Spot rounds up the must-try Japanese restos in the BGC area, including our little Mecha Uma space.
Last October 12, Bank Bar was buzzing from early afternoon, until late at night. To celebrate not only The Moment Group’s fifth birthday, and the launch of Bank Bar’s new menu as well, the coming together of the day’s festivities was aptly called Back to Back to Bank. The day kicked off with an Insider Afternoon. Guest bartenders from Hong Kong, Pawel Mikusek, Edgar Santillan and, Marek Vojcarcik, gave talks on Tiki culture, designing taste through flavors, and a few forgotten principles of good bartending.
Those in attendance got the down low on what to keep in mind when creating cocktails and a cocktail program, alongside tips and tricks to remember behind the bar. Come 7 P.M., Bank Bar was a full house with Mikusek, Santillan, and Vojcarcik going head to head in a Battle of the Bartenders, with their own one-night-only cocktail menus.
Bank Bar was bright and colorful that evening, with the presence of glow sticks, party hats, stick-on mustaches, Tiki drinks, and flamingos in every corner of the room. Like always, the night ended with a bang via sparklers at midnight, to signal the launch of Bank’s new menu. Staple drinks (like the Nutter Club and Pinay Colada) and twisted classics (like the French Lady, and the sumptuous Mezcal Negroni), are joined by late night meals of Bone Marrow & Wagyu Tacos, and a Charcuterie & Formaggio Board.
Hailed as “The World’s Greatest Dumplings” by Forbes, and a basket of “small miracles” by Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, the world-famous soup dumplings of Din Tai Fung have finally made their way to the bustling district of Bonifacio Global City.
On its opening day, the store awarded the first person in line, Lorenzo Villanueva, with P12,000 worth of gift certificates for waiting in line for over 28 hours. And for the entire opening week, 50 free baskets of Xiao Long Bao were given away. Inside the 200-seater restaurant, there was more in store for diners who braved the lines on opening day. In addition to the six kinds of Xiao Long Bao available at the first Megamall shop (pork, crab roe and pork, chicken, green squash and shrimp, truffle and pork, and foie gras and chicken), the newest flavor debuting at Din Tai Fung BGC is the Pork and Roasted Garlic Xiao Long Bao. Also new on the menu are Philippine exclusive featured dishes that now come in portions good for 1-2 people or for groups of 3-4: Salted Egg Yolk Squid, Hot Garlic Spareribs, Sweet and Sour Prawns, Steamed Fish in Superior Soy Sauce, Shredded Pork Fried Rice.
Fitting for a business and lifestyle district like Bonifacio Global City, the new location’s space was designed to keep diners coming back. Interiors are decked by unique and local art pieces. Visual artist, Mars Bugaoan, has created a suspended installation of heated plastic, which resembles a chandelier that casts shadows on the wall—an effect of light hitting the art work. In the main dining area, diners are met by a wall-mounted triptych on which Bugaoan makes use of heated plastic, defined by arresting colors of red, black, and purple. On the opposite end is digital mixed media artist, Reese Lansangan’s chronicles of Din Tai Fung’s roots through digital print collage on canvas.
Moment Group is responsible for bringing Din Tai Fung to Philippine shores. The restaurant group is known for cutting-edge restaurant concepts 8Cuts Burgers, Manam Comfort Filipino, Phat Pho Manila, Linguini Fini Manila, Ooma, Mecha Uma, and Bank Bar. Fast and friendly customer service plus a commitment to the decades-old Xiao Long Bao recipe is key for TMG founding members Eliza Antonino, Abba Napa, and Jon Syjuco, who acquired the franchise in 2014.
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