Do you remember the phase when BonChon chicken was always full of customers? As far as I can remember, around 2-3 years ago, BonChon’s Korean fried chicken pounded the hearts of Filipinos. It was more than just a craze. Long lines to the cashier were always visible to me each time I pass by BonChon. Since the time Korean fried chicken was introduced to us, Filipinos now cling on to its taste. We now have an idea how different Korean’s chicken is from our own fried chicken.

An invitation to try the newest brand of Korean fried chicken in the Philippines was sent to me a month ago. I was free after work, which leaves me with no excuse to say ‘No’ to the invite. Immediately after my day job freed me up, Oliver and I went straight to Sta. Mesa area to see what this newest Korean fried chicken restaurant is offering.

Rate: 5/5
Holdak Chicken, a franchise from Busan South Korea is now the talk of the town at Sta. Mesa area. This new fast food chain is located at the ground floor of Mezza Residences, one of the first developments of SMDC. When we found Mezza Residences, I called up my friend Vernon right away to tell him I was just around the area. I thought of him since I know he takes up medicine at UE. For some random reason, I just wanted to see if he’s free to meet up. Well luckily, he was. I told him over the phone I was at the area to try a new restaurant. He responded quickly and asked, “Holdak?”. I guess it was really the talk of the town among students and workers at Sta. Mesa.

The Food:

Holdak, which also means the ‘real’ Korean fried chicken, introduced 4 flavors for us to taste. These are 1) Yang-Nyam, 2) Spicy Yang-Nyam, 3) Jack Daniels and 4) Padak.
The first photo above is what they call Yang-Nyam, also known as their original fried chicken recipe. Crispy boneless chicken fillets covered with Holdak’s special sauce that is a mixture of sweetness, saltiness and a pinch of sourness. Sprinkled on top is sesame seeds to taste.
Spicy Yang-Nyam
Rate: 5/5
Talk about spiciness, Holdak won’t hold back those chili peppers for you. This is my number one favorite at Holak, their Spicy Yang-Nyam that kicks in a sharp spicy taste but does not let go of its original Yang-Nyam flavor. Its crunchy and chili skin is the peak of its great taste. My first impression with Holdak’s lip-smacking chicken lasts.
Rate: 5/5

According to my mini survey at Holdak during the Bloggers’ night, Padak is the 2nd favorite. Padak is known as the zesty Asian flavor with spring onions on top. I wasn’t part of the group who votes for Padak. Bringing this flavor to my bottom on my list. I’m probably not buying the idea of adding spring onions to my Korean fried chicken. The simple Yang-Nyam flavor is already good enough for me.

Jack Daniels
Rate: 3/5
No spice at all, purely the sweetness and famous flavor of Jack Daniels that made up this Holdak chicken flavor. For me, its Jack Daniel’s sauce was not that convincing. Jack Daniels flavor was there but I was looking for more powerful taste. I guess it was because I ate a bunch of Spicy Yang-Nyam first before trying Jack Daniels. Maybe I’ll go back and give this flavor another shot. Asians who are keen on sweet blends will probably prefer Jack Daniels flavor more than anything else.
If Holdak is more accessible to my work place just like BonChon, my allotted food budget goes to Holdak. Their boneless chicken fillet works for me. The 4 flavors are all apt to my taste, especially my favorites, Yang-Nyam flavor, original or spicy.
Cheese Ramen (Php 95) 
Rate: 3/5
On the side, you may order their Cheese Ramen that is good for 1-2 persons. Its noodles didn’t look fresh at all, somehow like instant noodles you buy in packs from Korean or Japanese food marts. When you’re there, you wouldn’t mind trying their Cheese Ramen even if it seems like the instant noodles over the counter. For me, it tastes decent and appetizing. The blend of cheese and butter made the soup full of dairy flavor Filipinos are looking for.

The Ambiance:

First branch was opened at Sta. Mesa, situated near SM Centerpoint and UERM, where the huge and busy crowd rarely lessens. I didn’t have a hard time looking for the place since I am familiar with Mezza Residences.
The interiors itself look very casual, modern and neat. The colors and seats are welcoming, especially to students and workers who are frequently at the area.
During the bloggers’ night, a short yet entertaining skit was presented by Kapeng Barako Club: Samahan ng mga Bitter.
What’s your choice?
A budget-friendly store, very practical for students who don’t want to spare their whole allowance on food yet still get a plate of real good food. If Holdak was available near my school when I was still a student at DLSU, this would be most likely one of my frequently visited restaurants.
The owners of Holdak
One promising brand that will be more famous if they expanded to well-known foodie spots like Kapitolyo, Ortigas, San Juan (my favorite), Makati and more.
So what do you think of Holdak chicken? Considering to pay a visit? If you do, please let me know and tweet me. 🙂
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout

Location: G/F Mezza Residences, Aurora Blvd. cor. Araneta Ave., Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Contact: (+632) 354-2195
Budget: PHP150++

Food 9/10
Ambiance 8/10
Service 8/10
Cost 9/10
Overall 8.5/10