(SPOT.ph) Name any sought-after restaurant right now, and chances are it’s one of the many brands that falls under impressive food emporium, The Moment Group. It takes hundreds of people to get everything running just right. And outside the 25 outlets found all over the city, the people behind 8 Cuts, Din Tai Fung, Ooma, Manam, Linguini Fini, Phat Pho, Bank Bar, and Mess Hall come together in a large office complex along Pasong Tamo Extension that the group fondly calls the Moplex. Up-and-coming retail and food spot Karrivin Plaza holds the recently renovated warehouse that houses the Moment Group’s commissary, operations, and cafeteria-cum-eating spot, Mess Hall.
It’s only fitting that the main entrance to Moment’s HQ features its dining area. The office serves a staff meal every day, and people who work at the Moplex get their daily dishes served cafeteria style. While half the dining area is reserved for those who work at Moment, there are tables open to the public, too. (Mess Hall is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday). Moment’s many restaurants frequently hold pop-ups at Mess Hall, but on current rotation is Manam’s Filipino menu (try the shakes and the pancit palabok or sisig and you won’t go wrong). The space maximizes natural light and holds very comfortable seating, guaranteed to make your stay at Mess Hall just as worthwhile as a trip to any of its restaurants.
Just beside the Mess Hall is a soon-to-open test kitchen, giving the group another venue to play around with their culinary concoctions.
More than 130 people are housed in the second floor of Moment’s building, in a modern, functional open plan office. The brand and marketing department are set off to one section, marked by floor-to ceiling shelves housing all the promotional materials of the different restaurants. While each of the restaurants is distinct and separate, collaboration is key in how the Moment Group works—constant communication and interaction is supported by the open plan.
The nerve center of the office is housed in a compact, wooden crate-inspired box just by the stairs. All the mail runs through the portal, and staff assigned to welcome guests and usher them to meetings take their post in the communication center too. While the wood detail clearly delineates the space for its set function, it still lies open for anyone to walk in and out, and interact.
Founding partners Abba, Eliza, and Jon sometimes take one of the sectioned-off rooms for meetings. Still decked in casual trimmings, following the sparse and modern aesthetic of the central space, the room holds some tables, a stack of pallets fashioned after Jenga blocks used in the launch of 8 Cuts ATC, and one of two Burger Bears—a giant stuffed toy who’s become a staple at the Moplex. Towers of culinary books stay in a more intimate enclave within the space, surrounded by comfortable seating and an old-fashioned rug.
Because all of the Moment Group’s employees run through this office, they have two multi-purpose areas where training, meetings, and other more collaborative activities take place. It’s only been six months since the group moved in, so the current library space is still undergoing a transition that will have it as the main book depository of the entire office.
Everything on the second floor is decorated minimally—with neutral grays and bold reds found in the I-beams that make up the structural support of the warehouse. Wood details pop out and add a more organic, natural feel to the space. The community board is a fun hub for the entire group where HR posts birthday announcements and other important news (monthly celebrations are a big deal at the Moplex, and so is the up-and-coming office Happy Hour).
If you find yourself somewhere in Makati, it’s worthwhile to take a stab at Moment’s perpetual pop-ups. A trip to Mess Hall isn’t just good for the belly, it might be tempting enough to have you searching the Moment Group’s job boards for a permanent post.
Photos by Toto Labrador