The first time I saw Chicken Mami House at Trinoma I thought it was kind of weird to see it along the rows of fastfoods you can takeout and eat inside the cinema. Mami after all is not considered "movie food". But it is always fully packed, mostly with Chinoys enjoying siopao and mami.
One day I spied a vacant table and decided to give it a try. My sister and I ordered Chicken Mami, Asado siopao and Kikiam on the recommendation of the waitress, apparently this is one of their specialties aside from mami.
I had a Ratatouille moment when I bit into the siopao. It was like the siopao of my childhood. The asado was meaty, sweetish, slightly salty with a hint of soy sauce and saucy with bits of fat like the siopao of old. Even my sister had the same reaction. We joked that it tasted like the “urban legend” siopao that was made of wandering cats.
Then came the piping hot Chicken Mami. The soup was good, nothing great though and the noodles were a bit overcooked. But it went well with the siopao which we consider the star of the show.
The kikiam is a surprise discovery. It was nothing like the kikiam of today where there’s hardly a trace of meat. The skin is crispy with a meaty center and flecks of fat here and there. It tasted strongly of ngoyong (Chinese five spice powder) and is reminiscent of the kikiam that Mamu used to make. We enjoyed this so much that we decided to order another one to take home to Mamu. Maybe she'll be inspired to cook her kikiam again.