Monday, September 8, 2014

The Shrimp Shack of Manila

If Japan have managed to bring in ramens, Mexican restaurants now serving tacos and burritos, while Spain introduced tapas with Sangria pairing, the French have their macarons and boulangeries, and many others to mention. This time, Hawaiians have their share of the hodge-podge culinary that we have in the metro.  That's good news right? A different take from many foodies' ravings about keeping uptrend to what's new and about.

When a tourist reach Hawaii, especially at the island of Oahu, you will see unusually designed trucks with queues of people.  This are famous shrimp trucks selling dishes with, well, what else, shrimps.  For the record, I haven't been to Hawaii nor is it in my bucket list, but in dreams maybe. I just searched for Oahu, Hawaii and apparently, that's what they are known for.

Would you want to get a glimpse of the food served on these shrimp shacks?  

But first let me introduce The Shrimp Shack.  The owners have ventured to the realm of bringing Oahu, Hawaii to Manila, hence the beach wall paintings and bucket-full of Hawaiian shrimp dishes.

Before this scares you, please know that shrimp is low in fat and calories yet has scientifically been proven to be an excellent source of Protein, Selenium, and Vitamin B12 plus it is a very good source of Iron, Phosphorus, Niacin, and Zinc.

Like eggs, shrimp has gotten a bad wrap due to its cholesterol content. To debunk past beliefs, eating shrimp does not significantly increase your LDL cholesterol levels but has been shown to increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels.

Also, contrary to how shrimp can be enjoyed, point in case, sucking the bajeezus out of the shrimp heads before eating the body, shrimp is a very convenient food that can be eaten in just about any way and tossed into just about any dish. 

This is where Shrimp Shack goes to show their unique take on enjoying shrimps and other grubs made famous in Hawaii.

Apparently, they do have Crispy Shrimp Heads under the Starters category, but if you're not a fan of carafaces or shrimp heads, you can opt to have Shrimp Popcorn (P195).  These are the abdomens of the shrimps or more visually known as it's body, battered and fried to a crisp.  Traditionally served in Hawaii with popcorn dipped in a variety of sauces, in this case, you get to dip in cheese sauce.

If Hawaiian tourists aren't all caught up in garlicky shrimps, they do dig chips and nachos.  The Tomato-Cheese Fondue (P145) goes pretty well with the nachos and I for one can have this in one seating or while waiting for my shrimps.

For starters I had the Hawaiian Chicken Salad with Water Chestnuts (P140) which I might not suggest for now.  I'm a salad person, but aside from the veggies being fresh I'm also very particular on the vinaigrette used in my salad.  The salad was way to gingery for me, though I can't find any ginger bits to somehow segregate it, which I thought might tone down the fieriness of dish.

Good thing I have this good amount of Iced Tea hinted with pineapple flavor, to calm down my palate and cleanse it a bit.  I like how it's served as well on a midi jar.  I just admire restaurants who brings in the concept of re-purposing or re-using items, gives that homey vibe.

I'm a bit disappointed with this one though - Shrimp Po-boy Sandwich (P185).  I found this less appealing.  As you can see, these are the shrimp popcorn which I had for appetizer, but were resting on slices of tomatoes and lettuce drizzled with some kind of honey mayo-mustard dressing.  Traditionally, Po'boys are served this way, however if they could have used smaller shrimps so it's easier to eat.  I would suggest using a unique coleslaw instead of the tomatoes and lettuce or both.

They also have U.S. Angus Cheese Burger (P265) on the menu.  As I've mentioned they do have non-shrimps on their menu, so if you have someone dining with you who doesn't want shrimp you can still bring them in, but do you know who doesn't want shrimp (except of course those who are allergic)?

If they have beef, they must have chicken as well, and they do.  One dish you can try is the Soy Glazed Chicken Barbeque (P155).  Deboned chicken are grilled with a dark sweet sauce and glazed with a soy-honey sauce served with two cups of rice and macaroni salad.  

Another beef dish that won me over.  The Angus Pot Roast Beef Belly (P285) is a decadent slow-cooked beef belly drowned in a savory gravy and served with  a cup of mashed potato.

I didn't enjoy the Angus Burger that much, however, the U.S. Angus Burger Steak (P255) gave quite an impression, though not something that could last.  Look how the sunny-side up egg sat majestically at the burger patty and, oh, over a cup of rice.  

I almost lost hope for TSS, until I had a fork bite of the Shrimp Scampi Spaghetti (P220), their signature pasta.  The pasta, al dente, coated with olive oil and the musky, lovely shrimp taste mixing with the parmesan shreds while seeing a number of sauteed medium-sized shrimps was a beauty.
This is actually next to my all-time favorite pasta dish, Frutti de Mare.

If you think I had all those plates, think again.  How on earth could I pack them all in my  20-something-inch waist.  Well, I happen to have samples of each of the dishes.  

If you think I had a plenty, well, think again... Still had room for dessert.

If you haven't seen sweets prepared and served on sizzling pans then, you will, here at TSS.  Might I say I was astounded by the sight of Apple Crisp ala Mode (P130). Served hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which can be shared well with another diner.  It's a mix of graham and slices of apples, baked and then drizzled with apple caramel sauce.  Never miss ordering this please.

Behold, the Butter Mud Pie (P130)!  If you are a fan of ice cream and chocolate, then you will definitely love this.  I just don't know why I thought of Baked Alaska when I was eating this and checking out the photo for this feature.  Anyway, this is basically a block of frozen dessert, layered buttered graham, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, choco cookie crumble and chocolate syrup.

The Shrimp Shack is a must try, and they have relatively inexpensive food choices, a lot of bang for your buck.  We tried the one in Market Market which was beside The Old Spaghetti House (a sister company).  They also have a branch at Mall of Asia and will be opening more branches.  Both branches are a tad tightly-spaced so coming up with a party of 50 may not be possible but the venues are best for intimate meet ups and quick meals for barkadas and family, alike.


  1. Everything looks delish, especially that angus pot roast belly! and Affordable too... yum! :D


  2. Last weekend when we were in MOA, we were looking for a restaurant that serves great desserts (that we haven't tried before). I never thought The Shrimp Shack is offering these ones that look yummy. We have to try the Butter Mud Pie next time. :D

    1. My fave go-to dessert place in MOA is Chocolat and Tous Les Jour, and yes you can never go wrong with Shrimp Shacks' desserts.


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