(SPOT.ph) Gone are the days when The Podium was just a hangout for titas and as a lunch go-to for employees in nearby Ortigas business district. With the mall’s recent renovation, mallgoers now get to enjoy a refreshing new look and more dining options. There’s always something new opening at this mall lately, and we round up the restaurants you shouldn’t miss.
Here are 10 restaurants you should check out at The Podium:
Salvatore Cuomo Café
Salvatore Cuomo Café, according to Chef Salvatore, is the “young and casual” iteration of his eponymous restaurant. The vibe is laid-back café chic, with light wood chairs and tables, exposed bricks, and tall plants as the centerpiece on each table. Greeting you at the entrance is their wood-fired brick oven—rightfully so, as pizzas are still the star here. While you could always go for their signature Napoli-style Pizzas with a crisp, smoky crust, the Traditional Pan Pizza is worth a try, too. These cheesy thick-crust pizzas will remind you of a certain pizza chain but elevated, with toppings like Gran Padano cheese and roasted eggplant.
Salvatore Cuomo Café is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
The Podium branch of Wolfgang’s Steakhouse has an intimate and elegant New York-steakhouse vibe, thanks to a mahogany bar, plush chairs, and dark-wood décor—it’s a great place to have romantic steak dinner. Plus, if you take steak seriously, Wolfgang’s won’t disappoint. They only use USDA-certified Prime Angus or Black Angus, which dry age for 28 days in a special aging room. Get the Rib Eye Steak (P3,588/600 grams), with a generous marbling of fat, then pair it with the equally rich Creamed Spinach (P448). Or treat yourself further with the Lobster Mac & Cheese (P328), the gooey macaroni and cheese hiding generous chunks of lobster.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
Podium regulars won’t have to go far to get homey comfort food with Nono’s in the neighborhood. Chef Baba Ibazeta-Benedicto takes inspiration from her childhood, family recipes, and her experiences as a culinary student for her menu. Regulars know that no visit to Nono’s is complete without having their signature Nono’s Homestyle Fried Chicken, which they’ve recently upgraded to Chicken and Waffles (P345/main, P595/big plate). An order will get you fried-chicken fillets with that distinctive crunch and juicy savoriness, and buttery, fluffy waffles. Remember to leave space for a slice of Nono’s Chocolate Oblivion (P135/slice).
Nono’s at 2/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
Tucked in one of the quieter wings of Podium is Manam Café. The modern Filipino restaurant has all your Manam favorites, and then some. If you love Pinoy breakfast fare, you can get their breakfast menu at Manam Café all day—their classic House-made Tapsilog (P265) now comes in Sweet and Spicy for a flavor punch sure to wake up your tastebuds. Be sure to also have the Calamansi Tart (P220) with a crisp crust that tastes like toasted sugar and a bright calamansi-cream center.
Manam Café is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
Ben’s Cookies opened their first local branch at The Podium in July 2019—the dough used for their 14 flavors are blast-frozen and shipped from London so you know you’ll get the same buttery, gooey cookies as their other outposts all over the world. Choosing just one flavor can get overwhelming, but you could always bring home a box of cookies. If you can only have one, treat yourself to the Orange and Milk Chocolate (P90/piece), a citrusy cookie studded with milk-chocolate chunks (not chips!).
Ben’s Cookies is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
Caffeine junkies rejoiced when % Arabica finally opened their second branch at The Podium. The café’s vibe is still laid-back, the look is still minimalist, and the coffee still excellent. But what you shouldn’t miss out on is the Podium-exclusive % Soft Cream (P135). The soft serve is flavored using % Arabica’s signature Japan % Arabica Blend so you still get that kick of caffeine. You can also get it with a shot of espresso for an affogato.
% Arabica is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
Jin Joo Korean Grill
This KBBQ chain easily catches the eye with their pastel motif and cute murals, but aesthetics aren’t the only thing Jin Joo has going for them. They’ve become popular for Jin Joo’s 8 Flavors (P1,560)—as its name suggests, this has samgyupsal marinated in eight different flavors, ranging from the more traditional Red Pepper and Honey Garlic to the crazier yet no less tasty Wine and Curry. Cheese lovers should also go for Cheese Dung Galbi (P950), with sweet-smoky baby back ribs served with shredded mozzarella and cheddar that’s melted over a stove to create a gooey cheese sauce. This also comes with a side of rice, kimchi, corn, and steamed egg, which you can then mix in your leftover cheese to make fried rice.
Jin Joo Korean Grill is at 2/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
After four years, Spanish restaurant Las Flores finally branched out of Bonifacio Global City with a second branch at The Podium. Expect the same creatively reinvented Spanish dishes in an elegant yet cozy and homey space. Start off with tapas like the Bocadito con Anchoas (P395) or crisp air baguettes stuffed with umami-rich anchovies and manchego cream with green chili for a subtle spicy kick. Of course, no Spanish feast is complete without paella; get the Paella Cochinillo (P1,295), which comes topped with a succulent suckling pig.
Las Flores is at G/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
La Vita Ristorante Italiano
La Vita may have moved locations but they still serve up Italian food as authentic as it can get outside of the peninsula. Chef Maurizio Gibillini uses local vegetables and fish and imports meat, cheese, and oil, and is committed to only using the best ingredients. You can’t go wrong with the Pappardelle alla Crema di Tartufo (P440), which may seem fancy but has the homey comfort of an excellent pasta dish; this one has pappardelle swimming in a rich porcini-mushroom cream sauce, with just the right amount of truffle oil to tickle your tastebuds. But the real showstopper here is Pizza con Burrata Fresca (P540) pizza, which comes with a ball of burrata.
La Vita Ristorante Italiano is at 3/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
The Corner Market
The Podium’s resident food hall isn’t just IG-worthy; it’s also home to a great selection of eats, from fresh seafood cooked on the spot to Korean and Thai food. Can’t decide where to head to first? We recommend Little Kaya, the kiosk version of Korean restaurant Kaya with staples like Bulgogi Dolsot Bibimbap (P270) and Bulgogi (P220), which they serve with rice. Easy, Tiger meanwhile is known for their Thai combo meals that are easy on the budget. End your lunch with soft serve in a flavored cone from Sundays by Merry Moo.
The Corner Market is at 2/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.