SM Mega Mall Food Tour: The Finest Restaurants in Mega Fashion Hall
You don’t have to spend a ton of cash traveling just to taste the different flavors of the world. You can actually save a ton of time and money when in Manila just by going to the Mega Fashion Hall in SM Mega Mall, where you won’t just find global fashion brands, but also global tastebud brands.
Last May 20, 2014, the Mega Fashion Hall in SM Mega Mall worked in partnership with Mercato and Our Awesome Planet to allow bloggers to feast at the best restaurants at SM Mega Fashion Hall ranging from Asian cuisine to Western cuisine from appetizers to desserts. 15 restaurants within 4 hours of non-stop eating! The event was entitled “Degustation” and the participating bloggers toured the finest restaurants from the 1st floor to the 5th floor of SM Mega Fashion Hall.
The Mega Fashion Hall at SM Mega Mall allows you to choose from diverse restaurants in just one place, so you won’t need to think about where to eat too much. Just go and take your pick from there!
1. First stop: Cinnabon. Cinnabon is famous for its classic cinnamon rolls topped with cream cheese frosting that melts in your mouth. It’s soft and best eaten while still hot. Just one roll and I promise you: you will already be full!
2. If you’re a health-conscious gelato lover, Bono Gelato would be perfect for you! Their gelatos are all-natural—no artificial coloring or preservatives here! Because of this, the whole process of making their gelato takes days. However, small batches are made daily through the “delicate, slow-churning method perfected by Cattabriga’s Effe mixers”, so you can have the freshest gelato whenever you want it.
Aside from using the finest natural ingredients all over the world, they also add new flavours to their mainstay menu depending on the season. This summer, for example, they offered familiar flavors to the Filipinos: Ube, Mango, and Buko Pandan, to name a few.
Right now, their bestseller is the Mango Sake, which has mango cubes that were soaked in sake or rice wine for 48 hours. Best for adults (yes, they only sell it to 18 years old and above) who want to try gelato with a kick!
Personally, I like the Brownie Fudge flavour the most. It has a velvety texture combined with the creamy goodness of the chocolate!
It’s ultimately the real scoop, and “bono” (or buono, Italian word for good/okay) may be an understatement to describe my gelato experience with Bono Gelato! Now I know why it’s THE BEST gelato in Manila. You have to taste their gelato yourself!
Read our full review on Bono Gelato here: Bono Artisanal Gelato: The Real Scoop
3. Do you love the Korean heartthrob Lee Min Ho? What about double-fried chicken? What if I tell you that both are possible side by side? Okay, time to break the ice– KyoChon, the favorite restaurant in South Korea that made double-fried chicken famous, is now in the Philippines and its ambassador is Lee Min Ho!
But of course, aside from the walls being decorated with posters of Lee Min Ho, what makes customers come back to KyoChon is their affordable and delicious Korean fried chicken. Their chicken isn’t powdered with too much breading like the usual fried chicken we taste in other fast food stores, but it still has crispy skin with less grease. The meat is tender, too.
KyoChon lives by its three promises: 1. they never serve fast food; 2. they use 100% natural ingredients. (They do not use MSG and they always use canola oil.) and 3. they only use the freshest, healthiest chickens. For someone who doesn’t like fast food very much, I love that they offer fried chicken that’s healthy, crispy, and delicious all at the same time. For just P149, you can already get a 5-piece drumstick set plus a chicken wing! Totally worth it!
4. You’re in for a heavenly sweet tooth experience if you visit Chez Karine Bakery at SM Mega Fashion Hall, which is famous for being a French patisserie with a touch of Asian and American flavors. Macarons and royal pudding (custard pudding with dark caramel syrup at the bottom) are its bestsellers at Php50 per macaron and Php110 per bottle of royal pudding.
The Muscovado royal pudding is soft and its sweetness is just right for me. I was taught that the best way to eat it is to scoop the syrup from the bottom first. I was also happy because the royal pudding came in a cute recyclable bottle. Aside from that, they also serve coffee, hot choco, and cakes.
Read our full review on Chez Karine here: Chez Karine Bakery: A Japanese-Inspired French Patisserie
5. French Baker has a tea salon now and goes by the name Salon de thé. People who want to chill, catch up, and be in a place where the music isn’t too loud and the crowd isn’t too crazy will like this place. Its interior, lighting and mood all add to the place’s sophisticated ambiance. The teas range from P105-P125. You can also order a set like this if you want:
6. Tim Ho Wan‘s newly-opened branch in SM Mega Fashion Hall is their first branch outside of Hong Kong and Singapore. I thought the food was going to be expensive since all of their ingredients are authentic and imported, but boy, was I wrong! Compared to other dim sum restaurants I’ve tried so far, Tim Ho Wan holds first place in my heart when it comes to taste and price.
Tim Ho Wan’s bestsellers of all time are their pork buns, which reminded me of pork-filled pan de sal, being filled with barbecued pork and rich sauce. The outside may look incredibly crispy, but when your teeth sinks into the bread, it’s actually very soft! It made me very happy for some reason! The topping of the bun has this sweet taste and it really goes well with the sauce inside. I have no words to describe and justify how delectable this creation is!
Their variety of dumplings are also worth a try!
Just a warning though: there is always a long line in Tim Ho Wan, whether in Hong Kong, Singapore, or in Manila – further proof of its fame, credibility, and good food at reasonable prices!
Read our full review of Tim Ho Wan here: Tim Ho Wan: The Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant in Hong Kong