SM Mall Chow Caters to Virtually Every Kind of DinerAugust 18, 2015
SM malls have become the hip place to find good eats. Malls used to be everyone’s least favorite choice when thinking of places to eat in, but the past few years have changed that. Now, you can find almost every delicious and popular restaurant in the confines of the mall. It’s a convenient and serious treat when you can eat great food after an exhausting day of running errands, shopping, or watching a movie, rather than having to look elsewhere.
At the forefront of it all is SM Aura, with such establishments as Todd English Food Hall, and perennial favorite Magnum Café. The expanse has so many places to choose from, that you can dine here for almost any occasion, from a date to a family gathering. We decided to list just a few of SM Aura’s restaurants, and tell you what type of personality would be perfect for a seat at their tables.
1. Churreria La Lola: Gourmand on a Day Off
The boys behind Rambla are known for their refined take on Spanish cuisine, but their latest hit shows their ability to create something stunning out of such a simple idea. Churros are a Spanish delicacy that have become part of many Filipinos’ childhood memories; dunking crisp pastry into little cups of intensely dark chocolate recall Christmases past. In Churreria La Lola, they are both traditional and updated, but whatever the combination, the golden churro is the star. When covered in chocolate, drizzled with dark caramel, and stuck into a scoop of vanilla ice cream, they become delightful Churroreos. Mini xuxos are stuffed with dulce de leche, then embedded in matcha ice cream. Even better are their savory options, from Rogue‘s xuxo filled with manchego cream and topped with salty jamon, only found at their SM Aura location, to their churros bravas with garlicky all i oli sauce—they’ve got sandwiches too, toasted bocadillos filled with everything from sobrasada to jamon Serrano.
2. Mona Lisa: Families on a Day Out
Back in Alabang, Mona Lisa established a fine following. Their take on Italian was comforting and satisfying, a welcome respite to the more casual eateries in the South. Now, their location in SM Aura is serving up more of what has made them so famous, and in a setting that is comfortable for anyone on a dinner date, but even more perfect for families. The serving sizes never skimp, and can feed a big group without breaking the budget. Panizze is a veritable crowd pleaser, with the Mona Lisa Speciale littered with buttered shrimp, mozzarella and provolone. Their pasta is something even kids will love, with the Salsicia Rigationi Porcini a favorite, abundantly filled with truffled mushroom sauce and Italian sausage. They’ve got homemade ones too, with their gnocchi and ravioli never failing to unite the gang over some good old fashioned Italian fare.
3. Love Shack: Couples on their First Date
If you secretly want to impress someone, try Love Shack in SM Aura’s lower ground floor. It’s slightly hidden location makes it a bit of a discovery, which will make your date think you know your stuff. The menu has a bit of everything, from pasta, to single paellas, to burgers, so whatever your date might be craving, you’ve got covered. Their Loveshack Paella doesn’t skimp on the seafood, and has got chicken and chorizo to boot, and their Porchetta Rice is just enough to send one spinning. Their desserts are sinful, with a decadent Triple C of cheesecake, chocolate, and caramel proving to be a highlight. Plus, the place alternates between homey and cozy, and the casual setting is ideal when you want to get away from it all and have a good time without it being too stiff and stuffy.
4. Coca: The World Traveler
Coca, a franchise from Thailand, is known around Asia for their unique take on Thai and Southeast Asian food. For anyone who’s missing those flavors from their travels, Coca is SM Aura’s bet on bringing you back to Bangkok. Durian Spring Rolls might be off-putting to some, but as one of Coca’s signature appetizers, it certainly makes one think of traditional durian dishes in Thailand. The best thing at Coca really is their Signature Hotpot, which has both a tom yum broth and plain chicken soup, to sate anyone’s palates. The Emperor’s Platter is enough to feed a king, with whole crab, an abundance of mushrooms and vegetables, and even more meat and seafood. Don’t forget to add an order of Khao Tom: They turn the dredges of your hotpot into a congee, by slowly cooking the rice right in front of you.
5. Brasas: Office Worker by Day, Foodie by Night
Ever since Brasas opened in Manila, foodies and bloggers have been raving about their affordable, authentic take on South American food. Brasas is now back at its best, with some of the softest pork belly around, and crazy flavourful carne asada too. This place is definitely perfect for anyone on lunch break, that wants good food without blowing their budget. It’s cheap and fast, but never compromises on flavor. Plus, it’s a little bit exotic, and the plates look damn good, making it quite the foodstagram eye candy.