BGC eats: There's something for everyone at SM Aura's The Food Hall

Joko Magalong-De Veyra

Posted at Nov 18 2019 05:21 PM

The Food Hall at SM Aura Premier. Jeeves de Veyra

MANILA -- In the culinary hands of executive chef Carlo Miguel, The Food Hall at the SM Aura Premier in Bonifacio Global City is a playground of flavor.

“I think we have about 80 different dishes. And I'm sure you'll find something for everyone here, you know, from pasta to flatbreads to grills! We have fantastic steak, not just the expensive rib eyes. We do a flat iron steak which is very reasonably priced, but the quality is fantastic. We also have a raw bar and seafood. There’s dessert and pastry, and the Pound station with all the burgers,” Miguel said of The Food Hall’s offerings.

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With its high ceilings, marble countertops, shelf-lined walls filled with foodstuff and spices, to even a wood-heavy enclave (called The Grill Room), The Food Hall is also Miguel’s luxe test kitchen.

“It has the most space and the most different equipment in the kitchen so it lets me play around with what I want to do. If I want to take a small cut of meat and roast it in a pizza, I can do it here. If I want to turn something into a burger—I can do it here. Everything I want to do is here,” said Miguel.

Executive chef Carlo Miguel. Jeeves de Veyra

“We have a very diverse range here -- we have Pound, we have Flatterie, we have The Grill Room, so I have so many ideas that I can do, wherever I want. For me, what I do is I try to narrow down, where which idea fits in which kitchen best,” he added.

Offering diners not only the best from some of the Foodee Global Concepts’ umbrella of restaurants (like Pound, Hook, and Flatterie), Miguel also unveils dishes only available in The Food Hall — from Asian fare like a breathtaking rendang, steak-cut patties for new burgers, to even Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and the works!

There’s always something for everyone, thanks to the Food Hall’s smorgasbord of options, making it a popular venue for group events. Here’s a sneak peek to some of the Food Hall’s newest and unique dishes.

Sausage & Mushroom Pasta. Rigatoni pasta with cream, mushroom, and Italian sausage make for a hearty meal for sharing.

Beef Cheek Rendang. Slow-cooked beef cheek in rendang spices and coconut milk begs for a cup or three of rice. Not spicy but very fragrant, this third-generation dish is a must-try.

Wagyu BBQ Brisket Platter with sides of coleslaw and fries. A meat-lovers delight. How can you go wrong with a 36-hour sous-vide wagyu beef brisket and a sticky sweet half rack of barbecue ribs? There’s even some extra sauce in the middle of the platter.

Miso-Glazed Tuna. Elegant and earthy, this dish gets a sweet and smoky glaze and an indulgent side dish of miso-glazed eggplant.

Thanksgiving Dinner – Taste Thanksgiving on a plate with turkey portions (breast and thigh) sauced with peppercorn gravy, a cranberry relish, and a pumpkin puree.

Molten Cheeseburger from Pound. The Food Hall’s burgers use Miguel’s perfected steak-cut method of creating patties (using different beef parts and without any extenders or binders) and housemade Hokkaido milk buns (buttery like brioche but holds its shape better to catch all the burger’s juices). These together with his new combinations inject excitement to the Pound kitchen in The Food Hall. First on the list is the Molten Cheeseburger. It’s a classic made cheesier and better with all the regular burger trimmings (tomato, mustard relish, lettuce) but with some extra oomph from a melted cheese blend skirt.

New Double Smash Burger from Pound. This burger should smash hungry appetites with its double smashed patties, cheddar cheese crust, and housemade bacon jam. It’s also the burger which has my second favorite Pound ingredient (the first is foie fras) —Miguel’s secret sauce. This secret sauce has Asian ingredients but when mixed with the rest just amps up the meaty umami flavors of the burger like magic!

The Kitchen Sink from Pound. It’s everything on it and more. The Kitchen Sink Burger has the steak-cut beef patty, wagyu brisket, pork carnitas, a bacon slab, three kinds of onion preparations and American cheese. It’s so thick that they needed a steak knife to stack it all together!

Foie & Fig Burger from Pound. How can you improve on something that I already love? Miguel answers with the Foie and Fig Burger, where he adds brie cheese for creaminess and balsamic figs for sweet-sour flavor to pan-seared foie gras and the steak-cut patty. It’s a more balanced bite of burger with the balsamic fig and foie working so well together.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie. A freshly made chocolate cookie is just about cooked when served on a skillet. The 'cookie' sits atop bubbling brown butter which tastes like caramel, only less sweet and extra creamy.