Todd English Food Hall has been creating a big buzz among foodies and regular restaurant-goers since it opened in 2014. Why? Well for one, it's the first international celebrity chef restaurant in the Philippines by Chef Todd English. Another thing is that, of course, the quality and the taste of the fresh gourmet food that they offer. It actually set a trend for the "food hall' concept in Manila.
Todd English Food Hall is originally from the city that never sleeps: New York! It is located in the famous and posh Plaza Hotel of NYC. The Manila flagship store was brought to the Philippines by the same owners of Mesa, Kai, Cevesaria and Isogi. The area was designed by Ms. Ivy Almario,the same creative genius who interior designed well-known establishments in the Philippines and abroad: Arya Residences. Stratford Residences, Astoria Boracay, Cafe Romulo, Movenpick Hotel Cebu and Midas Hotel to name a few.
Todd English Food Hall has 9 food halls namely: salad & charcutterie station, sushi bar station, raw bar station, Asian station, flatbread pizza station, pasta station, the grill & ocean grill station, wine & tapas bar station and Todd English retail store. But it isn't a buffet restaurant mind you, you order ala carte and each station is an area where dishes are being curated based on what category they fall on the menu.
We were seated in one of the communal tables which was perfect for our big #TeamAldous group that night. The lights are a bit dim at this restaurant but we were able to find ways to take good photos of the food that were served to us. But staying at the communal table was great because it was easier to move around while taking photos and eating haha! I think I was standing more than I was seating the whole time that we were there.
So anyways, we tried 19 items from the extensive Todd English Food Hall menu. Yes 19! Can you believe that? Well, I still can't imagine eating that much food in one night, especially that I need to go straight to work that night (yes I got super sleepy).
Frito Misto - Todd English deep fried sampler (calamari, shrimp, oysters) with chipotle chorizo sauce. I like that it wasn't greasy and the calamari was easy to chew. The dip was great as well.
Tuna Tartare - marinated sushi grande tuna, crispy marmalade shrimp finished with scallion cream + spicy aoili. It wasn't that too spicy which I really liked.
Lobster Guacamole - home-made crispy chips served with fresh lobster tail guacamole. I actually didn't taste the lobster on the guacamole, either way, this was a fun appetizer.
Pork Dumpling - handmade, boiled and seared pork dumplings with Ponzu reduction. I love how tasty the meat mixture inside these dumplings. One of the best pork dumplings I have ever tasted in my life.
Simple Salad - fresh mixed greens, grilled corn, baby heirloom tomato, shallot vinaigrette & olive oil. Simple and unpretentious.
Spinach Salad - fresh spinach, bacon balsamic dressing, cranberry, baby heirloom tomatoes, fried onion, grilled peach, cranberries. This salad is packed full with flavor. I like the balance of fruit and greens that it had.
Chorizo and Shrimp - Piquillo Sauce, Manchego cheese, chorizo, sexy scallions. I am not really a fan of chorizo sausage but this is good especially its pairing with shrimp.
Bronx Bomber - tomato sauce mozzarella cheese pepperoni caramelized onion, Parmesan cheese, basil. A good rendition of the classic NY-style Pepperoni pizza.
Truffle Fungi - Truffle vinaigrette, mixed mushrooms, Fontina, parsley. This flatbread is my favorite among the four that we got to try. They didn't scrimped on the truffle and you can really taste them.