There’s a new Halo-Halo in town, and it’s Kuya J Halo-Halo Espesyal!
If you’ve been to the malls the past year, you must have noticed a new restaurant chain called Kuya J Restaurant that has been popping up all over the malls. I first noticed this restaurant in our good, old neighborhood mall, SM Sta. Mesa. Then at SM Megamall, and then at SM Manila last Sunday.
So last Sunday, Kuya J had a media event to introduce their Halo-Halo Espesyal – they claim to have the best halo-halo among their competitors, and I am inclined to agree!
My mom is the halo-halo fanatic in the family, while I’m not a big halo-halo eater. However, I finished the entire serving of Kuya J Halo-Halo Espesyal!
Kuya J Halo-Halo Espesyal is diffferent from the usual – instead of plain crushed ice, which makes the halo-halo watery, something I don’t like about other halo-halos, Kuya J Halo-Halo Espesyal uses a milky ice. It actually seems like a milky sorbet. It does not melt easily and does not make the halo-halo watery. Just this tiny change has already won me over, but there was more goodness.
The leche flan was very thick, smooth and creamy. The ube jam was also generous and deeply flavorful and smooth. There were colorful and chewy nata de coco, macapuno, langka and caramel bananas, too.
It’s topped with corn flakes that add some crunch and texture to the otherwise sweet, smooth and cold halo-halo.
And the price? The whole thing is only P99! Even though it’s June, any time is a great time to enjoy this cool, icy treat!
It’s a delicious and luxurious halo-halo at a good price of only P99. Instead of going for coffee when I need a break from malling next time, we’re going to Kuya J again for Halo-Halo Espesyal instead. It’s more filling than coffee, easier on the budget, and Kuya J has bigger tables and chairs which are easier to relax in when you’re tired from walking and shopping!
Okay, so I jumped to talking about dessert first. Let’s backtrack a bit so I can tell you about the other dishes we had for lunch, and the wonderful entertainment we had from Kuya J endorser Jericho Rosales.
We were at the Kuya J SM Manila branch:
Echo arrived and hosted the event, all the while talking and joking with us.
Echo sang songs for us while we dined, he’s a good singer. But more than that, he seemed like a genuinely nice guy – he was down-to-earth, he was game to take pictures with fans, he was always considerate, tactful and warm. He was even worried about his fans waiting outside.
More than his good looks, it was his friendly personality that made me a fan. This guy is awesome!
Kuya J serves Filipino food cooked from the heart. I was told that all the dishes are cooked in the branch – they don’t pre-cook the food elsewhere and then just bring it in the branch to serve.
Let me just give some highlights of the meal:
We started with these Grilled Scallops (P230), topped with melted cheese and butter and fried garlic. I don’t know anyone who would say no to this!
Next, we were served the Lumpia Presko (P95). It’s only P95! I don’t think I have seen a dish at a mall restaurant lately that’s less than P100, so this would be a great option if you’re on a diet, trying to be healthy or just want a light merienda. The lumpia wrapper is green because it has malunggay (for added health benefits). The filling is made up of bamboo shoots and crabmeat.
This is the Danggit Rice (P195), I think this is a nod to Kuya J’s Cebu origins. The presentation is unique. Love the standing danggits!
We also enjoyed their famous Crispy Pata (Regular, P490; Family P695):
Here’s some Sizzling Sisig (P190) to make you hungry!
A video posted by The Barat Queen (@thebaratqueen) on
Here’s what my half-eaten Halo-Halo looks like. Notice the creamy, smooth “ice” that is not ice. It’s more like icy ice cream. Notice the abundance of ube jam, etc… Can’t wait to take my mom to Kuya J so she can try this, too!
Kuya J is headed by seasoned restauranteur Winglip Chang. The restaurant started in Cebu but has quickly grown to end last year, 2015, with 30 branches, and they plan to open up 80 new branches all over the country in 2016.
Some of these new branches planned will be located at SM Davao, Solenad 3 in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, SM Cauayan, Isabela, Lucky Chinatown in Manila, Ayala Serin in Tagaytay, Otis in Manila, SM Cabanatuan, etc… so there’s bound to be one branch near you soon!
#kuyaj #KuyaJHaloHaloEspesyal #sarapkasummer #EspesyalSaloSalo
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