Anything goes in Nicco Santos’ new Singaporean chain
Santos’ first scalable concept offers nasi lemak and a variety of roti
- Any Any
- Singaporean, Indonesian
- Hole in the Wall, 4F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave., Makati
- 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays
- ₱P500 for two people
Inspired by Singaporean hawker culture, Your Local and Hey Handsome’s chef Nicco Santos adds a new dimension to Century City Mall’s Hole in the Wall with experimental nasi lemak and roti prata chain, Any Any.
Noting a lack of rice dishes in the food hall peppered with stalls of different food offerings—from burgers to cookies to tacos—Santos thought Charlie Paw’s scalable concept could use a little Singaporean and Malay fix, starting with traditional rice meal, nasi lemak.
“There’s no rice except in Bad Bird so I thought we’ll do nasi lemak, something very quick and of good value, not expensive but comforting,” Santos shares. “Nasi lemak is traditionally just rice, dilis, egg, cucumber and sambal. There’s also another variety called nasi padang where you take your rice and you take all your ulam, parang karenderia. So it’s actually a merge of those.”
Any Any’s take on the Malay breakfast staple altered a few parts of the original recipe to fit the Filipino palate. Apart from making the sambal sweet which is traditionally salty and spicy, almost equivalent to the local bagoong, they also changed the usual sunny side up egg to a deep-fried hard boiled one but said that they are also considering other options like ramen eggs to add a soft and gooey bite. Beef rendang and sambal prawns provide an alternative spice to the original recipe which consisted of lamb curry.
Meanwhile, roti prata is Any Any’s answer to Filipino’s affinity towards “picka picka” food. Diners can choose from a variety of flavor options, both sweet and savory, to go with the tradition Singaporean fare which is usually paired with a curry dip but for the sweet selections, Santos and his team opted for an orange zest-infused condensed milk dip.
Despite Santos’ extensive background in Asian cuisine, he admits it has been awhile since he last made roti pratas, which to him needed particular attention when cooking, especially because the ingredients he stuffed the flatbread with before frying—spicy crab, a variety of cheeses and mackerel, not to mention, salted caramel, bananas and sangkaya—have different cooking times.
The first of many branches to come, Santos says part of their idea behind Any Any is to mimic the Singaporean hawker setup wherein each stall specializes in one or two main dishes. “Definitely, the next one will be noodles. Of course there needs to be another rice dish but a different one, not nasi lemak so people will still come back here,” he says of their next venture which is projected to open by November at the Fort.
Keeping up with his vision of Asian comfort food, which he champions through his two other restaurants, Santos admits that the details of the next Any Anys, even of this one, are not set in stone, however one thing’s for sure: he and his team will continue to “aim for hugs”. “When you eat dapat para kang niyayakap,” Santos says.
If you’re looking for more rice options at Hole in the Wall, Any Any has a variety of nasi lemak available. For snacks or even dessert, try one of their roti pratas. The cheese roti prata is best with the curry sauce, but can be enjoyed without it, as well.
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