Anyway, BPOs aren't the only companies nestled inside the RCBC Plaza. If you take the escalator to the third floor, you'll see outlets arranged in a circular fashion, where you can eat, drink and have a good time with your companions. Hungry Hippo is one of those outlets.
Hungry Hippo's History
As of this writing, Hungry Hippo is 20 years old. According to its website, it started out as a restaurant in a Shell gas station along South Luzon Expressway. When word spread about Hungry Hippo's delicious yet affordable burgers, the restaurant branched out into several franchises. Today, it continues to serve its core product — i.e. the aforementioned burgers — plus rice meals and coffee for the diner who wants variety.
So the question remains: Do they — or, at least, the RCBC Plaza branch — live up to that two-decade long legacy? We'll answer that in the following sections.
The moment you enter the restaurant, you'll realize "Hungry Hippo" isn't just a gimmicky name. The walls are covered with illustrations of anthropomorphic hippos, which lend the place a fun yet quirky atmosphere. Likewise, the warm color scheme will definitely aggravate any feelings of hunger you already have. Every set of tables and chairs can accommodate 2 to 4 people, which is perfect for small group gatherings.
In the photo above, you'll notice that part of the kitchen is visible. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your point of view. At any rate, you'll have an idea about how your food is being cooked, and whether it's actually worth the plate it's being served on.
Speaking of "good and bad things," the RCBC Plaza branch is rather small. There are few, if any, seats outside the restaurant, so if you don't make it to Hungry Hippo in time, you'll find yourself fighting with a sizeable crowd every lunch hour.
Apart from that minor nitpick, the restaurant has a nice ambience overall. If you want an extra glass of water, all you have to do is request the same from the friendly people at the counter. The same goes for condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, the writer wasn't able to sample the restaurant's famed hamburgers. However, she did order one Steak N' Egg (because the server said it's one of the "bestsellers") and one Salisbury Steak as takeout meals.
Oh yes, it is! Once you dig in, all those ingredients combine well enough to make your taste buds explode. It might not be apparent from the image above, but the servings are hefty and worth the Php150 paid for it. You'll want to pour the marinade all over the rice, and eat it all up Filipino-style.
Like the Steak N' Eggs, the Salisbury Steak is worth every peso you pay for it. The patty melts in your mouth, and the country-style gravy complements it very well. If you find the taste of the gravy overpowering, you can temper it by eating it along with the egg.
The only gripe you'll have — at least, with the takeout meal — is the container. In compliance with Makati City's "No Plastics" ordinance, the food is placed in a box made of rather delicate material, and packaged inside a paper bag marked with Hungry Hippo's logo. You have to be careful while carrying it to your home or workplace; otherwise, your meal will spill before you take even a single bite out of it.
Other than that, however, Hungry Hippo meals are worth a try. Earlier, we asked if the restaurant lived up to its legacy, and after sampling the abovementioned food, we can now give a confident "Yes!" to that question.
Other Things You Need to Know
If you're new to RCBC Plaza, Hungry Hippo may be a bit difficult to find. It's located somewhere in the middle of the third floor, so you'll have to go past several outlets before you get to the place. But as long as you ask for directions from the nearby security guards, and don't mind sampling the best of Western-influenced Filipino food once in a while, you'll be in for a treat.