SM Mega Food Hall: A food court with a steeper price tag

Mega Food Hall, Level 5, SM Mega Fashion Mall, Mandaluyong, MM

Mega Food Hall, Level 5, SM Mega Fashion Mall, Mandaluyong, MM

By now it’s no secret that SM Megamall’s newest building, the Fahion Mall, has greatly revamped this EDSA landmark. Aside from boasting of some of the world’s trendiest Fashion brands, the restaurants have also created a ton of buzz.

Restaurants like Tim Ho Wan, Ippudo, and Vikings still have some long lines of diners patiently lining up to get tables. While other places like 8 Cuts Burger Blends, St. Marc Cafe, and Abe still manage to fill-up during the peak hours.

Mega Food Hall 2

I have a theory why these restaurants are so full. The floor space for each store is small! Walk around the Fashion Mall and you’ll think that the corridors are huge. But enter a store and you’ll immediately notice how crowded these can get. Put each level of H&M together and compare it to Forever 21’s floor space (in the older building A) and it could be equal or actually smaller.

But I’ve found a dining space in the same building that’s both spacious, at least for now, and offers different choices. The Mega Food Hall.

Mega Food Hall

*Not open as of this posting (Source: SM Megamall’s Facebook account)

It was officially opened on November 15, 2014 so there are stands still in the works as of this posting. My girl and I spent a Monday afternoon in the Fashion Mall. By dinner time we were too tired and hungry to wait for tables in the restaurants so we went straight to the Food Hall.

The Food Hall is really just a food court, albeit with menus that are pricier than the old food court in the basement of Building A. We bought our meal’s from Chubby’s Rib Shack and dessert from Dojo Japanese Ice Cream.

Chubby’s Rib Shack

Did they forget the ribs on that other plate?

Did they forget the ribs on that other plate?

Chubby’s is a sister restaurant of Buffalo’s Wings N’ Things, both of which have their own following from their previous restaurant locations. Chubby's 2

I’ve never eaten at a Chubby’s before but I’ve tried the wings at Buffalo’s and was slightly disappointed about them. And I have to say, right off the bat, that I was also pretty disappointed about Chubby’s. The ribs were a letdown.

Chubby's Special

Chubby’s Special

On the plate (bowl?): BBQ Ribs; Honky Tonk Rice; Pulled Pork on top of a “Texas Toast” and topped with deep fried onion rings; Coleslaw.

The Ribs have some substantial layer of fat on them, some parts also had a tough membrane that was really hard to eat. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the sauce on the ribs and the pulled pork tasted the same. Their taste was akin to the that of commercial BBQ sauce.

The rice was cooked well but the sauce on top of them was too much. The Texas Toast, Onion Rings, and Coleslaw held their own and were kind of good.

Chubby's 6

Where’d my ribs go?

I ordered the Pulled Pork Meal not knowing that it would be the same as the Chubby’s Special, minus the ribs. I felt duped.

Dojo Japanese Ice Cream

Dojo 2

These are some expensive cups of ice cream

I kid you not. This little 4 oz cup costs 150 Php! The largest size (about a half pint) runs up to nearly 900 Php! Wow! That’s expensive ice cream!

Okay, it’s Metro Manila. Those prices are actually reasonable and they are good. But still, this small cup costs more than a cup of espresso! And this is really tiny!

Dojo 1

She tried not to be noticed in the picture but still gave a slight smile

They has some bold flavors. Blue Cheese, Wasabi, Miso Sake are not flavors you grew up with. I got to try the Wasabi for free but bought Green Tea. My girl is crazy about Green Tea flavored ice cream.

I must say the cooling effect of Wasabi with the temperature of the ice cream itself helped cleanse my palate after eating that heavy meal.

This is good

This is good

I am not as crazy about green tea ice cream as my girl but I actually liked this. The green tea flavor was pronounced but not overpowering, It was slightly bitter and sweet, and the texture of the ice cream itself was velvety soft.

Almond bits! Ermahgerd!

Almond bits! Ermahgerd!

The almond bits were a good touch. I still think these are expensive ice cream cups but I have to admit that I really liked these. Try them!

Ruminations…

It’s newly opened, so there were still some kinks to the place when we dined here. Some places seemed to have bad lighting. The banquette seating, where we sat, was hard and well made of hard plastic. It’s hit or miss with the open stalls but at least you’re given several choices all in one place. SM’s free wifi works well in this area, so you can spend your one hour of free internet here.

It’s beside the ice skating rink and near the megatrade hall so it’s strategically located. It’s bound to be cleaner than the old food court and you won’t be seeing a red, white, and yellow smiling bee here. It’s a great alternative dining wise but I would be more excited to dine here when more of the tenants have already opened shop.

My momma seldomly burns her cooking...

My momma seldomly burns her cooking…

One opening I’m looking out for is that of Halal Guys. I frequently dined on these Halal Food Carts when I was in New York for business back in 2013. Not only to save up on my per diem but also because I loved their over-rice meals especially the chicken, lamb and falafel. The white sauce is much better than the stuff we get here from shawarma joints.

The Halal Guy’s original cart located in the corner of 53rd & 6th is said to be the best of all of them, and I wasn’t able to try it then. I want to get to do that now. Here’s a link to an article about their move from a cart to actual restaurants. Get excited people!

Have you tried the choices in the Mega Food Hall? Are you excited for the coming openings?

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