POUND makes feasting on burgers a stylish affair
The second branch features new interiors with the same luxe vibe.
POUND by Todd English
2/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
Open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Burgers are that magic dish that you can have anywhere—from fast food chains to fine dining restaurants. It doesn’t quite matter because a burger may come with all the bells and whistles but it’ll fall flat if you get two elements wrong: the patty and the buns.
It’s a formula POUND by Todd English has mastered at their pioneer branch in Bonifacio High Street and now at their newest location at SM Mega Fashion Hall. A house-ground beef patty, cooked medium-rare to preserve its natural juices and house-baked brioche buns, marked with POUND’s signature on top—whatever other toppings you throw in the mix, it’s bound to be excellent.
That doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate having our burgers in a fancy setting, especially if it's this stylish. POUND at SM Mega Fashion Hall has two seating areas—the main restaurant houses the kitchen and a dining hall that can accomodate 16 people. The narrow space is reminiscent of the Bonifacio High Street 20’s Prohibition-era inspired branch.
But what will turn heads is POUND’s second seating area, a few meters away from the kitchen and main dining hall. “Because it'd be in Megamall and because it'd be seen by lot of other people we really wanted it to stand out,” says FOODEE Global Concepts’ Eric Dee. And stand out, it does.
The box-like space, designed by production designer Marco Ortiga almost seems like an art installation, with the elegant metal arches that criss-cross the box’s sides letting you peek in at diners while also giving them some privacy as they have their meal.
While Eric deliberately stepped away from a brick-heavy motif for his newest baby, the details that made dining at the Bonifacio High Street branch a luxe experience are here as well: the brass mugs, the candles in exquisitely detailed glasses, and the copper lighting fixtures that give the whole set-up an Old-World industrial feel.
A place as fine as this is bound to raise anyone’s expectations but POUND meets them and goes beyond. Remember, each burger has two key ingredients: patty and buns—and both are of the highest quality here.
That perfectly seasoned patty elevates the signature T.E. Burger (P195), which you can also get as sliders (P195/two pieces). It comes with everything you'd expect in a classic and more: iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, mustard relish, a mound of crispy onions, and a tangy T.E. sauce all sandwiched between two soft brioche buns. But nothing can take your attention away from the beautiful hunk of beef which melts in your mouth in all its juicy glory after just one bite.
If you want something slightly off-beat, get the Amsterdam (P280). This burger is an explosion of flavors—sweet and slightly tart from the sauerkraut, smoky and a little spicy from the pastrami, and a bit of nuttiness from the Gruyere.
T.E. Crispy Chicken Burger
Chicken, understandably, takes a backseat to beef in a burger place, but let it not be so here at POUND. The T.E. Crispy Chicken Burger (P195, P155/sliders) has a juicy slab of fried chicken fillet, slathered in a special T.E. Sweet Spice—not too spicy, not too sweet but the perfect blend that makes it lip-smacking. The crispy pickled slaw breaks through the heat and adds that zest that takes this sandwich to the next level.
Truffle Risotto Tater Tots
Truffle French Beans
While the burgers are already great on their own, you mustn’t miss the sides. At POUND, they love truffle, and we can’t really blame them. The Truffle Risotto Tater Tots (P75) is velvety, and the truffle shines through without getting too overwhelming. The flavor is less pronounced in the Truffle French Beans (P120) but it’s enough to make you keep munching on these beans—it helps that they’re perfectly crisp even inside the batter.
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty (and you really shouldn’t—after all you’re at a burger place!), order the Bacon Poutine (P210), with thick-cut fries, a rich house-made gravy, and lots of gooey cheese.
Very soon (a.k.a. April), Eric shares that POUND is going to launch a lot of new menu items, which include pasta plates good for sharing and their version of the Hawaiian loco moco: think Salisbury steak but POUND’s version will have foie gras—because if there’s anything this restaurant does well, it’s taking things to the next level.
Photos by Majoy Siason