Food-Hall Dining Gets the Luxe Treatment at The Food Hall
Foie gras burgers and fresh oysters, anyone?
The Food Hall
5/F SM Aura Premier, C5 corner 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Friday), and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Saturday to Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) When Todd English Food Hall opened in Manila back in 2013, it was one of the first food halls in the Metro. But six years is an incredibly long time and times have changed. In 2019, there are now more food halls all over Metro Manila, with a lot of major shopping complexes having their own. But Foodee Global Concepts, the restaurant group behind The Food Hall, the new iteration of their resident, well, food hall, is nothing if not adaptable.
“Since we first opened The Food Hall years ago, the market of SM Aura has changed,” shares Chef Carlo Miguel, executive chef for The Food Hall. “So we adapted and adjusted our menu and price points.”
They’ve pared down the selection to four sections: The Food Hall for starters, Pound for burgers, Hook for seafood, Flatterie for pasta and flatbreads, and The Grill Room—a new concept—for steaks and grilled items. Some of these sections—specifically Pound and Flatterie—have their own stand-alone branches that are doing well; lucky for their regulars, there are still lots of new things in store for them at The Food Hall.
"It's a slightly different experience here,” says Chef Carlo, who also shares that while they keep the menu of the old Food Hall as well those of Pound and Flatterie, he revamped almost every item.
"The only things we kept on the main courses were just two bestsellers, the pork chop and the chicken,” he says. “Everything else I reinvented."
Take the Foie Gras Burger (P690/single), one of Pound’s most recognizable burgers. “At Pound, it was really just beef and foie,” says Chef Carlos. “Here, I wanted to make it even more premium.” The result is a burger overflowing with all the luxurious stuff: A rich truffle aioli whose earthiness is supplemented by the sharp melted Gruyère cheese. The sweetness from grilled onions and mushrooms work together to round out all the flavors.
The luxurious vibe does not stop there. At Hook, you can get fresh seafood like Salmon Tataki (P370) or thinly sliced salmon sashimi, buttery, fresh, and topped with a sweet-spicy ginger jam and ponzu sauce; or Fresh Oysters (P65/one piece, P360/six pieces, P680/12 pieces), but the real star is the Pan Seared Halibut (P540). Fresh, fork-tender, and with just the right amount of char, the halibut is set against a bright, vibrantly flavored backdrop of chorizo-saffron risotto, with salsa verde and mixed greens adding a citrusy contrast.
Fans of truffle will not be disappointed by Flatterie’s Truffle Pasta (P220/selfie, P320/groupie). The rich and creamy spaghetti dish uses only egg yolks and Parmesan, and a generous heap of truffle to really give each bite that distinct umami.
New to The Food Hall is The Grill Room or their resident steakhouse. Here you can get a Flat Iron Steak cooked the way you want at P680—pretty affordable when you consider that you get steak done to the tenderness you want and your choice from sides that include Creamy Mashed Potato and Cream Corn to Steak Rice and French Fries. Those looking to splurge can even upgrade their meal further to include Seared Foie Gras (P350) or Bone Marrow (P200).
Aside from an array of luxurious dishes at non-intimidating prices, The Food Hall has also added their own touch to the food-hall experience—for one, there’s no hopping around from one station to another as you can order conveniently from your own seat. It’s these little touches that make The Food Hall a cut above the rest. They may have been one of the first food halls in the Metro but they’re out to prove that they won’t be the last.
Photos by Jericho San Miguel.