Holdak: The Real Korean Fried Chicken from Busan is Now in Manila

July 1, 2013

Holdak is a family owned fast casual restaurant that originated in Busan, South Korea.  What began small has now become a chain of restaurants known for their authentic Korean styled chicken with international branches in China and Japan.  And, fortunately for us, Holdak has arrived in the Philippines.

holdak korean style chicken
Carl Tan, Holdak's president, discovered Holdak while living in Beijing.  Loving his experience with his friend's as they bought Holdak chicken in take-out boxes to enjoy on a winter's day or for movie nights.

holdak korean style chicken
Holdak is actually a play of words.  Holdak ban hada which translates to "to fall deeply and madly in love with someone or something".  Dak also means "chicken" in Korean.   So, put two and two together and Holdak means to fall deeply and madly in love with chicken. =)

holdak korean style chicken
With high ceiling, the place is bright and well-ventillated.  It has a simple but appealing orange theme with modern street-style motifs like black lamp posts and street signs.  Like most fast food chains, it adopts a pay as you order system.  In addition to the usual large menu by the counter, they also have a large illustration of their Korean fried chicken variants to give you a more concrete idea.  

holdak korean style chicken

Food
I've visited this twice.  I first dined here with foodie friends and I revisited to let my family try. 

Mini Meals

They only serve boneless chicken thigh fillets so it's easy and convenient to eat especially for the students and employees in the area who are on the rush.  The serving portions are also standard.  The chicken coating are wonderfully crispy.  While, the meat was tender and juicy.

Based on their location, their target market are students from nearby universities so they offer the very affordable Mini Meals at 99 php.  The Mini Meals are two boneless chicken thigh fillets with a cup of rice.
yang nyam
Yang Nyam Mini Meal (99 php)

jack daniels mini meal
Jack Daniels Mini Meal (99 php)
Solo Meals
For heavy eaters especially men, I'd recommend the Solo Meal reasonable priced at 145 php to guarantee their meal satisfaction.  The Solo Meals are three boneless chicken thigh fillets with a cup of rice. If you love doing the math like I do, you'd find that the solo meal costs a bit more than the Mini Meal though. =)

jack daniels solo meal
Jack Daniels Solo Meal (145 php)
Out of the four flavors, my family loved the Jack Daniel's the most.  The sauce has a light sweet and tangy taste topped with caramelized onions.  This is Holdak's version of the world famous Jack Daniel's barbecue sauce.  It is tweaked a bit to fit the Filipino palate.

Box of 6's
An order of the Box of 6's is priced at 279 php.  However, unlike the meals, it doesn't come with rice so you have to order Extra Rice for 15 php each.  But, it does come with a FREE Salad worth 35 php which makes this the second best choice for more savings.  The Box of 12 being the best. 

yang nyam
Yang Nyam Box of 6 (279 php)
The Yang Nyam is an interesting combination of sweet, sour and salty flavors.  It is topped with sesame seeds and mixed in with the sweet local peanut butter.  (I consider local peanut butter sweet as compared to the imported ones which a more dominant peanut taste)

spicy yang nyam
Spicy Yang Nyam Box of 6 (279 php)
If you love spicy dishes like I do, the Spicy Yang Nyam is a must try!  It's Yang Nyam with a chili spicy kick!  I find the peanut butter component more fitting with this because it serves as a neutralizer against the hotness.

spicy yang nyam
Spicy Yang Nyam Box of 6 (279 php)
This Spicy Yang Nyam served on my second visit with diced chili is spicier than the first one above.  Perhaps, someone requested to have our order before toned down.  I liked this spicer one better but my family found it to be beyond their spicy tolerance level so I had to finish this all on my own. =p 

padak
Padak Box of 6 (279 php)
The Padak is my favorite among the four.  It is topped with chili and spring onion and swimming in an interesting zesty Asian sauce.

Extras
Salad (35 php; Free 1 for Box of 6 and 2 for Box of 12)
I really their Salad!  It's actually made of shredded cabbage similar to the Japanese cabbage salad that's usually served with Tonkatsu.

Curry Fries (55 php)
The Curry Fries is a good option for finger food which you can share among friends.
 

Ramen (85 php)
Whenever I watch Korean dramas (I watch often!), I always envy the scene where they eat would cook ramen on a small stove and eat it out of the pot.  I always wanted to try it but my mom would probably scold me for eating out of the pot. =p  My dream has finally become a reality as soon as our Ramen was served in this cute small pot. 

Ramen (85 php)
Although I love the presentation, it was nothing more than instant Ramen.

Cheese Ramen (95 php)
We also tried the Cheese Ramen since we've never encountered one before.  We were told that it comes with melted cheese which got me excited.  But, upon tasting, I could not detect any cheesiness.  It was more creamy than the regular Ramen though with a hint of powder milk taste. (Based on experience of drinking milk every night and munching on powder milk)

Korean Ice Cream
Melona Ice Cream Bars (35 php)
I love Korean ice cream!  Melona is one of our favorite Korean ice cream brands so excuse me for my gluttony in having two flavors all for myself. =p


Tsinoy Foodies Verdict
Holdak is a great and affordable option for korean styled chicken lovers!  Compared to other korean styled chicken, you'd find this more fun and interesting because you have more flavors to choose from.  Plus, their salad is also a good side dish to go with their chicken. 

Tsinoy Foodies Review Rating Holdak Menu
Ambiance Menu | Korean Ice Cream
Taste
Service
Price
=Favorites or Recommended 
Holdak
Business Address
Mezza Residences, Aurora Blvd. cor. Araneta Ave.
Quezon City, Philippines
Business Hours 9 am - 11 pm
Payment Options Cash
Service Charge

Budget/Person 99-150
Free WiFi No
Unlocked Foursquare Perks None
Contact (02) 354-2195
Other  Facebook Fan Page
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