To much of Rockwell’s anticipation, Phat Pho opened its second outlet in Manila since it came to the capital in 2014. Phat Pho, originally from the esteemed Abaca Group of Cebu have collaborated yet again with the Moment Group so that more diners can enjoy modern street style Vietnamese fare.
Phat Pho’s signature pho is pretty hot and tasty as ever, with the Seafood Pho now permanently on the menu. In addition to this Vietnamese classic, the restaurant also serves up the crowd favorites such as the Saigon Baguette Banh Mi, with house-made baguette; bite-sized and addicting rolls of Goi Cuon; your choice of tender skewered Pork Belly, Chicken, or Angus Beef Satay; and the cravable carb staple, Com Chien.
The Vietnamese kitchen continues to dish out a variety of pho, alongside a delicious array of modernized Vietnamese street food fare, making it everyone’s upbeat and casual noodle bar of choice.
An apostle for gastronomic innovation, The Moment Group is in constant search for food ideas worth one’s salt. Their latest venture is a peek into their own private playground: the Mess Hall.
Located at the ground floor of Moplex—TMG’s headquarters and central kitchens—Mess Hall is an addition to the rapidly expanding food movement along Pasong Tamo Extension. The place acts as a cafeteria in adulthood, from the self service counters to the long communal tables. A perennial pop-up of their ingenuity, Mess Hall will be serving up and dishing out meals from The Moment Group’s personal concepts—beginning with Manam. Featured in Mess Hall’s Manam spin-off are 19 of the restaurant’s choice diner favorites, from the Sinigang of Short Rib and Watermelon, to Oxtail Kare-kare, to the Lechon Batchoy.
Like any of TMG’s other homegrown brands, this spectacular first setup is only the beginning for what the Mess Hall has in store for curious diners
Following the success of its inaugural outpost, The Moment Group’s Ooma now opens its doors to a brand new neighborhood: in the Edades Tower of Rockwell, Makati.
With the introduction of this second outpost, a range of new items are making their way to the menu, which include a Maguro Zuke Taco Maki; an open faced temaki wrap with a soy and olive oil-marinated piece of tuna, with an egg yolk dipping sauce. Joining the rundown of Aburi Makis is an oyster variant that packs a crunch and creamy cheesiness to the bite. The new menu also introduces a dish inspired by Ricketts’s recent trip to Japan: an Anago Truffle and Mushroom Soba, which has fresh water eel tempura above a mound of steamy buckwheat noodles in hot broth.
An added element to Ooma’s new outpost is an homage to The Moment Group founders’—Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa, and Jon Syjuco’s—shared affinity for sake. Because of this, a sake den has taken up residence in Ooma’s second floor, featuring a wide variety of sake.
Summer in the Philippines became official with one of the most awaited annual event in the country, Make Your Own Havaianas. At the VIP kickoff event held last April 21 at the Mega Fashion Hall, we said konnichiwa to 11 years of fun and thrill in creating a bespoke pair of flip-flops in various colors and pins of choice. This year’s theme was a tribute to traditional Japanese designs weaved from the Shibori technique. Alongside the intricate flip-flop patterns were one-of-a-kind pins like the sakura flower, zori sandal, Japanese fan, ramen, Sumo wrestler, empress, robot, sushi, ninja, Japanese beer and Japan lettering that had guests testing their creative prowess in selecting their pins and have them placed strategically on the straps.
A perfect match to the Japanese theme was Ooma Japanese Rice Bar and guests were treated to bold new flavors in the form of Spicy Tuna Maki, crunchy Ebi Tempura Maki and Corn Kakiage. As a nod to the Brazilian Caipirinha, OOMA created a “Sakerinha,“ a light refreshment made with a sake base, lime wedges and sugar cubes.
Next to enjoying a new pair from the Shibori collection, MYOH goers also received reward cards from Linguini Fini, Ooma and 8Cuts, all at the Mega Fashion Hall, perfect pit stops for the hungry new owners of MYOH 2016 flip-flops!
Madrid Fusion Manila, the biggest gastronomical congress that brings the world’s most renowned chefs, was an event clad with inspiring presentations from culinary mavericks who came to share their experiences with food and new techniques. One of the highlights of the event were the Regional Lunches organized by the Department of Agriculture which featured Filipino chefs who showcased distinct and sensational Filipino flavours.
Participating on the final day of the festivities, which was curated by Town&Country executive editor, Alicia Sy, were The Moment Group and Bank Bar who whipped up dishes and drinks in line with the theme: Philippine Street Food. Fully embracing the theme, the two stalls were hard to miss with a towering rainbow umbrella, plastic barrels brimming with street drinks, and colourful table covers resembling the humble street canteens in Manila.
Corporate Head Chef Robert Bolanos at the helm of the Moment Group creations, turned turon into a tartlet with poached banana in peppered Palawan honey and langka mousse. Next to these addictive treats were the Laguna delicacy, binatog. Creamy roasted yellow corn tossed in house-made cheese whiz salt in coconut fritters.
Right beside the TMG stall was Bank Bar. True to its reputation for inventive cocktails, Bank Bar came up with a playful roster of pampalamigs and pampalasings – Filipino street coolers mixed in with local liquor. There was a Pinoy Pickleback showcasing burong mangga: pickled mangoes with whiskey, chased with a nostalgic Boracay inspired longga burger. The refreshing Buko Pandan Daiquiri was Inspired by the local buko pandan. The Green Mango Margarita with green mango infused tequila offered a sour kick while the Drunken Sago’t Gulaman posed no pretentious potency. Mimicking the simple sago’t gulaman enjoyed in the streets, this cocktail’s actual sago and gulaman were infused with Don Papa Rum to give an extra burst of alcohol in every sip and bite. Even Virgilio Martinez, Latin America’s number one chef, stopped by for this crowd-pleasing liquid courage.
Taking the service of street food to heart were the Moment Group’s very own Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa and Jon Syjuco who joined TMG chefs and bartenders in handing out the street treats and drinks.
Nothing feels more Filipino than being welcomed into one’s home and being invited to eat at the table with heaping mounds of homemade fare. Manam Comfort Food, which takes its cues from the word malinamnam—heartily tasty—was born from this tradition of unfolding homeyness to anyone and everyone. Since 2013 it has managed to guide diners, from the city and beyond, into a semblance of home in the Philippines.
Now on its 4th outlet in Bonifacio Global City (after Greenbelt 2, Mall of Asia, and Ayala Fairview Terraces), Manam is happy to add house-made ingredients like kesong puti and local sauces like vinegar and soy sauce, as well as new heartily tasty dishes to the mix, still in classics and twists. There’s the all-day breakfast with House-made Tapsilog or the Sugar Glazed Corned Beef. The all-day Pancit Sisig is sure to satisfy, with Manam’s award-winning House Crispy Sisig (currently No. 1 on Spot.ph’s list of the Best Sisig in Manila!) on top of addictingly flavorful Pinoy pancit canton, alongside equally tasty Pancit Bihon and Pancit Palabok. Sweet and memorable additions to the menu include a full roster of merienda favorites, like Bibingkang Galapong of Salted Duck Egg, and for a twist, there’s the Bibingkang Ube served with a swirl of ube and drizzled with a generous amount of grated coconut. These new dishes are perfect all day but especially for the Pinoy mid-afternoon snack or merienda. All these new malinamnam flavors at Manam’s new outlet is matched by a lovely high-ceilinged space, bright and as comforting and enjoyable as the food. A private room, good for 10, is available for any occasion.
“And that is at the heart of what Manam is meant to do for Pinoy cuisine – expand its occasions for having it. With atmosphere and with portion – so you can dress up or dress down and feel fine here. You can dine solo as a tourist or with your entire family or barkada and can enjoy Pinoy fare the way it is supposed to be enjoyed – with lots of ulam to choose from on the table,” says Abba Napa, one of the Moment Group restaurateurs.
This is the kind of house we’ve built, and nothing more feels quite like home than welcoming you to Manam’s tables.
The very first Din Tai Fung in the Philippines was unveiled last December 7, 2015 at the Mega Fashion Hall of SM Megamall. To mark the event, Din Tai Fung owner and chairman, Warren Yang, flew in with his Taiwan team, to celebrate the local launch and oversee operations. Together with the Moment Group restaurateurs Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa and Jon Syjuco, and SM Prime Holdings president, Hans Sy, Mr. Yang led the ceremonial ribbon cutting. No less thanPresident Benigno S. Aquino III graced the formal unveiling ceremony of Din Tai Fung Philippines. The presence of the family and friends of the Moment Group completed the auspicious affair.
The Grand Launch space was clad in prosperous-red. While awaiting the unveiling of one of the most sought-after franchise in the world and biggest restaurant opening of the year in the Philippines, free flowing champagne was served. Upon the formal unveiling of Din Tai Fung Philippines a bright and spotless open kitchen, where Din Tai Fung’s Xiao Long Bao are made, was revealed to the delight of the crowd.
Din Tai Fung Philippines is the 120th branch and the 14th country to hold and continue Mr. Yang’s tradition of meticulous attention to detail, excellent service, and the best Xiao Long Bao known the world over. The restaurant has accumulated numerous accolades, including the distinction of being hailed by The New York Times as one of the top 10 restaurants in the world in 1993 and number one on The Daily Meal’s “101 Best Restaurants in Asia” list in 2013. To top it all off, a Michelin star has been awarded to Din Tai Fung’s Hong Kong branch for five consecutive years since 2010.
After the formal unveiling, dinner was served to the guests consisting of the classic Pork Xiao Long Bao and the Crab Roe and Pork Xiao Long Bao; along with other dishes special to the Philippine branch such as the Black Pepper Beef, Sweet and Sour Pork, Salted Egg Yolk Prawns, and for dessert, the Golden Lava Salted Egg Yolk Bun.
Din Tai Fung Philippines opened to the public the next day, December 8, 2015 – truly a milestone for the Philippine dining scene to bring in a restaurant that has been acclaimed all over the world for nearly half a century. After traveling from one continent to another, the perfectly pleated and methodically steamed soup dumplings and more have finally made port in the Philippines.
Finally setting up shop in Alabang Town Center, 8Cuts Burger Blends opened the month of October with a BANG. This 11th 8Cuts outlet was thrown one smashing welcome. Kids and the kids at heart came to have a li’l party with us with fun games like Pin the Cut, Giant Jenga and Burger Stacking. With a Make Your Own Burger station waiting for the famished gamers, everyone came out a winner.
The world’s tastiest burgers were flipped one after the other from the open kitchen to clamoring carnivores, classic thick milkshakes doled out and the good times rolling in Alabang’s newest burger joint. The Alabang outpost is also in for one good chomp with the BIG BANG Burger – a neighborhood tribute found only in ATC. It’s a Beef Bomb patty of chuck and short rib, with a slather of Monterey cheese, grilled tomato, black pepper onion jam with a kick from the fried jalapeno crowned with purple basil flowers, and all topped with the special Sauce No. 3. So if you’re down for the best burgers in town, head on over to 8Cuts Alabang Town Center!
For two nights in a row, and for many more we suspect, dusk drinking became the norm in Manila’s newest drinking den, Bank Bar. This latest venture by the Moment Group and friends celebrated its opening last August in the more interesting parts of RCBC Corporate Center in BGC, and good things awaited those who found it.
Housing over a hundred guests each night, Bank Bar crafted an impressive roster of drinks that flowed from dusk til dawn. Cocktails, inventively called The House 11 and The Serious 7, meant business and the spirits of the night ranged from gins to whiskeys, from vodkas to some of the best local rums. The night spun on with the best of the bar bites such as Pork Barrel Chicharon, Jamon Iberico and Salted Egg Rock Shrimp. Live music from revered rock star Basti Artadi accompanied the night’s shindig.
Bank Bar’s launch party was nothing short of a good time and much of the night’s allure came not just from free flowing flasks of liquid gold or tantalizing music. A large part of it was the cross between seduction and solemnity evoked by the space, and all the more heightened by the glowing altar of hundreds of bottles by the bar with its glorious arched mirrors. These were signs all pointing to the much awaited announcement to the public: Bank Bar is now open for business.
Linguini Fini, the Pasta Experts, launches new homemade pastas and the 18” Kingpin pizza There’s more homemade goodness as the Linguini Fini Manila team has come up with new dishes sure to satisfy, and in portion options to suit any appetite. The new dishes, made fresh and from scratch in true Linguini Fini style include a truly comforting 4 Cheese Rigati with gorgonzola, ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella with crisp bacon, and an equally delicious Pancetta Linguini Carbonara with Grana padano, basil and egg yolk. Tomato lovers will undoubtedly enjoy the fresh and zesty Spaghetti Arrabiatta with chili pesto, roasted garlic and local cherry tomatoes. Putting the spotlight on local flavor is the Aligue Cream Linguini with pickled chili, roasted garlic and black caviar. There’s also the Shrimps and Clams Fettuccine with the catch of the day. Freshness has been the cornerstone of LF cooking so the seafood caught in the morning is delivered to the restaurant on the same day daily. And all these homemade pasta come in 3 sizes: lite, regular and grand so there’s a place at Linguini Fini for everyone and every appetite.
Italian is synonymous with pasta and of course, pizza and there are new flavors fresh off the oven: the Gamberetti & Peperoncino with marinated shrimp and tomato pesto sauce, and the Wild Mushroom Pizza with homegrown Shitake mushrooms, ricotta and porcini. And there’s the Kingpin, a New York style 18” with all the good stuff diners crave at Linguini Fini. The Kingpin has the 4 best flavors in one 18”’ pizza: the all-meat Bronx, Manila Caprese with kesong puti, the new Gamberetti & Peperoncino and the flavorful Longganisa & Scamorza.