Stevie’s specialties

For Steve “Stevie” Villacin, it took only one specialty dish — Hainanese chicken — to get him started on his home-based food business in 2009. He had just graduated from the International School for Culinary Arts and Hotel Management, and his cousin Claudette Vitug was responsible for “pushing him to start a home-based food business by accident.” Knowing that Stevie cooked a mean Hainanese chicken at home, she requested him to make her a set to gift their friend Ingrid Chua, the BagHag, for Christmas.

Steve obliged, whipping up a whole Hainanese chicken and packaging this with its traditional sauces (ginger sauce, sweet soy sauce, and chili sauce) and matching Hainanese chicken rice. Claudette sent this to Ingrid, who loved it so much that she blogged about it the following day. Other bloggers and influencers as well as journalists picked up from there and wrote about Stevie’s special Hainanese chicken. Word got around, orders doubled, tripled, and, lo and behold, before he knew it, he had a home-based food business to run.

The business happened by accident, yes, but the orders did not come by accident. They were conscious choices because Stevie’s product was—and continues to be—really good. His signature dish, Hainanese Chicken Set, is a whole chicken, about 1.5 to 1.7 kilograms by weight, comes with five cups of chicken rice (with option to order additional rice at P65 per cup), and a complete set of sauces (topping sauce, ginger sauce, sweet soy sauce, and chili sauce), for a reasonable P1,500 per set. Stevie has also developed a variation of rice called Olive Rice. It is basically traditional Hainanese chicken rice sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with chopped black olives. Should customers prefer Olive Rice over traditional chicken rice for their Hainanese Chicken Set, the price is adjusted by only P100. The set thus costs P1,600, with extra cups of Olive Rice priced at P75 per cup.

Hainanese chicken.

Through the years, Stevie has also developed other platter offerings. A number of these have become top-sellers as well, such as Fried Shrimp Lumpia with Bacon and Served with Sweet Chili Sauce (shrimp with bacon rolled around it, then wrapped in lumpia wrapper and fried); Asian Beef Tenderloin Salpicao (Australian or New Zealand beef tenderloin marinated with Asian seasonings then seared and topped with fried garlic, served with buttered vegetables and mashed potato); and Garlic Barbeque Pork Ribs (two slabs of tender pork ribs with garlic barbecue sauce).

Stevie’s menu has become so wide that it covers all categories now — salads, appetizers, entrées and pasta. Salad choices are Chicken Oriental Salad with Hoisin Dressing Black Pepper Crusted Tuna Salad with Asian Dressing, and Grilled Pork Belly Salad with Tamarind Dressing. As for the appetizers, there’s Fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce; Seafood, Chorizo and Chicken Paella, Callos, Osso Bucco Served with Pasta, and Baked Iberian Chicken.

For pasta, which is a one-dish meal often ordered on its own by customers, Stevie has four choices — Baked Rigatoni with Italian Sausage and Eggplant, Tuyo Pasta, Baked Chicken a la King Pasta, and Garlic Noodles. The latter (spaghetti sautéed in garlic butter and extra virgin olive oil with Asian seasonings and topped with Parmesan cheese, browned garlic and chopped scallions) has also become a signature dish often ordered to go with Baked Prawns. So, it could stand on its own, Stevie recently added a variation of garlic noodles to the menu. It is called Garlic Crab Noodles, and has lots of crabmeat on top of the garlic noodles.

More recent additions to the menu include chicken relleno and chicken asparagus sandwich.

Orders may be placed via 8896-8940 or 0906-5084155. Pick-up is the only option, as payment the day before is needed.