Todd English Food Hall
5/F Sky Park, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) This Todd English Food Hall marks many firsts. It’s the first restaurant to be opened by an international celebrity chef in Manila. It’s also Chef Todd English’s first venture outside the United States.
Todd English Food Hall started in The Plaza Hotel, New York City.
Ivy Almario recreates the casual sophistication for which the restaurant is known. Private sections on a mezzanine level called The Balcony at Todd English are also available for bigger groups.
The 900-square space in SM Aura Premier was designed by Ivy Almario, basing the layout on the original New York and Las Vegas branches. Styled like an upscale, European-inspired food court, there are nine live cooking stations to indulge in: Pasta (all freshly made), Pizza, Grill, Asian, Raw Bar, Carving, Salad, Charcuterie, and Dessert.
This cupcake ferris wheel is one of the first things you’ll see upon entering.
A wall of freshly made pasta
"It’s like having an eclectic mix of food, with a variety of flavors and textures," says Oliver English, son of the acclaimed chef. "You get to have a couple of different things from all around the world on your table."
Crispy Eggplant Flatbread
The style is sit-down-the comfort of ordering from a menu with the excitement of seeing everything prepared fresh. The flatbreads are especially noteworthy: the saltiness of prosciutto harmonizing with the sweetness of fig (Fig & Prosciutto, P530), earthy mushrooms creating a mouthwatering ensemble (Truffle Funghi, P700), and breaded eggplant mingling with caramelized onion (Crispy Eggplant, P460).
The Simple Salad (P285) goes down to bare essentials with lettuce, tomatoes, and freshly shucked corn dressed with a perfect touch of balsamic vinegar. It’s basic, but just enough to be comforting. The Tuna Tartar (P280) is an exquisite combination of marinated sushi-grade tuna, shrimp marmalade, scallion cream in a nest of refreshing cucumber.
Veal Agnolotti (P590)
Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli (P220)
According to managing director Eric Dee, whose family partnered with English for the project, most of their ingredients, like shellfish and crustaceans from Maine, are flown in daily. Local ones, like microgreens, are planted for Todd English, specifically. "We had to change some of the ingredients to fit with what’s available," he says, "but the flavors are still what you’ll find in New York."
Asada Steak Tacos
Todd English conceptualized the restaurant group dining. The menu is filled with family-friendly options like tacos-SPOT.ph recommends the Asada Steak (P320), which flaunts a delicious contrast of the savory beef and sweet peach in a soft tortilla-and sliders. The latter will be the perennial crowd pleaser. Try the Classic (P300): the four-cut patty is cooked to a juicy medium rare, with tomato for tanginess, mustard relish for zing, and melted cheese in a crisp homemade brioche bun.
Miso Glazed Salmon
Coming from the grill is the Miso Glazed Salmon (P510), a beautifully presented platter of the fish, crisp from the pan, and served with salsa verde and arugula salad.
Todd English makes an appearance especially for the opening.
The restaurant’s line-up and its varied cooking stations are exciting enough, but be prepared for more. "Because of the flexibility of the Food Hall, we can make anything we want," says Dee. "The menu will always be updated to keep customers coming."
Yes, we need this.
Todd English Food Hall will also have a boutique with fun and quirky finds like a home beer brewery set, granulated honey; Mexican, Indian, Adobo, and other seasonings; a Mobile Foodie Survival Kit, as well as Todd English’s cookbook. The store will be operational by next week.
The Todd English Food Hall will be open starting tomorrow, March 25. The first 100 customers will get free flatbread for the year.