Best Holiday Ham! Excelente Ham Review

EXCELENTE HAM
155-157 Carlos Palanca St., Quiapo, Manila

Tel No. 733 63 55 | 733 63 60
Business Hours: Mon-Sun, 8am-6pm

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'Tis the season to be jolly now that Christmas and New Year is at hand! And for Catholic Filipinos, who by the way represent a whopping 83% of the country's population, the norm encourages they take part in various traditions to bring everyone together as a family. One such tradition is serving that oh-so-yummy Christmas Ham in the span of the holidays, especially on Christmas Eve and the New Year.

It then begs the question: what's the most sought after ham in Metro Manila? If you ask its residents, no doubt you'll be hearing the names Majestic in Greenhills, King Sue in Caloocan, Adelina's in Mandaluyong, and of course, the star of this article: the famous Excelente Ham in Quiapo!

Store Front, Excelente Chinese Holiday HamStore Front, Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham

Coming from Antipolo, I took a jeep to LRT2 Santolan Station, and traveled all the way to Recto Station. From there, I just walked my way to Palanca street via Evangelista street.

Buying ham at Excelente days before Christmas has been a habit of mine on the holidays, but lately I've noticed it's getting harder to buy at the store due to more and more people storming the place. This year wasn't any better- the place was already swarming with people half an hour before they opened at 8am.

Inside the store, Excelente Chinese Holiday HamInside the store, Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham
Line for their pre-sliced ham variants and scraps

Bone-in ham, Excelente Chinese Holiday HamBone-in ham, Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham
Line for their bone-in ham variants

Take note: they have separate lines for pre-sliced ham and bone-in ham so watch out where you fall in line. I was aiming to buy the latter but the line there was worse, not to mention the process takes longer vs. if you buy the pre-sliced variants. I guess you could call it...a total hampocalypse that morning! 😂

We've all been praises for Excelente, but how do theirs taste like? Its quality? Ham usually blends a taste of both sweet and salty, but the traditional kind leans more on the sweeter side. Chinese ham, on the other hand, is known for being more salty than sweet. Excelente Ham recipe hits that gastronomic bullseye- pair that quality with fresh thin-sliced softness and a melts-in-your-mouth factor, and you have masterpiece!

I went on ahead and bought a kilo and a half of their equally good Chinese Ham Sliced. I also bought a kilo for my friend Joal. Here's a photo he took as he prepped a serving:

Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham with Bread and Queso de bola
Excelente Chinese Ham served with Queso de Bola and bread by Joal

Excelente Chinese Holiday HamExcelente Chinese Holiday Ham

For their Chinese Ham Sliced, you can choose if you want the syrup separated or not, with the latter having an additional price. They also have other cheaper ham variants, but they still taste good nonetheless.

Sliced Excelente Chinese Holiday HamScrap Excelente Chinese Holiday HamSliced Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham with Syrup

PRICE LIST AS OF DECEMBER 2016:

Chinese Ham Sliced w/ Mixed Syrup - P1,200/kg

Chinese Ham Sliced w/ Separate Syrup - P1,300/kg

Bone-In Ham - P1,160/kg

De-Bone Ham - P1,120/kg

Pineapple Sweet Ham - P880/kg

Pear Shape Ham Cooked - P760/kg

Scrap Ham - P1,000/kg

After you get your order wrapped in plastic by the server, you're given a receipt and will be instructed to go to the other side of the shop to have your ham secured in their signature red box, and then put to a plastic bag for easy carrying. Once home, you can either refrigerate or freeze the ham until it's time to eat it.

Queso de bola, Excelente Chinese Holiday HamTikoy, Rice Cake, Excelente Chinese Holiday HamCastanas, Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham
Other holiday food for sale: Edam Cheese, Castanas and Rice Cakes

Packaging of Excelente Chinese Holiday HamPackaging of Excelente Chinese Holiday HamPackaging of Excelente Chinese Holiday Ham

To prepare, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3: thaw it, put it on the microwave for a good 30 seconds, and voila! It's so good you can eat it on its own. Or better yet, pair it with the traditional Queso de Bola, bread and some wine!

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