MANILA -- Quietly opening in 2018 across the Shangri-la at the Fort, One Bonifacio High Street mall has slowly transformed itself into a foodie haven, with a selection of restaurants that include unique and homegrown concepts, as well as a mix of exciting international franchises.
To showcase the variety of gustatory delights available in One BHS, the mall recently held a food tour dubbed "ONE BHS Eats" for selected media. Organized in partnership with the Our Awesome Planet (OAP) blog, the food tour was hosted by OAP’s founder, Anton Diaz.
“This is the culinary center of BGC,” Diaz declared in his opening spiel of the tour that featured eight restaurants.
1. Malongo Atelier Barista
Part-coffee shop and part-coffee store, this beautifully appointed café with leather chairs, black and white blown up pictures, and fancy coffee machinery is a coffee lover’s dream. Beyond the enjoyment of coffee in-store, the atelier also wants to push the culture of bringing home coffee and making it at home, as it sells freshly roasted beans (both single origin and blends) as well as (individual/professional) coffee makers and different coffee paraphernalia.
There to drink a cup? As the first Atelier Barista outside Paris, espresso is a point of pride in this French café. For something with less caffeine, choose any of their frothy tea lattes made from organic fair-trade teas. Food options, meanwhile, include French pastries like croissants and pain au chocolat, as well as savory and sweet crepes.
Malongo serves breakfast starting at 7 a.m.
2. Wolfgang’s Steak House
Steak dinners come big and juicy in Wolfgang’s Steak House. Dry-aged on-site for an average of 28 days, the steakhouse offers diners three different set choices for you to enjoy your USDA Prime aged T-bone steak or porterhouse. Enjoyed on their own or with a dab of their house-made steak sauce, these wonderful steaks are best accompanied by sides like extra creamy mashed potatoes and classic creamed spinach.
Read more about Wolfgang's here.
3. Emack & Bolio
This hippie Boston ice cream shop is famous for two things -- their crazy flavors, and their Instagram-worthy cones.
With 18 flavors on offer during our visit, it was hard to choose from their picture-perfect cones (Chocolate dipped with rainbow sprinkles or Marsh”mellow” with rice crispies? I chose the one with sprinkles) and their imaginative flavors (I finally decided on Mud Pie, coffee with chocolate chip and Oreos). Easy to find with their store’s psychedelic color scheme, getting an ice cream cone from Emack & Bolio can never fail to put a smile on anyone’s face.
Botejyu is one of the most popular concepts of Viva Foods, with 15 restaurants in the Philippines, as of the tour. Specializing in Japanese comfort food, the 70-plus item menu was recently enlivened with new items, including a fresh sashimi platter and new maki choices. Our top picks served during the tour include its bestselling Pork Okosoba, the rich Paitan Ramen, and the seafood-rich premium Moonlight Okonomiyaki.
Read more about Botejyu here.
5. La Picara
With a name that translates to “sassy girl,” this original concept serves exciting new takes on Spanish cuisine by infusing Asian ingredients into their dishes.
For tapas, I enjoyed their kimchi croquettas. A new take on a classic, these croquettas were draped with a slice of salmon, and were crispy on the outside, creamy in the middle, with the kimchi giving a subtle spice and sourness to the tapas. Enjoy other tapas (and other dishes like the sweet-spicy Chili Crab Paella) outside in La Picara’s al fresco area, or inside with its Cuban-inspired décor. Just remember to grab a carafe of the Sangria Picara which was filled with fruity tropical flavors like watermelon, pineapple, and passionfruit.
Read more about La Picara here.
6. Nikkei Nama Bar
Nikkei Nama Bar specializes in Japanese-Peruvian cuisine. As “nama” means fresh, the restaurant proudly serves the freshest catch of the sea, best found in the restaurant’s signature ceviche options, sushi, as well as its Nama bowls, which are healthy but filling rice bowl meals.
During the tour, we were served lighter but still hefty options like the Unagi Asparagus Roll, which were umami bombs and best enjoyed with some of Nikkei’s refreshing yuzu-infused Sake Sangria.
7. Chateau 1771
Since 1988, Chateau 1771 has been a bastion of French food in Manila. For the tour, the elegantly appointed restaurant served its bestsellers, including the interactive cheese fondue, and the Potence, a beef tenderloin hung on a small standee that’s flambéed tableside with brandy. Sweet endings are a must in Chateau 1771, as we ended our visit with some sweet and cool Mango Jubilee.
8. M Bakery
M Bakery, the local franchise of the famed Magnolia Bakery in New York, has continued to draw customers since its opening last year. And while the line is more manageable these days, the bakery continues to churn out reliable favorites like the Banana Pudding (with a new flavor launched every month), cupcakes like the Red Velvet and the famous Carrie Cupcake (vanilla cupcake with pink vanilla icing), and Manila-only flavors like the Ube Halaya Cupcake and the the Calamansi Cheesecake.
Read more about M Bakery here.