MANILA -- One corner of S Maison, the high-end retail complex at SM Mall of Asia, is rapidly becoming the home of The Bistro Group. Call it the Bistrow, if you want, with its collection of the group's different concepts even extending to the second floor.
The latest one to open is My South Hall by Chef Josh Boutwood, which promises a wide variety of choice, value for money, and an elevated food hall experience.
“I created concepts, food that I really enjoy eating, and having it all under one roof. If I come with my kids, there's something here for each and every one of them. We can get something from all of these different stations and combine them together on a table and have a wonderful dining experience,” explained Josh Boutwood, the executive chef of the Bistro Group.
Diners will feel right at home here, especially if you’re a fan of Italliani’s, TGIFriday’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Watami, and Bulgogi Brothers.
But Boutwood was quick to note that there are some items in My South Hall that isn’t served in any of their other concepts like Chinese roasts, and milk tea. While not totally the same, it’s as if The Bistro Group infused its DNA into the food hall’s mini concepts. Clearly, when a company has successfully ventured into Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and American diner concepts for 25 years, it definitely has the gravitas to bring these into different directions such as the ones found here.
If there’s one thing that’s different about My South Hall compared to the other concepts, it’s the price point.
“My South Hall was designed so that it doesn't hurt. You can come here, enjoy a wonderful fresh cooked meal, and still have money left over to go and watch a movie at the cinema,” said Boutwood in all seriousness, emphasizing how crucial value for money was when they thought about the overall concept.
Here are the stalls and the food you can find at My South Hall.
WCKD is the first stall you’ll see when you enter My South Hall. Stop by for milk tea, fruit tea, and coffee-based beverages with boba, coffee jelly, and nata sinkers.
Recommended at WCKD is the Ul-Tea-Mate with three kinds of sinkers; the Hyacinth Tea; and the Classic Coffee sweetened with evaporated and condensed milk.
Chix is a diner within the food hall specializing in American comfort food like fried chicken, burgers, and fries.
The star in Chix are the chicken wings. Spicy Buffalo Wings and Honey Soy Glaze are just two of the variants that are available in this stall.
When in Roma, it’s worth the wait for the food. The pasta is homemade and the dishes themselves are made to order so it gets to you fresh, hot, and al dente.
At Roma, pasta lovers can mix and match sauces with freshly made spaghetti, rigatoni, and conchiglie (shell pasta). The Truffle Pasta with Bacon, Alfredo With Shrimps, and the spicy Diavolo are recommended.
Roast’d is inspired by the Chinese roast restaurants similar to those found in Hong Kong and Singapore.
Rice, a side of vegetable, and a choice of either roast chicken, roast duck, roast pork, and asado make up the plates that can be found at Roast’d.
Steamer baskets full of dim sum and the wok-fried rice and noodles are the must-tries at Golden Treasures.
Golden Treasures has an array of dim sum for quick and affordable bites. Birthday noodles, yang chow fried rice, Sichuan tian men, beef broccoli, and perhaps, a cold bottle of Tsingtao are on the menu to complete your meal.
Seoul Hotpot has induction cookers built into the side counters for hotpot. You could ask for help from the staff to cook your meal.
A typical set meal at Seoul Hotpot has soup, vegetables, and sukiyaki-thin slices of chuck eye or sirloin. Ask for some of its Sichuan oil made from tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorns to add some kick to your creation.
Juicy, billed as an everyday juice bar, is a franchise from South Korea having 800 outlets all over its home country.
While there are the usual fruit shakes and fruit juices at Juicy, the fruit combinations like strawberry-mango and mango-kiwi are the must-tries, giving unique blends of sour and sweet.
Tabemashou has been the crowd favorite since My South Hall’s soft opening. This mini-izakaya consistently has long lines, probably because of the local familiarity with sushi, sashimi, and tempura.
A big part of Tabemashou's kitchen is devoted to yakitori. Of the skewers, the Saikoro beef cubes are melt-in-your-mouth tender. Apart from the skewers, Tabemashou’s chashu tonkotsu ramen and spicy miso ramen are large bowls of noodles with broth comparable to ramen specialty restaurants.
My South Hall By Chef Josh Boutwood can be found at the ground floor of S Maison at the Mall of Asia Complex and is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.