Halo Halo Foods serves nominal halo halo to go or stay as well as home-cooked Filipino favourites and all-day Filipino breakfast.
The food here is a balance between more traditional homestyle dishes like kilawin and sisig rice plates as well as fusions like sisig smash burgers, adobo chicken sammies and halo halo milkshakes, and straight up faves like smash burgers and poutine.
Housed in a building that’s been around forever in an odd district of garages, this used to be an old taxi place. Previous to this the space was home to a Chinese restaurant.
An adobo chicken sandwich ($8.25) comes on an adapted oversize toasted pandesal bun that’s perfectly squishy, two pieces of tender-but-dense and moist grilled chicken seasoned with the magical combination of soy, garlic, salt and vinegar.
A large, crisp lettuce leaf and a thick spreading of adobo mayonnaise along with atchara (pickled papaya) set off the whole juicy sandwich. Served with fries that are actually really nicely fatty and salty without being too greasy.
You can also opt for ube fries ($4.50), piping hot and wonderfully starchy and flavourful, served with a sriracha mayo.
Sisig with fiesta rice tops out as the most expensive dish at $11 at this reasonably priced spot. It’s an absolute classic, garlic rice amped up with calamansi, salt pepper and onion, drizzled with a calamansi mayo that adds moisture and richness.
For sisig pork, certain cuts are chopped up and barbecued, then seasoned with lemon, salt and pepper while slowly steaming for super tender, flavourful little bites. Diced veggies, creamy fried eggs and essential crispy pork chicharron are what make this classic.
Signature halo halo ($7) is a traditional layering of a grab bag of cold ingredients that you’re supposed to mix up all together.
A base of banana, plantain, sugar, sweet potato and some other ingredients broken down by slow cooking is topped with fresh shaved ice and condensed milk.
Topping that is ka ong (sugar palm jelly), shredded jackfruit, strawberry ice cream, crispy green baby rice and a homemade ube puree cooked down until mushy and then ground.
The result is a symphony of flavours and textures that’s at turns odd and exciting.
In a fun twist, there’s also a karaoke machine here.
The food here is cooked by a real Filipino mom, who actually used to run Halo Halo World Cafe in this area. She came out of retirement to return to cooking at this restaurant.