The Chef-Approved Food Hall in Pasay
It’s like Chef Josh Boutwood read your mind and put together your deepest, darkest food cravings in one place when he personally curated the offerings at My South Hall, the newest dining concept launched by the Bistro Group. In the process, he put together an ensemble that does not disappoint.
There are eight stalls at My South Hall at S Maison, each offering different kinds of cuisines to suit your cravings. One must enter the food hall with a hearty appetite and an empty tummy. A quick turn at the stalls will trigger some indecision because there is so much to choose from that you cannot possibly have all of them in one sitting, especially with their ‘good for sharing’ servings.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by all the choices that they have on hand, and we are here for you with a food map of what can be found inside the hall. The first stop is Tabemashou, which means “let’s eat!” in Japanese. Here, one can find Sushi, crunchy Chicken Karaage, and pork, chicken, and beef skewers that can be paired with hot beef and salmon rice stonepots. There is Chasu and Tantamen Ramen for those who want to warm up with savory flavors.
If it’s umami-rich Chinese food, head for the Golden Treasures stall which offers familiar faves such as Yang Chow Fried Rice to go with an assortment of dimsum that includes Hakaw, Siomai, and Chicken Feet. Don’t miss the Birthday Noodles, from this space because their version is a superb celebration of soy noodles with the works -- mushroom, shrimp, quail eggs, and pork.
Roast’d is My South Hall’s homage to Hong Kong specialty roasts. There are skewers of roast pork, duck, and chicken that are hung by its window glistening with the requisite crispy skin and the tender, juicy meat within. The Asian tour heads to Seoul Hotpot, with Chuck Eye and Angus Beef Sirloin as its headliners for a hearty, steaming stew that goes with a mystery sauce that adds a flavorful kick to the soup.
Come for the wings and stay for the burger at Chix, with its seasoned chicken cuts in chili barbecue, sweet chipotle glaze, honey garlic, Japanese sesame cheese, and sour cream among the many crunchy choices. The burger is something to flip over as it is as juicy, beefy, no-gimmick deliciousness. Carbo loaders will want to try out Roma’s pastas in choices of Puttanesca and Spicy Diavola, Shrimp Alfredo, Truffle, Carbonara, and Pesto. There’s an herb chicken too for those so inclined.
All these treats can be enjoyed with a trendy milk tea from the WKCD stall that has its choices of Pearl Milk Tea, Taro, Wintermelon, Black Sugar, Oreo Cheese Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake along with Iced Coffee, Iced Coffee w/ Cheese cream, Iced Caramel Coffee, and Choco Hazelnut Coffee.
All of WCKD’s milk tea concoctions are made with fresh brewed tea leaves, but those who are looking to go all-out natural can try the blended fresh fruits from the Juicy Fresh Bar, which is a franchise from the popular Korean brand, with its Chocolate-Banana, Kiwi, Blueberry, Honeydew, Strawberry-Mango, Orange-Pineapple, Peach, Watermelon-Strawberry, and Peanut-Banana Oppa-worthy smoothies.
To try and narrow down the choices, Chef Josh, who had to try everything more than once before roll-out, shares his own food hall picks. “They are, in no particular order, the hotpot – but request it with the Szechuan oil and the special sauce because it just really brings out so much flavour and spice; I love the tempura we developed and the ramen has a beautiful roundness to it, with good noodles and fantastic pork. The dim sum is also fantastic with a little soy.” As for the pasta, he says he is partial to the pesto as he grew up eating it, but recommends the carbonara too. His other recommendations are the burger and the roasts.
“Honestly, this whole place is curated after what I like to eat,” Chef Josh grins delightedly. Rightfully so, as the concept has the award-winning name and recognizable face behind it. He gives a vignette about his personal experience behind this branding, “When we opened two weeks ago, I was in the parking lot of the mall, and I noticed people pointing at me and I did not know why. Unnerved, I got into my car quickly and drove off. It was then that I realized that my face was on every lamppost. It is embarrassing, to say the least,” he laughs.
Kidding aside, what he does bring into the concept, he says, is his belief that the team will make sure that the food tastes great and is served within a reasonable amount of time. “From the front to back-of-house, there is an understanding that it is about creating an experience for the guests, food service included, when you come here.”
When they were offered the space, they first considered putting up a space that put together all their multiple concepts, he says. “But then again, we at the Bistro Group decided that with our 25 years of knowhow in the food industry, we can create something new that is our own, with maybe provisions of expanding on these concepts later on.”
The food hall is a perfect fit for people who like to enjoy eating out with their barkadas or families and want to have their own choices. “At My South Hall, we made sure we have something that each one will be happy with, at accessible price points that will leave them with enough to buy a movie ticket with afterwards.”
Level 1, S’Maison, Pasay City. Visit Instagram and Facebook @MySouthHall