New Restaurant Alert: Bad Bird at SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City
Their first stand-alone branch goes beyond fried chicken.
3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) With the success of Bad Bird at Century City Mall's Hole in the Wall, it's no surprise that their decision to open a stand-alone branch at SM Mega Fashion Hall has been met with much excitement. For months, the "Coming Soon" sign teased passersby, eager to finally have a plate of umami fried chicken and Asian-inspired sides. Well, the long wait is finally over because Bad Bird is on soft opening starting today, March 1.
To match the casual no-frills food of Bad Bird, the new branch features raw, predominantly gray interiors by Denise Yuson and Dwight Co. Tin Adriano of Lowbrow Restaurants (the group behind Bad Bird), shares that the team was inspired by "Brutalist architecture," a movement that puts emphasis on the unpolished. Hence, the bare concrete walls and the dark marble tables. An accent mural by Mika Bacani, depicting a large bird wrecking havoc on buildings (which cheekily includes SM Megamall) completes the edgy vibe.
Corn and Coleslaw Plate
Dirty Rice Plate
Fried chicken, of course, continues to be the star at Bad Bird's first solo branch. You still get the same umami goodness here: fried till golden, with perfectly crisp skin and tastiness that seeps right to the bone. The fried chicken comes in three levels of spiciness, Safe, Spicy, or Chemical, and can be ordered as a Waffle Plate (P300) with potato waffles, miso butter, and maple syrup or a Corn and Coleslaw Plate (P390), with corn on a stick that's covered in Japanese mayonnaise, bonito flakes, togarashi, and cheese, plus kimchi coleslaw. You can also opt to pair your chicken with rice by ordering the Dirty Rice Plate (P390), with fried rice mixed with scrambled egg, and bonito flakes plus a side of kimchi.
But with a bigger branch also comes an expanded menu. Owner Charles Paw shares that aside from serving excellent fried chicken, he wanted Bad Bird's latest iteration to become a family-style restaurant, offering a more varied menu. This meant serving, aside from the chicken plates, shareable dishes like the ones that found their way to Bad Bird's From the Grill menu.
Bacon-Cut Short Rib
Bad Bird has always been about bombarding the palate with bold flavors, and the same applies to their grilled items. A certified crowd-pleaser is the Bacon-Cut Short Rib (P380), strips of beef sliced thinly into bacon-like strips. Glazed with a sweet barbecue sauce, slivers of fat make each bite extra tasty.
The Pepper Beef (P420), skewers of tender Wagyu beef cubes, don't hold back in terms of flavor. The heat from the pepper is there but also a strong saltiness, with a note of sweetness revealing itself towards the end.
Each plate of grilled items comes with a side of grilled Korean pear slices, scallions, corn on the cob (for Pepper Beef), and sweet potato tops plus your choice of four dips from six different kinds of sauces: mustard, black pepper sauce, ginger schmaltz (or fermented ginger mixed with chicken fat), hot steak sauce, chimichurri (made with Japanese pickles and sesame oil), and Gochujang (Korean red chili paste).
Another new dish that is also bursting with umami goodness is the Prawndog (P280/one stick, P480/two sticks). Prawns coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter are overloaded with bonito flakes, Japanese mayonnaise, and togarashi spice.
Aside from the new savory dishes, Bad Bird also offers cocktails, still inspired by Asian flavors.
Gin Apple Soju Fizz
Kimchi Bloody Mary
Spiked Thai Tea
The Gin Apple Soju Fizz (P200) is refreshingly fruity while the Kimchi Bloody Mary (P190) is an Asian-inspired take on the classic Bloody Mary, trading Tabasco for kimchi, giving the cocktail a distinct tang. The Spiked Thai Tea (P100) is pretty much what it says—sweet and creamy milk tea spiked with rum.
Aside from the new grilled dishes and cocktails, Bad Bird has snack options, specialty coffee, and even a fried chicken bucket in store for the future. But for now, their expanded menu full of umami goodness is going to keep you coming back.
Photos by Criselda Carreon