Forget Restaurants. 6 Food Marketplaces in Manila Will Change Your Dining Experience this 2015

Dean and DeLuca Manila

Forget Restaurants. 6 Food Marketplaces in Manila Will Change Your Dining Experience this 2015

You might be the average diner riding the tides of every food trend out there – from third wave coffee shops in Manila to Farm to Table, global specialty restaurants that need to be crossed from your bucket list and shout out to the world that you’ve been there and eaten that.

And before you know it, you’re EXACTLY becoming the part of this revolution in the culinary landscape. Think long, communal tables at Toby’s Estate; Specialised dishes concocted by your favourite chefs with the likes of Margarita Fores and Bruce Ricketts; and the ability to customise what goes into your meal much like the strategies of Green Pastures and Gostoso Piri Piri Chicken. And all at rock-bottom prices, that your circle of friends can afford to eat.

Seems like there’s hardly enough time to check out everything in the bucket list, and couple that with your retail therapy at SM Mega Fashion Hall’s three day sale. How is there going to be enough time?

Nothing’s coincidence. And it’s all part of the premeditated plan to change the way we wine and dine.

I believe every single one of us is looking at three C’s when we choose a restaurant: Cheap, Casual, and Customizable. And restaurants who abide to as such will surely be trending in the metro. Rub Ribs, Project Pie, Señor Pollo, Mad Marks, ring any bells? Any restaurant who fails to be one of these will not survive long enough.

Mercato Centrale? Salcedo Village Market? Bakers Dozen Food Bazaars? Out with the old, and in with the new.

Enter the culinary revolution that’s going to change our food habits and experiences and that’s about to start in 2015. Two words: Food Marketplace.

Food Marketplaces or Food Halls aren’t new. Its roots traced from the old beginnings of consumers buying their ingredients and having the restaurant to cook for them, much like what we’re used to in wet markets or “Dampa”. These marketplaces take focus on local, artisanal goods and ingredients that cater to the more health conscious individuals who want to lose weight or are more environmental conscious.

Faneuil Hall food marketplace boston

It’s already evident across America, from Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston to Batali & Bastianich’s Eataly in New York, to Marche Swiss Market Restaurants in Switzerland and Singapore, Food Marketplaces are already mainstream. There’s much demand for healthy, mass-friendly and high quality dishes that look picture perfect and don’t break the bank. Culinary god Anthony Bourdain is even opening his very own food hall concept in New York soon.

If you’re doubtful, here are SIX Food Marketplaces / Food Halls and Deli Shops that have already taken steps to be the leader in changing the dining experience here in Manila:

1. Todd English Food Hall, SM Aura Premier
Candid Cuisine Review: Todd English Food Hall
Location: 5th Floor Skypark, SM Aura Premier, Taguig City
Telephone Number: 02-6214002
Opening Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 11:00am – 10:00pm
Facebook: Todd English Food Hall Manila
Why It’s Capturing Foodies: Food Marketplace – Restaurant hybrid

Todd English Food Hall Manila food marketplace

Todd English Food Hall is said to be the very first to have grabbed the opportunity of sparking the Food Hall or food marketplace trend here in Manila. While I have criticised before that Todd English Food Hall’s setup is still a traditional restaurant over something as disruptive as Marche Restaurants, it’s nearly there and is a good start in teaching the market how a food marketplace or hall concept works even though you still sit down to order, as opposed to going to each station to order. Each food station has its own kitchen organisation and specialty and while each food station operates individually, as a whole, it’s cohesive as Todd English.

todd english pork chop food marketplace

At Todd English Food Hall, the best dishes are its Grilled Pork Chops, Bone Marrow, flatbread pizzas, and Sushi creations that are surprisingly good, and its communal table obviously doesn’t hurt.

2. Marketplace by Rustan’s
Location: Powerplant Mall Rockwell; Glorietta
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm, 11:00am to 10pm Friday; 10am to 10pm Saturday; 10am to 9pm Sunday
Facebook: Rustan’s Fresh
Why It’s Capturing Foodies: The Grocery slash Food Marketplace for everyone

Everyone found Rustan’s renovated supermarket at Power Plant Mall and Glorietta Mall to be unbelievably stunning, clean and fun to do your groceries. But rebranding Rustan’s Supermarket as Marketplace by Rustan’s makes it pretty obvious that the management wants to be at the forefront of the changing food landscape. What used to be just deli selling all kinds of cheese from provolone to Grana Padano, there’s now a more convenient and comfortable dining spot to enjoy their delicious sandwiches, bratwurst sausages, and pasta that are cheap, fast to serve and delicious.

Food Marketplace by Rustans Power Plant Mall

The selling point? Marketplace by Rustan’s will make you take a quick break from your grocery chores and grab a quick bite, and save your precious time, which is one of the characteristics of a good Food Marketplace.

3. Epicurious, Shangri-la Plaza East Wing
Location: LG Floor, Shangrila Plaza East Wing, Mandaluyong City
Telephone Number for orders and reservations: 02-5707741, 02-5066474, 09175907420
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00am to 9:00pm
Facebook: Epicurious Manila
Official Website:
Why It’s Capturing Foodies: Your High End Deli and Food Marketplace

Epicurious Shangrila Food Marketplace

Epicurious Manila’s concept is simple: get into the game of Shop, Cook and Eat right on the spot. Its locally sourced ingredients takes its inspiration from the organic food trend and for health conscious foodies looking to have more control in the dishes they eat. Epicurious though is quite on a steep price range. You’ll have to buy the whole slab of ham at the serving it’s available on shelves even though you obviously won’t be able to finish them.

4. Marks and Spencer, Bonifacio Global City Central Square
Location: 2nd Floor, Central Square, 5th Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00am to 10:00pm
Facebook: Marks and Spencer Philippines
Why It’s Capturing Foodies: Your Frozen Foods Marketplace, Deli and Coffee Shop in One

Marks and Spencer Coffee BGC food marketplace

And then there’s retail stores, suddenly entering the food business as well. Marks and Spencer long had a Cafe and Food Hall shop in UK. They found out that customers tend to shop longer in their stores when they had opportunity to dine. It’s like bookstores having coffee shops inside a quiet, bookworm-friendly environment, only for clothing retail stores. At the newly opened Marks and Spencer, Bonifacio Global City branch, you can grab a latte and their pastries. It isn’t much, but they sell their frozen packs too. That’s where it kind of falls short, in my opinion, and they could be much more than what they opened.

5. Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall Makati
Location: 4th Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City
Opening Hours: Monday to Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm; Friday and Saturday 10:00am to 10:00pm; Sundays 10am to 9pm
Facebook: Hole in the Wall
Why It’s Capturing Foodies: The Glorified Food Court, Food Marketplace for upscale Foodies

Hole in the Wall Century City Mall Food Hall food marketplace
Photo Credits: Facebook page

Back when Caliburger had recently opened in Century City Mall, Hole in the Wall was already on the works. Call it a Food Hall, but it’s simply a “glorified food court” for upscale foodies who want to have more variety in their meals and who wouldn’t want to waste their calories in a regular food court. Hole in the Wall is clearly thinking its execution extremely well before they open. After all, they’re opening in a “boutique mall” concept whose intent is to be more personalised.

Hole in the Wall Century City Mall Food Hall 1
Photo Credits: Facebook page

Aptly named “Hole in the Wall”, foodies can expect a wide variety of unique, curated Chinese, Vietnamese, Italian and Japanese cuisine (11 Stations to keep your interested – Bad Bird Umami Fried Chicken, Phobobo, Tiny Duchess by Chef Patrice, Posporo, Mr. Delicious, Proper Burgers, Liberated Shawarma by Chef Jaypee Anglo, Green Cheese by Chef Mitsuma, Scouts Honor by Chef Miko Aspiras and Chef Kristine Lotilla, Kwong’s Provision by Chef Suzy Lee, Spruce) Everything is bound to capture every foodie’s cravings at this 400 seater Hole in the Wall when it opens to the public this Friday October 24, 2014.

6. Dean and DeLuca Manila, Rockwell
Location: Ground Floor, Edades Tower, in front of Power Plant Mall, Rockwell
Facebook: Dean and DeLuca Philippines
Why It’s Capturing Foodies: The Internationally-acclaimed Deli and Food Marketplace

Dean and DeLuca Manila deli and food marketplace

And the King of Deli-Coffee shops, New York’s Dean and DeLuca Manila will soon be opening its doors to the public this November 2014. This pop culture popular deli shop originating from New York’s SoHo district by Joel Dean and Giorgio DeLuca is already very much popular in Tokyo and Bangkok.

Dean and DeLuca Manila

We’ll be looking forward to its Grilled Chicken Harissa and Local Kale Caesar Salad creations while drooling over its tea and coffee selections. (Oh wishful thinking that they’ll bring that salad and sandwich here in Manila.)

Call it a food marketplace, food hall, retail slash coffee shops, but one thing is clear: Everyone is looking for cheap, fast and delicious gourmet foods that are easily accessible, and allows us to save time. It calls for a change in the way we purchase and consume goods, and there’s much promise that this city is keeping up with the food circus here in Asia.

What do you think of Food Marketplaces? Do you like the idea of a high-end food court? Share your thoughts on Candid Cuisine!

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