The Halal Guys – Hype or Type?
There was much hype surrounding the recently opened The Halal Guys at SM Megamall Fashion Hall Food Court. To my knowledge from the internet, people in the US are lining up at wee hours just to experience The Halal Guys. When they got here in the Philippines, Facebook and Twitter won’t stop talking about them and the result was long lines, which is good for them but not for me. After the hype has died down, GF and I were finally able to try this famous platter of chicken and gyro over rice.
This was on a Saturday around 10:15am. The mall has just opened but there was a line already. Fortunately it was fast and we were served within 7 minutes.
The lines was slowly getting longer despite the fast turnaround time.
- Chicken and Falafel Combo over Rice
- Gyro over Rice
My main comparison for The Halal Guys was Uncle Moe’s. I’m a fan of their white and hot sauce. It has the right amount of tanginess, not too overwhelming that it will hide the meat’s taste.
I ordered the Chicken and Falafel Combo over Rice. Regular size. First time I was intimidated by the size of a dish. I’m not familiar with falafel but still ordered since I wanted to try something new. Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Basically no meat. If I have known this I would’ve ordered something else. But it is not bad. It is savory to say the least (it is full of spices) and blends well with the rice. The pita bread included was below average, not even served hot. Fortunately the chicken was flavorful.
This is the dish I should’ve ordered, the Gyro over Rice. I read that the right way to pronounce it is “yeero” but I commonly hear “gairo”, even the staff said the latter, I’m still sticking to “yeero”. The gyro had small bits of meat that are wonderfully seasoned. Every bite, you can taste the meat. It cuts thru the rice and other vegetable toppings.
I will talk about the sauces briefly as they need a section of their own. The red sauce was the bomb. The staff even warned us that it is hot. That is a good sign for me because I like anything spicy. The warning was well deserved, a small amount of their hot sauce can burn the tongue of those not used to spicy food. On my end, too much of this will degrade my tasting experience as the heat and burn can already overwhelm the taste of the dishes. Two thumbs up for their hot sauce.
Unfortunately for the white sauce, it falls short for my taste buds. There is something lacking with their sauce that I can’t pinpoint, it might be the texture or the acidity (girlfriend says lack of it). It’s not bad at all, it’s just not that good. And for me, the sauce is a very important element for these kinds of cuisine. Major letdown for the white sauce.
The Halal Guys are a welcome addition to the international food scene here in the Philippines. However I think the hype played a part on their current warm reception and this will slowly and eventually decrease once people get to try their dishes. I personally wouldn’t recommend to line up at The Halal Guys but if you are in the area and there’s no line, why not. Uncle Moe’s pa rin.
Meh. I really wouldn’t go back here anymore. I had high expectations which clearly were not met. Sobrang let down yung white sauce. It was creamy and cloying–no tanginess despite it supposedly having vinegar as an ingredient. The Halal Guys to me is something you’ll try once because of the hype (good thing the queue moves really fast–they were really efficient in scooping the food onto the plates), but would never come back for.
Price to Taste Ratio – 2.5/5
Budget Per Person – P350
Facebook Page – The Halal Guys