The group that brought Ooma, Manam and 8 Cuts to the local food scene, as well as the popular Taiwan-born Chinese restaurant Din Tai Fung, recently launched “a new shop house of Southeast Asian eats.”
This new concept from Moment Group is called HuChi, and it’s especially targeted to foodies aching to reunite with their favorite traditional staples from our neighbor countries from pho, noodles and rice dishes, and rolls. HuChi, a name that positively sounds both fun and naughty, is a play on Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, which roughly translates to “bringer of light.”
Moment co-founder and creative director Abba Napa has always been a fan of the myriad compositions and complexities of Southeast Asian flavors. “My co-founders Eli, Jon, and I have spent many years living and working not only in Manila but also in other cities in the region and we love Southeast Asian fare,” says Napa. “Especially when experienced in the setting of a hawkers market where you can try a breadth of dishes from multiple origins in one sweep.”
As a dine-in shop that is opening in the new normal, HuChi’s place in Moment’s roster of brands is a special one. “We had a great little space and we wanted to recreate an experience for the current times. What else shows hope for the future and a return to a safe and happy new normalcy if not creating a new food brand and experience?”
HuChi’s menu is divided into pho, specialties, little dishes, drinks, dessert, and add-ons. It promises to make use of the freshest local ingredients to recreate dishes originating mainly from the cuisines of Vietnam and Thailand, as well as charring, roasting, and grilling practices—methods that bring out the deeper flavors and colors popular in the region.
Must-tries from HuChi’s pho selection include poached the Chicken Pho (Pho Ga), whose rich broth is balanced by a ginger grass lemon oil; the Shrimp and Crispy Softshell Crab Pho (Pho Hai), which makes use of seafood and fresh herbs complemented by a cilantro chili lime oil to create a complex and slightly spicy broth; and the dine-in only Pho Prime (Pho Suon Bo), which offers bites of slow-braised beef rib and tendon nuggets in between rice noodles and fresh herbs.
According to Moment, the marinades, meatballs, and sausage used in HuChi pho are all made in house and are unique to the brand.
HuChi also boasts of a spicy spin on rice noodles via its Spicy Pad Thai with Shrimp and Crispy Egg Omelette, which is sweet, sour, and savory all at once and topped with crispy egg omelette shards. Another attraction is the wok-fried specialty Thai-style Wok-Fried Noodles with Chicken (Pad See Ew), cooked with peanuts, cilantro, and a soy and sesame sauce.
As far as snacking, HuChi’s Banh Mi is a refreshing choice and is the brand’s filling and flavorful take on the classic Vietnamese baguette sandwich. It layers house-made meatballs with Vietnamese Ham, chili and liver pate, pickled vegetables, and kropek chips. It’s a very satisfying sandwich that is far from the usual boring banh mi one usually gets in these parts.
HuChi which is now open for dine-in daily at the Concourse Level, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, near its Moment siblings 8Cuts, Ooma, and Shawa Wama. Delivery is also readily available on huchi.momentfood.com or through the HuChi hotline 09190845734 for up to 25 kilometers from the shop; as well as on GrabFood, Pick-A-Roo, and foodpanda.