able to try their combo platter, and here’s what my tongue had to say. 😛

Chicken + Gyro Combo Platter (Small, ₱269)

It was one of those lucky times that I’m in Megamall just before everyone goes out of their offices.  There was still a queue but it was much shorter than peak hours.  The foodie in me won’t let this golden opportunity pass to know what’s so special with The Halal Guys.

The orders being prepared in front of customers

Picking which item to try first was my dilemma since I can only eat so much.  Basically you have chicken, gyro (beef), and falafel (vegetable) served with rice or wrapped.  There’s also the small, regular, and New York sizes to choose from.  Since their logo states “gyro and chicken,” I opted to try them both at the same time, and my options were instantly narrowed down to the combo platter over rice.  I picked the small serving size as at the time they do not accept credit cards yet and I didn’t have enough cash with me at the time as I rushed to get in the queue.

The menu and price list of The Halal Guys (Manila)
(Courtesy The Halal Guys (Megamall) on Facebook)

Anyway, ordering and food preparation was no frills: you state your orders and it is assembled in front of you as your queue slowly crawls to the cashier.  Add-ons do cost extra but I was able to ask for some hot sauce for free.

Warning: their hot sauce is the real deal!  I kind of learned it the hard way 😀

Moving onto the meal.  The chicken has that very nice, smokey flavor yet it remains light on the taste.  The gyro is a bit oily but it was quite tasty.  It comes with some tomatoes, a decent serving of lettuce, and two slices of bread.  The bread is soft and good but there’s really nothing really remarkable about it.  All these lie on top of a bed of yellow rice.  The hot sauce though is the real deal.  Just adding a few dashes of it makes your meal very, very spicy!  It is perhaps one of the spiciest hot sauces I’ve ever encountered on Philippine shores!  And I consider myself to be more tolerant than the average Filipino when it comes to spices!  I learned this the hard way as I placed some generous serving of their hot sauce on my meal and I didn’t have any drinks around me to quench the spice!  Take note as well that there are no water fountains in the food court where The Halal Guys is located so be warned!

Size comparison between Small (₱269), Regular (₱369), and New York (₱469) sizes of their Combo Platter
(Courtesy The Halal Guys (Megamall) on Facebook)

Overall, I find the small size “just right” in terms of portions as it is neither too little to leave you wanting more nor too much that you’d be stuffed.  At ₱269, I find it reasonable because I really did enjoy my meal and didn’t leave hungry.  What I do find a bit disappointing is the very “easy” serving of the gyro which was practically just about two tablespoons.  Had I known that they prize it that highly I would not have opted for the combo, but thankfully the chicken was good so it saved the day.

So would I recommend it?  Definitely!  I still have to try their falafel and their wraps, and I still have to “conquer” that hot sauce.  I can’t comment though if the New York size is reasonable at ₱469 since it doesn’t seem to be that much bigger (I have to eat an entire bowl first as looks can be deceiving) but if you have someone to share it, having two bowls may be more practical for ₱69 more.

The first branch of The Halal Guys in the Philippines is located at the Food Hall (5th floor) of Mega Fashion Hall in SM Megamall.  For more information, visit their Facebook page.

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