With Anton Diaz of OAP
How often do you get the chance to visit 9 restaurants in 4 hours?
Mega Food Tour 2.0 showcased the hashtag trending restaurants in SM Megamall by taking us to a walking degustation of 9 restaurants, all in 1 day. Specifically, I mean 4 hours. Do I hear a “Wow!?”
 I recall my field trip days when I was still in elementary school. We rode the bus, follow the guide, and hop on from one place to another. Without our tour guide, I’ll most probably wander around, taking photos of attractive sites and get lost. Mega Food Tour 2.0 assured that our tour guide won’t be anyone else. The professionals who brought in Mercato Centrale joined and guided us, as we explored the new foodie spots in Megamall. Who else? Anton Diaz and RJ Ledesma led the hungry gang, made sure the walking degustation was worth our time.

The Food Tour

1st Stop: Ippudo

3F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
From Japan, to New York, to Singapore, to Korea, to Hong Kong, to Taipei, to Sydney, to Malaysia and now closer to us, to the Philippines! The famous Tonkotsu-based ramen made waves when it opened recently at the Mega Fashion Hall wing of Megamall. The line went all the way up to the other side of the restaurant, it even turned as it formed a giant loop. Based on what I hear, the line continues whether it’s a weekday, weekend, peak hours or not. Obviously, people won’t mind lining up for quality and hearty bowl of Ippudo ramen.
Karaka-men (Php 390)
Rate: 5/5
Known as Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso, ground pork and fragrant garlic oil. The noodles is thinner than other ramen houses I’ve tried in the Philippines. Its smell alone allured my senses and as I took a sip from the soup, I was completely in awe of the rich spicy and flavorful broth. Ippudo made my ears wiggle. The first stop and first bowl alone is worthy of joining this food tour. I’m so thankful I didn’t have to line up to get myself rolling with this bowl.
Hakata Meshi (Php 250)
Rate: 4/5
 Some men can’t stand noodles alone. They need rice! Ippudo includes a number of rice toppings as part of their menu and not limiting itself to what the crowd knows of, their ramen. This rice topped with chasu pork, mentaiko and shredded egg is a reasonably priced rice bowl to consume.

2nd Stop: Linguini Fini

3F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
Say hello to one of the greatest discoveries I’ve had from the Mega Food Tour 2.0. Linguini Fini, a homegrown Italian restaurant, imparts wholesome, fresh and authentic dishes by producing locally-sourced and 100% homemade dishes. Their farm to fork philosophy allows them to deliver the highest quality ingredients, at the same time helping local farmers sustain the environment and progress their living.
Rate: 4/5
Either you get the slow roasted, fennel rubbed pork belly, served sliced with caramelized onion marmalata (Php 595) or chopped with chili mostarda, fennel, focaccia (Php 485), they both deserve a round of applause.
Papardelle Nose to Tail Bolo (Php 430)
Rate: 5/5
I thought I’ll stop eating with this plate of Papardelle Nose to Tail Bolo from Linguini Fini. I wanted to hang around and stay in the artsy modern family-oriented hole of Linguini Fini. Few forks weren’t enough to stop me, it was a memorable plate of fresh pasta. It’s definite, I will go back.
Before hopping to the next restaurant on the same floor, I had to take a photo with Italian-American Chef Vinny before he leaves Manila.

3rd Stop: Rosanjin Japanese Restaurant

3F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
I haven’t left the 3rd floor of Mega Fashion Hall yet and I was already stuffed with high quality food. The next stop was just couple of restaurants away from Linguini Fini. Another Japanese restaurant, but far away from ramen. Rosanjin Japanese Restaurant sticks to the authentic from its interiors to their selections.
Japanese Set #2 (Php 450)
Rate: 3/5
One set that could feed up to 2 persons. It includes grilled mackerel, assorted tempura, sushi, Japanese stew and 4 more side dishes. A variety of small plates in one order.

4th Stop: Cupcakes by Sonja

GF Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
A break from all the savory dishes at one of my go-to cupcake stores, Cupcakes by Sonja.
Red Velvet Cupcakes and Birthday Milkshake
Rate: 4/5
If you mean Red Velvet cupcakes, you mean Cupcakes by Sonja. The success of Sonja relied on her signature red velvet cupcakes, which she learned from her experience at New York’s Magnolia Bakery. The most sought red velvet cupcakes is just one of the cupcakes dessert fanatics look forward to. The thick cream cheese frosting impressed foodies like us that led more people to notice the rest of her fantastic cupcakes.

5th Stop: Tim Ho Wan

GF Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
Pork Buns from Tim Ho Wan (Php 145/3pcs.)
Rate: 5/5
Who wouldn’t line up for two hours to get a bite of that luscious pork buns from Tim Ho Wan? The Mega Food Tour 2.0 gave me a easy pass to be simply astonished once again by these lovely pork buns.
From Mega Fashion Hall, we exercised a little to the other side of Megamall, the Atrium.

 6th Stop: Triple O’s

3/F SM Megamall Atrium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
Bacon Cheddar & Sweet Potato Fries with Chiptotle Mayo
Rate: 4/5
Triple O’s on the order slip meant “plenty of everything”, exactly what Triple O’s by White Spot serves on their menu. Canada’s Triple O’s achieved to take our stuffed stomachs to the next level with their saucy, juicy and tasty burgers.
Monty Mushroom & Onion Rings with Tartar Sauce
Rate: 4/5
These Canadian babies elevates the simple concept of a burger joint with their premium-grade 100% Canadian beef patties. According to most gourmands, they agree that Canadian beef is a few notches higher to its American counterpart. Canadians are more strict in screening their beef, higher standards I suppose.
O finally met Triple O’s!

7th Stop: Eri Curry

3/F SM Megamall Atrium, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
Japanese cuisine continued at Eri Curry, where Japan’s favorite comfort food is served. Eri Curry enlightened us with their take on Japanese curry. Japanese with a twist to suit the Filipino tastebuds. A medley of spices that results to a zesty flavor. We could really call this as comforting.
Katsu Curry
Rate: 4/5
At Eri Curry, you are the boss as you customize your own plate. First, choose your curry plate, then your rice portion, your spice level depending on how spicy you can take and finally your toppings to complete.
Popular choices: Katsu Curry, Thin Sliced Beef Curry, Shrimp Curry and Eggplant Curry
Since I was on a food tour with limited time, I didn’t have the chance to customize our own. We were served the standard plate I believe. The curry I didn’t customize still left me a remarkable impression with its strong and thick curry blend. Although if I were to make my own, I’d surely take myself to the spicier side.

8th Stop: Kool Kids Ice Cream and Co.

5F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
A short walk from Atrium back to the Mega Fashion Hall for a tale of desserts. First in line was from Kool Kids, created by Miguel Aranaz and Chef Mark Tan of Allium. What makes these two men cool is their ice cream made of liquid nitrogen. Tasting the smooth and creamy finished product is one reason to smile but observing the kool kids make your ice cream is another thing, may be in another level of amazement.
Nuts 4 Nutella
Rate: 4/5
Nutella-infused ice cream for the kids asking their mommies to buy them a jar of nutella in the groceries. Adults like me still get magnetized by the word nutella. It’s the child in me I can’t take away.

9th Stop: Mochicream Cafe 

4F Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City, MM, Philippines
Mochicream Cafe, the home of authentic Japanese mochi cream, treated me like it’s my birthday not because of their overwhelming mochi creams but mainly because of their matcha selections in the store.
I was in green tea heaven when I met Mochicream Cafe. O had to control my appetite in fueling my body with green tea desserts and beverages.
Matcha Daquiose (Php 170)
Rate: 5/5
I was graced by their Matcha Dacquiose, small cups of matcha custard covered in almonds and fresh strawberries on the top. Nothing bitter in this semi-sweet dessert, a gentle cup of matcha even for non-matcha eaters.
Thank you Anton and RJ for organizing another successful food tour event!
Have you tried any of these new restaurants in SM Megamall?
Share with me your thoughts foodie! 🙂
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Pray, Eat and Love.
The Food Scout