IMAGE Majoy Siason/Hans Fausto

Your Guide to No-Fail Dining Spots at SM Megamall

Never get lost again!

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason/Hans Fausto

(SPOT.ph) It may not be the largest out there but SM Megamall can be one of the most confusing malls to navigate—which one is Building A again? The size of the shopping megastructure just means lots of restaurants that span a wide range of cuisines and budgets. Don’t know where to eat? Here’s your handy guide to where you can dine, wherever you are in the mall.

Building A

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Zubuchon

Who says you have to wait for a special occasion to have Cebu-style lechon? Not when Cebu-born Zubuchon is just at SM Megamall, giving you an excuse to pig out after a tiring shopping trip. Almost every table here has the Original Lechon as its centerpiece, which lets you know just how good the golden slab of succulent roast pork is—stuffed with lemongrass and all kinds of spices before roasting, you won’t be reaching for sarsa any time soon, just the way you eat lechon in Cebu. Don’t forget to throw in an order of Baked Scallops; they only use fresh scallops shipped from Bantayan Island, which is then topped with a tangy blend of butter, garlic, and lots of melted cheese, plus breadcrumbs for crunch.

Must-tries: Original Lechon (P290/small, P590/medium, P880/large), Boneless Lechon (P290/small, P590/medium, P880/large), Baked Scallops (P230)

Zubuchon is at UG/F Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

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PHOTO BY SPOT.ph archives

Conti’s

If you’re out with the family, you can’t go wrong with old-favorite Conti’s. The restaurant embues their side of the mall with familiar homey comfort, combined with hearty staples you always end up coming back for. An easy favorite is the Roast Beef in Mushroom Sauce, with tender beef served in a savory mushroom gravy with buttered vegetables and your choice of mashed potatoes or garlic rice. Of course, it isn’t a Conti’s trip without bringing home a Mango Bravo Cake, though their buttery Tuna and Chicken Pies are no-fail options, too.

Must-tries: Chicken Roulade (P305), Grilled Porkchops (P415), Roast Beef in Mushroom Sauce (P395)

Conti’s is at G/F Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

Fat Fook

Though a flight to Taiwan might not be in your near future, trust Fat Fook to transport you to the country’s hidden eateries and night markets with their street food. Their Fat Fook Chicken Chop, which is marinated overnight before being breaded and seasoned in five-spice then fried, is their signature dish for a reason—you won’t even think of any dipping sauce with how tasty this is. If you want to go for skewers, the Fried Intestines are not at all like isaw, but with its crisp golden breading and a punchy mix of spices, are just as addicting. Not feeling adventurous? The Taiwanese Sausages pack a flavor punch, too, with sweet-spicy sausages and the kick of heat from fresh garlic.

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Must-tries: Fat Fook Chicken Chop (P238), Taiwanese Sausages (P288), Fried Intestines (P198)

Fat Fook is at 3/F Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Building B

PHOTO BY TJ Tantiangco

Yayoi

The sight of iPads—not for entertainment but for efficient ordering—planted at each table at Yayoi makes it easy to dismiss the Japanese restaurant as a gimmick-y one, but make no mistake: This one will impress you with good food. Yayoi focuses on teishoku or set-menu dining, usually composed of one soup and three sides, so each meal here has a main dish, a side of vegetables, Japanese pickles, miso soup, and rice. It all sounds pretty basic, but Yayoi has managed to turn this into an art form. Many rave about their Beef Sukiyaki, with a hefty pile of beef, slices of tofu, vegetables, glass noodles, and udon, all swimming in a hearty mildly sweet broth, packed with beefy goodness—it’s large enough to split between two though if you’re extra hungry, you might not be eager to share.

Must-tries: Namban Teishoku (P395), Beef Sukiyaki (P550), Hitsumabushi (P650)

Yayoi is at 3/F Building B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY SPOT.ph archives

Kyochon

With over 1,000 branches in South Korea, Kyochon is impossible to miss—while they haven’t reached those heights yet in Manila, their Megamall branch is worth a visit, especially if you’re in the mood for the quintessentially Korean chicken-and-beer combo. Their chicken is fried fresh instead of frozen, using a double-fry technique, which takes longer than your regular fried chicken, but the extra steps are worth it. What results is delightfully crispy skin, which is then covered in a lip-smacking glaze whose flavor reaches the juicy center. You can’t go wrong with the Original Series, the always-winning combo of garlic and soy, but if you like things on the sweeter side, the Honey Series is your best bet.

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Must-tries: Original Series Wings (P299/10 pieces, P599/20 pieces), Honey Series Wings (P299/10 pieces, P599/20 pieces),  Soonsal Strips (P149/four pieces, P299/eight pieces, P500/12 pieces)

Kyochon is at G/F SM Megamall Building B, Mandaluyong City.

The Atrium

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Sambo Kojin

With unlimited-grill options and a buffet spread of Japanese and Korean favorites, Sambo Kojin has become a go-to for casual parties and get-togethers. They’ve got you covered, whether you’re craving sushi, sashimi, and aburi, or katsu and different kinds of tempura. You can also pile your plate high with different cuts of fresh and marinated beef and pork, then cook them on the grills at the center of each table.

Sambo Kojin is at 3/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Kichitora of Tokyo

Pork broth may seem to be the favored base of most ramen joints, but chicken-based ones have a lightness to them, plus a hint of sweetness, that makes having them a pretty unique experience. Kichitora is one of those ramen places that uses chicken paitan (which simply means cloudy soup) for their bowls. Their tan tan men or White Sesame Ramen often comes up when talking about Kichitora favorites, with a strong nutty flavor from sesame oil and sesame seeds and lots of fiery heat from generous amounts of spicy oil and fried garlic, though if you’d rather have something classic, the Kichitora Paitan Ramen topped with your choice between pork or chicken barbecue, dried seaweed, and a molten lava egg, should do the trick.

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Must-tries: Kichitora Paitan Ramen (P440), White Sesame Ramen (P470), Hokkaido Miso Ramen (P440)

Kichitora of Tokyo is at 2/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Hans Fausto

Gringo

If large servings at budget-friendly prices are what you’re looking for, Gringo fits the bill perfectly. Their chicken meals and rib plates come in different sizes, but a quarter piece is already hefty especially since it comes with your choice of two sides. The Gringo Southern Spice Chicken is a dynamite in terms of flavor, but you might end up favoring the Gringo Baby Back Ribs if only for how amazingly fall-off-the-bone tender and lip-smacking good it is. It should be a rule not to leave Gringo without having their Nacho Grande, a platter of corn chips topped with cheese, shredded barbecue chicken, beans, and a hint of citrus that makes this so addicting.

Must-tries: Gringo Southern Spice Chicken (P158 to P655), Gringo Baby Back Ribs (P325 to P1,099), Nacho Grande (P265)

Gringo is at 3/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

SM Mega Food Hall

PHOTO BY Sushi Nori/Hans Fausto

Sushi Nori

Bright, cheerful colors and playful graphics make Sushi Nori almost impossible to miss, and their sushi and temaki (or sushi hand rolls) are just as fun. The Sushi Dreams is a crowd-favorite, especially if you love the classic pairing of salmon and cream cheese; if you’re not afraid of spicy food, the Fireball packs a punch as fiery as its name. They offer poke bowls, too; the Wagyu Poke Bowl, with buttery Wagyu cubes, wakame, ebiko, and bonito flakes are a filling cheat-day treat. Plus, if you want to eat healthier, Sushi Nori now offers the option to switch to brown rice.

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Must-tries: Sushi Dreams (P249/sushi, P169/temaki), Fireball (P349), Wagyu Poke Bowl (P369)

Sushi Nori is at 5/F Mega Food Hall, SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Jericho San Miguel

Stephen’s Brick Oven Pizza

Pizza may be best when shared, but sometimes, you can’t help but want an entire pie all to yourself. For those times, you can count on Stephen’s and their 7” personal pizzas which come in affordable prices—especially when you consider that you can have an entire pizza by yourself. Their Four-Cheese is a winner—in fact, it made it to SPOT.ph’s top cheese pizzas list—with sharp blue cheese and nutty fontina spicing up the classic blend of mozzarella and Parmesan. If you love sweet-salty flavor profiles, the BRB is an off-the-beat choice you’ll enjoy with a combination of bacon, ricotta, blueberries, and maple syrup—we’d have this for breakfast any time.

Must-tries: Four Cheese (P180/seven-inch, P360/12-inch), BRB (P260/seven-inch, P520/12-inch), Muscle Up (P220/seven-inch, P425/12-inch)

Stephen’s Brick Oven Pizza is at 5/F Mega Food Hall, SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Frankie's Facebook page

Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings

The long lines at Frankie’s are enough to let you know that their wings are crazy good—if you need more proof, their Classic Buffalo Wings sit at the number two spot of SPOT.ph’s top 10 buffalo wings list for delectable crispy-fried buffalo wings that don’t hold back on the tangy and spicy kick. Frankie’s is also famous for their addicting Garlic-Parmesan wings though if those aren’t your thing, they’ve 13 flavors to choose from.

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Must-tries: Frankie’s Classic Buffalo (P199/half-dozen, P369/one dozen), Garlic Parmesan (P199/half-dozen, P369/one dozen), Caribbean Jerk (P199/half-dozen, P369/one dozen)

Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings is at 5/F Mega Food Hall, SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

Mega Fashion Hall

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung is probably the first restaurant that comes to mind when you think xiao long bao, and with how good their soup dumplings are, we don’t blame you. Aside from the classic Pork or Chicken, Din Tai Fung also has more indulgent flavors like the Truffle and Pork XLB. Complete your feast with the Salted Egg Yolk Prawns, coated in an addicting savory sauce, the Black Pepper Beef, or the Dan Dan Noodles with Spicy Sesame & Peanut Sauce for a kick of heat. End your meal on a sweet note with the Chocolate Lava Xiao Long Bao, a dessert dumpling exclusive to Manila.

Must-tries: Truffle and Pork XLB (P135/piece), Salted Egg Yolk Prawns (P375), Chocolate Lava (P115/three pieces)

Din Tai Fung is at G/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Vincent Coscolluela

Nara Thai

While rising in popularity, Thai food is still pretty hard to come by, but Nara Thai is making the cuisine more accessible to SM Megamall shoppers. At this restaurant, they pride themselves in staying as close to traditional Thai food as possible. The Nara Thai Sampler is a good place to start, with a platter that includes pillow-soft chicken satay, fried spring rolls, and a nice fruity-with-a-spicy-kick pomelo salad. Throw in an order of Pad Thai Kai Krob, with the right balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy down pat, or, if you’re hungrier, the Khao Pham Kapi, a hefty mound of bagoong rice served with chilis, vegetables, anchovies, and a slice of lime for a plate that’s brimming with color and flavor.

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Must-tries: Nara Thai Sampler (P495), Pad Thai Kai Krob (P390), Kaho Pham Kapi (P245)

Nara Thai is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Majoy Siason

Kam’s Roast

The window display at Kam’s Roast, reminiscent of the ones you’d see in the streets of Hong Kong or even Binondo, is enough to make anyone drool: Slabs of pork, whole chickens, and duck, dripping with thick glaze and fatty goodness. The Hong-Kong born restaurant always has a queue but their Toro Char Siu, with generous slivers of melt-in-your-mouth fat, and the Roast Pork with golden-brown crispy skin, make it worth the wait. If you’re dining solo, opt for the Toppings, which lets you combine different kinds of roast meat on top of rice or noodles.

Must-tries: Toro Char Siu (P700), Roast Duck (P900), Toppings (starts at P300)

Kam’s Roast is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

PHOTO BY Criselda Carreon

Bad Bird

Anyone who’s had Bad Bird’s fried chicken at their stall in Century City Mall’s Hole in the Wall knew the fried-chicken joint was made for greater things—specifically a full-service restaurant at Mega Fashion Hall. Their fried chicken, which comes in Safe, Spicy, or Chemical, is intensely flavored with spiciness and umami right to the bone and fried till golden. While you can have your fried chicken with different Asian-inspired sides, the Potato Waffles with miso butter and maple syrup are a standout—and what’s more classic than chicken and waffles? The Mega Fashion Hall branch also carries grilled items like Bacon-Cut Short Rib, glazed in a sweet-style barbecue sauce and made richer by slivers of fat.

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Must-tries: Waffle Plate (P300), Corn and Coleslaw Plate (P390), Bacon-Cut Short Rib (P380)

Bad Bird is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.

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