Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Holdak: The Real Korean Fried Chicken

Who doesn't like chicken?  Well, of course, those who are allergic to it are an exception.  But, anyway, I love chicken.  And luckily I was invited to attend a blogger's event featuring Holdak last May and I should say that I really enjoyed it.  But the downside to it was it's pretty far from where I stay.  I live in a nearby province, so Sta. Mesa, Manila is not feasible for me to go to (or maybe I'm not used to going to that part of the metro).  Although I have a very good friend who lives within the area that I haven't seen in years, so I went for a visit before heading to the event.  So it's a win-win situation for me!  :)

If you're commuting, take MRT to Cubao, then LRT 2 to V. Mapa.  SM Mezza Residences is on your right before approaching V. Mapa station.  It's just a five-minute walk from the station to Mezza.  Holdak is situated at the ground floor facing Aurora Boulevard so you won't miss it.


Now to the food and the event!

We were given some curry fries and drinks while waiting for the event to start.

So why is it called Holdak anyway?  It sounds like the Tagalog word holdap meaning holdup or armed robbery at gunpoint, or the act of being mugged.  But it's nowhere close to those.  It is a word play between a Korean phrase "Holdak ban hada" meaning "to fall deeply and madly in love with someone or something," and dak, which is chicken in Hangul.  Witty, no?  So Holdak is "to fall deeply and madly in love with chicken," and they really got me there.  I'm in love...with their chicken!  Seriously!  I'm not saying this just because I was invited to this event.  If you have read my previous posts, you may now know how honest I am especially when posting a review about food.  And I'm craving for these right now (this is what I don't like when blogging about food, it gives me these unnecessary cravings late at night).

Upper left:  Musicians behind the skit, and with some bloggers.
Upper right:  actors in action.
Bottom:  Carl Tan, Holdak president

The event started by entertaining us with a short skit from Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter. They were really good.  The name of the theater group and their presentation reminded me of the stage play that I did back in college (and after), Kapeng Malamig.  Props to them.  It's nice to see something new in an event like this.  :)

And as soon as the introduction and skit were done, we were then presented with plates of Korean fried chicken.  Yey!


Yang-nyam is their original Holdak fried chicken that is sweet, sour and salty at the same time.  Perfect for a Filipino palate.  I love it!

Jack Daniels
I expected too much from Jack Daniels.  I find it too sweet and didn't even get the hint of whiskey.  Well, I don't know if it really is included on the recipe, but why name it after a famous drink if it's not there, right?

Spicy Yang-nyam

If you are into real spicy goodness, then this one is for you.  Yang-nyam is a traitor.  You think, nah, it's not spicy, but after a couple of minutes, you will be breathing fire.  But, of course, you can customize its spiciness upon ordering.

Padak is my best pick among the rest of the flavors that they served.  It is better eaten with the spring onions.  Panalo!  (Winner!)

What I love the most on their chicken is the breading: crispy to its finest; and they serve chicken breast fillets.  The meat is not bland and salted just right, while their sauces are not too strong, which is great!  I'm an absolute believer of simplicity in all things.  I'd rather eat a simple dish than the elaborately prepared ones.

Aside from their chicken dishes, we were served with a couple of their side dishes.

Cheese Ramen

I never thought of adding cheese on my ramen.  This is very witty.  Anything with cheese is good.


Their side salad is just okay.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing to rave about.  It just helps whetting your palate for another plate of Holdak chicken.  

And for dessert: ice cream on a stick.  I'm not quite sure if this ice cream pop is included on their menu, but it is really good.  

Yup, I ate 'em all.

Will I ever go back to this restaurant?  Definitely.  Do I prefer this rather than similar chains?  YES.  Why?  I just loved everything in it.  Their menu is straightforward, only a few selections, which I think is great; and their food is really good.  But I do hope that they could keep the quality in the long run (because that's the common mistake of all restaurants/food chains out there).

Padak, I will get to taste you once again!  And I'm looking forward to it this Sunday since I'll be visiting my friend from Sta. Mesa.  Yey!  I'm a chicken monster!!!  Yang-nyam yum yum yum yum yum!

You might want to check it out too! :)


  1. WOW!Different types of fried chicken,I'll choose the Spicy Yang Nyam its really looks delicious.