(SPOT.ph) Eating out with family and friends is all fun and games until you have to decide where to eat. Luckily, food parks are a blessing that has since come our way. Since the trend started in the early 2010s, various iterations have come and gone, not just in Metro Manila but in Metro Cebu as well. A new concept located on the 3rd floor of the Seaside Wing of SM Seaside, Sugbo Mercado Skypark is a spacious alfresco space that lets you enjoy great-tasting eats under the sky.
The latest concept by Sugbo, the Sugbo Mercado Skypark was meant to open on December 16, 2021, the very day that typhoon Odette hit Cebu. Despite the unexpected damages suffered and the delays brought upon by another COVID surge, Sugbo Mercado Skypark opened on January 8, 2022 with 20 food stalls which range from ice-cold desserts, international cuisine, and rice platters that suit different tastes. According to Kevin Duterte, a site manager of Sugbo Mercado Skypark, the food park can accommodate up to 30 food stalls and can seat 300 people.
The first rooftop food market in the South
There’s also something to be said about the experience of going to food parks to discover something new or even something original. It serves as an effective incubator for newer food businesses to experiment with their recipes and see what customers respond to—so they can be more prepared when they branch out to standalone operations.
Rachel Chiu, co-owner of Cebu Lasagna, decided to open a stall at Sugbo Mercado Skypark because of its unique location and their shared history. Chiu also has a branch at the flagship location in IT Park and raved about how well they care for their partner-merchants.
Plus, food tastes even better when you’re enjoying it in the fresh air. Sugbo Mercado Skypark overlooks SRP (the South Road Properties). On a bright and sunny day, mall-goers and visitors can get their dose of vitamin D and fresh air while stuffing their faces with good food. And you don't even need to worry about leaving the pets at home as the Skypark keeps it fun and playful with the nearby Paw Park and playground for the young and young-at-heart.
Food parks are still worth a visit—even in 2022
The fun thing about food markets is that you can roam around and choose as much food as you can carry but you will need a dose of sugar for the energy to go through all those menus. In the Sugbo Mercado Skypark, you can grab a milk tea from Teahila or a fruity beverage from Zip ‘N Sip. Teahila milk teas start at P110, and come in medium, large, and extra-large sizes. On the other hand, Zip ‘N Sip offers fruit combos like Strawberry Mango (P159), Ube Macapuno Graham (P159), and Mango Oreo (P119).
However, we can't forget that we live in the Philippines. The only downside to open-air dining areas is that it can get pretty hot and humid. Good thing there are a lot of ice-cold desserts options around. Ally Mango’s best-selling mango shakes start at P110, and you can even top their sweet concoctions with ice cream, pearls, pandan jelly, or mango bits for P25 a scoop. Seaside Scramble serves strawberry, ube, and chocolate-flavored ice scramble at P65 a cup. You can also get three scoops of ice cream for P60 at the Ice Cream Station.
One of the reasons why Asian cuisine is famous all over the world is because of its unique flavor profile. Inspired by Thai cooking, AJ Street Thai Food prepares its food as authentically as they can with Pad Thai (P105), a very filling dish as one of its best-sellers! Meanwhile, Gogobap cooks up Korean rice meals such as their Samgyup Cup (P169), Chicken Bap (P169), and Kimchi Spam Rice (P169). And if you’re not hungry enough for a whole meal, you can always opt for their Cheese Balls (P149) and Plain Corndog (P99).
If you love exploring other cuisines, check out Hyderabad for Indian food. Biryani is a classic spiced Indian dish consisting of rice plus meat, fish, eggs, or vegetables, and Hyderabad sells different kinds of biryani, starting at P265. You can also check out their lassi (a.k.a. the well-loved Indian yogurt-based drink) which comes in a variety of flavors, starting at P100. If you don’t have the taste buds for spicy food, you can always buy Don Takoyaki where you can grab takoyaki balls for P120.
Are you really a Filipino if you didn’t have rice? The Mushroom Haus serves Mushroom Sisig Rice (P115), Mushroom Teriyaki Rice (P115), and Mushroom Shawarma Rice (P115) while The Chef’s Choice has flavored wings with a side of rice and vegetables for P169, and they even sell bucket of chicken wings with rice for P399! If you want something a bit more tame but still as flavorful, La Vienne has herb-roasted chicken meals that start at P150.
Anyone and everyone loves lechon whether it be baka or a pig. Steve’s Lechon Baka hits that sweet spot where they roast the baka just enough for the flavor to come out. A quarter-kilo with their signature sauce starts at P350—perfect for those that are craving. If you want something more on the crunchier side, Lodichon prepares their boneless lechon perfectly crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside. Plus their set meals start at only P99, such a deal right? But if it's something saucier you're looking for there are always humba rice meals that start at P129 from Dr. Humba.
For those that want a bit of everything, Tita Beb’s is the place to go as you take your pick from Steamed Rice (P95) to Chicken Siomai (P49) to Buttered Shrimp with Spicy Sauce (P159). Uma Seafood and Native Chicken on the other hand has shrimps, scallops, and grilled tuna belly, and you get to pick your own sauce. While Dubby’s Ultimate Burgers has an insane burger menu that includes cheeseburgers, sandwiches, and even a Bunless Bacon Cheeseburger (P50), wrapped in lettuce for people who are cutting bread out of their diet. There’s even the 10-inch diameter Ultimate Birthday Burger that will set you back by P1,799.
We know, we know, there's so much to choose from! But if you just want to snack and catch up with your friends, you can always buy French Fries (starts at P65) from Potato Patata to share. Chicken skin (P320) from Cebu Lasagna also does the trick as it’s not too dry, and has the right amount of crunch. They also make party packages for lasagna, chicken, and beef steak.
We are now on Quento! Download the app and enjoy more articles and videos from SPOT.ph and other Summit Media websites.