Hush Hush Hunan Haunt

On my past 3 trips to China, I've been fed a lot of Hunan food lately. Yes, if you noticed, that's a whole lot of Chili peppers in the dishes, because Hunan cuisine's main characteristic is the level of heat in the dishes that leave you hot and sweaty, and not in that way.
The very next day, my suppliers made me eat Hunan food for lunch again, sweat dripping from my brow with every bite because of the spiciness and the humid July weather. Hunan food is notoriously spicy because the Hunan province, in southeast China, gets wicked winters. Adding chili and heat in the food makes you sweat (duh), and cleanses the body from toxins that usually just sit and linger inside.
So back in Manila, I start craving for some of that spicy, saucy, chili food. But where to get it?! If you're coming from EDSA, turn right onto Estrella (to rockwell), make the third Right, and then make the first left. If you see the sign above while driving the eskinitas (sidestreets) of Makati, you've found the hidden Hunan gem. Officially named Xiang Chuan restaurant, and unofficially called 6406, Hunan House, Hunan Lutong Bahay, it's hard to really know what to call it. I prefer Hmm Hmm Good. lol
When you see the exterior, it feels like you might be barging into some family watching some telenovela in their living room. But when you enter, you know you're in the right place. Blonde wood tables and chairs line the plywood walls, very minimalist and no-nonesense. The very attentive server obviously knows what you're after and demonstrates her well-versedness in the menu by pointing at the good things to try.
Speaking of Menu, it's like a picture book of cooked dishes with very general descriptions on the bottom, printed on classic Kodak paper. CLASSIC! Do look at the two sets because, chances are, you'll miss the good dishes. Also, don't even bother with the menu on the wall, unless you can read Chinese.
Drinks are limited to Coke, Sprite, and this random Chinese drink that has no English in them, I tried it, tastes like Grass Jelly! Yum!
This is what we ordered. And just like in China, the food is so inexpensive you wonder why you've just discovered this place while you've been eating at overpriced restos all your life?
Pork Dumplings
12 pieces is a lot for what we paid for.  The dumplings were moist and packed with bits of veggies and meat.
Dipping into the sauce and biting into it, you experience a light, tasty dumpling that fills you up at the same time. Must Have More.
Gong Bao Chicken
Sound familiar? Yes ladies and gents, this is the real Kung Pao Chicken! Chicken, chili peppers, celery and peanuts, this dish was spicyyyyy, but irresistable!The flavor of the chili oil sauce brings the dish to full circle with its smoky aftertaste, confirming it has been sauteed on super-high heat.
The only way to survive the heat of the dish is to drown it with some rice. 
 We ordered the Egg Fried Rice. Usually, I order Yang Chow or Salted Fish fried rice in Chinese restos, preferring little bits of meat to season the usually bland rice. But egg and some scallions made this rice dish extremely tasty, moist, and a dish on its own. It was perfect to go with the other dishes. If you want regular rice, you can order it and it's unlimited, but feel at home because you have to go inside their kitchen to scoop up some seconds.
Braised Pork Belly with Mustard Greens.
The last dish we ordered had me happy and guilty at the same time.
Looking a lot like bacon from the sideview, the braised pork was succulent and lightly flavored with a faint soy sauce. The mustard greens absorbs the fatty flavor of the pork, making it a guilty vegetable dish on its own. Since Mr. S doesn't eat a lot of veggies, I happily ate all the mustard greens. My priorities are definitely out of whack.

Interestingly, the place is so small you can overhear all the conversations going on around the handful of tables in the "resto". One guy brought is decked-out date there, and you could see the look on her face: I dressed up for this?! No need to dress up. Just come hungry for some spicy Hunan food, and you could care less what you, and the restaurant, look like.

Xiang Chuan Restaurant
6404 Camia St., Makati (by Rockwell)
0915 4252972 / 0927 7876999
Mon-Sun, 10a-10p


  1. the braised pork looks lovely enough for marriage. I still doubt that your slender figure can house such a robust stomach. thanks for the article!


  2. And TOT has found yet ANOTHER restaurant that KNOW I would thoroughly enjoy! :) let me know when you are ready for round 2!!! :) - nicola

  3. ToT might kill me, but if i remember right, our total bill for the four dishes and two drinks was roughly 852 pesos (little less than 20 USD).

    The food was great and the servings were big. we could have easily fed a family of four with the portions we ordered, but little did ToT know, her date eats for 2.5

    And yes, the menu is like a childrens picture book, they should hire ToT for better photos, the menu doesnt do it justice.

    Must try for those who are sick of the regular chinese food (Northpark, Superbowl, Hap Chan etc etc.) Tastes better and alot cheaper as well

  4. love these hole-in-the-wall food discoveries ToT. My hungry tummy will find its way there soon....thanks! G

  5. tried it yesterday, had to look for the place under the heavy rain and boy the food was really good and cheap. just inform them if you want it spicy, moderate or according to your taste. the soup was refreshing specially on a rainy afternoon like yesterday. a must try for people who loves chinese food....

  6. Damn browsing this blog makes me hungry! I miss this hunan resto. Though theyve somewhat "upgraded" to real menus. Food and price stayed the same though

  7. May I have your email address? Would like to invite you to a blogger event.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.


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