All roads lead to SM Malls for holiday dining

Filipinos are known for their long celebrations of Christmas, since the entrance of September the majority are already preparing for the holiday seasons or just simple meetups with friends or families to dine.

But here’s a catch, when outside, it is always a struggle to choose where to eat.

Aptly, the country’s leading chain of malls truly lives by its tagline, “We got it all for you.” SM Malls offers diverse dining establishments that invite Filipinos to discover and enjoy various gastronomic experiences.

Here are just a few of these culinary delights:

True taste of Japan

Established in 1946 from the city of Tamade, Osaka by Eikichi Nishino, Botejyut is named after the rhythmic cooking sound of okonomiyaki, “bote” from the flipping sound of the okonomiyaki, and “jyu,” represents the sizzling sound from the teppan grill.

Bringing the local specialty gourmet food from various regions throughout Japan, Boteyju gives the Filipino the authentic taste of Japanese food as the original flavors of consistency from the ingredients in every dish diligently pass through their seasoned chefs.

Botejyu Philippines imports 70 percent of its ingredients, from meats to sauces so its small wonder that customers keep going back to try their okosoba and okonomiyaki.

Customers may enjoy their Japanese favorites from pork tonkotsu ramen, Prawn Tempura Rice Bowl, and their best-seller Takoyaki.

In time for the holiday season, Botejyu offers six choices of family feast bundles that showcase their array of Japanese cuisine.

Started in 2016, Boteyju is set to conclude the year with its 57th store making it one of the fast growing Japanese restaurant chains in the Philippines.

Visit their 45th store at SM Marikina.

Calle Reyes’ crispy pata.

A heritage cuisine

From the creators of Reyes Barbecue, Calle Reyes offers Manila-themed casual dining.

The idea of a street style is the new concept of the Reyes Barbeque to bring a vibrant, street-styled, industrial, and urban style designed for both dining and interior-wise.

With pride and vigor, Calle Reyes presents the boneless chicken, pork, seafood Manila-style barbecue from the heritage dishes of Reyes clan fused with Modern Filipino comfort food with a twist.
An interesting background when dining at Calle Reyes, is their rich culinary history.

Founded by Frank Reyes who inherited the culinary roots that span more than 140 vears, named two of their menu, which are also their best-sellers, from her great-grandmother and grandmother.

‘Calle Kare’ (Kare-kare) came from Luisang Kare, who is known for its home eatery and her famous kare-kare recipe, and Engracia Cruz Reyes or most known as Aling Asiang, the founder of The Aristocrat Restaurant and the “Mother of Filipino Cooking” is named after the favorite dish in parties, Lola Asianghai or lumpiang shanghai.

Calle Reyes Manila Barbeque is located at SM City Marikina.

Egg Stop’s egg drop.

Light-heavy meal

From the savory main dishes offered by two of the restaurants, in case you’re still in the area, drop by at SM Marikina’s food court and visit the Korean inspired sandwich, Egg drop.

Two years ago, the Philippines welcomed the first store of Egg Stop in San Fernando Pampanga. After receiving great response from Filipinos, Egg Stop reached the metro.

The signature fresh-baked brioche buns, scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese and its premium beef bulgogi and the home-made sauces is the bestseller of Egg Stop.

Complete your meal with their Korean iced coffee or orange juice and iced tea for non-caffeine drinks.

Visit the Egg Stop at their SM Branches; SM Marikina, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, and SM Megamall.

Auntie Anne’s pretzels are made fresh.

TO-GO Pretzel

For a quick on-the-go bite and to satisfy your sweet pretzel cravings, Auntie Anne’s has a lot to offer.

Their freshly baked handmade pretzels offer a variety of flavors that completes one’s food crawl experience. Recently, they launched their Chocnut-flavored pretzel, which is a classic childhood Filipino taste paired with their bestselling signature blended lemonade.

Baking in all branches nationwide, experience the ultimate pretzels only at Auntie Anne’s

Photographs by Analy Labor for the Daily Tribune
Kuya J’s halo-halo.

Homey dining

Kuya J is close to the hearts of Filipinos, that’s for sure. The restaurant gives a homey experience with a tasty Filipino cuisine available at affordable prices.

This year, Kuya J throws in Asian dishes to offer a more diverse menu.

“We combined ramen and our local mami, so it’s Filipino and a fusion of Japanese,” said Chef Jef Falcis.

The cleverly named mamen comes in two flavors: Bida Pork Mamen which came from the pork bone broth simmered for more than 10 hours, with the signature egg noodles, steamed bok choy, and topped with slow-cooked marinated pork belly.

For lovers of spiciness, Bida Spicy Chicken Mamen is the right choice. With a spicier broth from Level 1 to 3 (3 being the spiciest), the housemaid chili oil adds to its speciality.

For this holiday season, Kuya J is cooking a new surprise.

“We have a big big campaign coming up next month (October) so to all our bida, stay tuned for it for our announcement,” said Jules Monterola, marketing officer of Kuya J.

Marison’s Crispy Tripe Kare-Kare.

Filipino with a twist

If Filipino restaurants usually offer ‘lutong bahay’ experience for customers to feel at home, Marison’s took a different approach to bring out the best of Antipolo.

“We don’t have anything lutong bahay, all our recipes are not your traditional menus,” said Aldrich Villareal, VP – Restaurant Operations.

Celebrating their 10th year, Marison’s continues to elevate the “panlasang pinoy” with their innovative homegrown Filipino dishes. Their best sellers continue to be the Crispy Tripe Kare-kare but instead of peanuts, the sauce is made of cashew nuts which Antipolo is known for. Also, a dish that can only be seen in Marison’s is their Sinaing na buntot na tuna.’

Visit Marison’s at SM Masinag.

Passenger Seat’s Palawan.

Passenger Seat’s Palawan.

One-stop diner

Traveling with family and friends is one of the bucket lists during a holiday leave but usually, the farther the place the higher the chances that it will not be pushed through. So, ready your luggage and empty your stomach and book a ride at Passenger Seat, an airport themed restaurant at SM San Mateo.

Cushioned airplane seats, airport signages, plane windows, and crews dressed as airport personnel, all of these feels like traveling but with food. Passenger seat offers global cuisines making their interior designed diner true life. The menu was named after destinations from their best-sellers of boodle fight, which is called Boodle Flights, and is divided into different sections like Manila boodle fight (all kinds of meat); Palawan (seafood) and the Pilipinas (seafood and meat).

For international cuisine choices, Brussels or burger, Kyoto for chicken wings, California for nachos, and France, a tomato-based pasta with seafood.

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