"It is a family-run, father-and-son tag team business," Eric Dee, the Managing Director of Todd English Food Hall Manila, animatedly said to me while touring me around his newly opened 900-square meter giant of a baby, talking to the staff, hopping from station to station trying out bits and pieces of food. This guy's energy is contagious!
In New York's Plaza Hotel, there's Todd and Oliver English.
And in Manila's SM Aura Premier, there's Rikki and Eric Dee.
I just adore family-run restaurants. You feel the attention in the service, you taste the love in the food.
That's Eric himself showing me around the black and orange Ivy Almario-designed food hall
In here it is all about choices.
You can choose to sit at...
The communal tables
The bar seats
The regular tables
Or in the more intimate low-ceiling dining area which they call "The Cove"
There is also a private room upstairs that can seat around 50. I know where our next
Fatterside gathering is gonna be!
View from the top
And then you choose what you want to eat from the 9 different stations. So exciting!
They make their dumplings in-house
Raw Bar with fresh oysters, clams, prawns...
Salad and Charcuterie Station
I was told 3 times that evening (first by Eric, then by Todd, then by Oliver) that all their pastas are
made fresh in the premises and they only use imported "00" flour from Italy. I could see that they
really, really, really take pride in their pasta. ;)
And this shiny contraption is another reason why. "It's an Emiliomiti," Eric beamed at me,
"THE Ferrari of pasta machines!" There are only three in the world, one in Todd English Food Hall
in New York, one in Olives also in New York, and the third one here in our very own country,
and sitting right in front of me! Wow, the Dees just brought to Manila the first celebrity chef
AND the first ferrari pasta maker!
And this guy here is THE celebrity chef Todd English himself.
HELLO, BLACK TRUFFLES!!!
And oh, I just shared this plate of truffle pasta with him (!!!)
Must not forget the obligatory photo op :P
Guess who else were dining at the food hall the first day it opened? Hi Steven! :)
Hi Dos! :)
It felt so good to just let somebody take care of the ordering for once.
When I eat out with family and friends, I am always expected to pick the restaurant, make the reservations, order the food, and check the bill. The curse of a food blogger!!!
I don't know how Eric knew, but he ordered a meal good for 4 people when it was just the two of us eating. Exactly my style. Lol! :D
The Tuna Tartare was very sexy with fresh and firm tuna cubes dressed
in a sriracha-scallion cream and adorned with a caviar crown.
Hiding under the heap was a piece of shrimp
The Chicken Dumplings could be more tender. The Asian Station
is working on it.
"Keep going, Todd!!!" I took my sweet time taking this photo so he would
continue shaving and shaving the precious black truffle :P
PLEASE LOOK AWAY NOW.
Because this truffle pasta is NOT on the menu. Sorry, guys!
But I guarantee you it smelled and tasted every bit as heavenly as it looks.
OR as THIS looks. Hahahaha! That's Oliver, Todd's son who is also very
hands-on in the business. I saw him going around the restaurant making
sure customers were happy and satisfied with their food.
The T.E. Sliders were made with freshly home ground 4-cut meat patties which were cooked
sous vide and finished off on the grill. No wonder the meat was so tender! It just needed a
little dash of salt here and there.
T.E. Two Way Duck - duck leg confit and sous vide duck breast with sweet potato puree,
pickled red cabbage, duck demi and french beans
Promise me you will order my 3 favorites at Todd English.
1. Asada Steak Tacos
Tender and flavorful chunks of strip loin tossed with fresh pear pico de gallo and dressed in
cilantro creme. Such a delightful burst of flavors in my mouth! One taco is definitely not enough.
2. Fig and Prosciutto Flatbread
I love fig and I love prosciutto, so there is double love on this perfectly thin and crisp pizza.
And the green rings, they call them "sexy scallions!"
3. THE OMG DESSERT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The only sweet treat available at the Food Hall, but I promise you, the only one you will ever need.
"I am NOT sharing this with you," I announced to Eric in an almost violent tone after my first
spoonful of the warm, cold, soft, crunchy, gooey, creamy, silky, crumbly, moist, rich and velvety
chocolate. This dessert did so many wildly pleasurable things to my body on so many levels.
I said a quick prayer of thanks as he walked away and left me in peace, and then I murmured
expletives and moaned uncontrollably until the very last bite.
I totally killed this plate. This is the parting shot I took for remembrance before I polished off
the very last of it.
Congratulations to the father-and-son team Rikki and Eric Dee!
And to Todd and Oliver English! Manila loves you!
Todd English Food Hall: 5th Level, SkyPark, SM Aura Premier, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
Tel: +632 621 4002