Get a passport and you’re free to travel the world to eat, so to speak.
Yes, in the newest foodie destination at the picturesque Venice Piazza at McKinley Hill, you get to taste and savor some of the most delectable dishes from 12 themed restaurants the mall has carefully picked for you.
All the way from appetizer (oysters) to dessert (gelato) with a mix of Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Filipino inspirations, the 12 restaurants aim to whet all kinds of appetites, big and small. Family, barkada, officemates, mall-goers, etc. around the area are the target market for this food journey that happens every Saturday, 6p.m. to 10 p.m., till July 30.
“Traditionally, families go out on Saturday nights,” says Kevin Tan, Megaworld first vice president and commercial division head. “It’s cultural for Pinoys. That’s why we came up with a concept that’s different from the usual dining out to stand out a bit from the rest.”
Aptly dubbed “Food Adventure,” the promo at Venice Piazza is a first of its kind and hasn’t been done in other Megaworld’s property malls. So far, since it kicked off three Saturdays ago, people have been talking about it, and those who have already tried the adventure still can’t get over the experience and satisfaction of enjoying the food and getting their money’s worth.
“Sure, anyone can go to a mall to have dinner at a restaurant, but this dining treat is even more exciting. You get to eat a variety of really good food from our top restaurants,” Tan says.
It’s a food trip, in the truest sense of the word.
The mechanics go like this: You buy a Food Adventure passport worth P550 from a booth near the main entrance of Venice Piazza Atrium. Then, present the passport at the participating restaurants and you’ll be served the featured dish automatically.
You can try the food samplers in no particular order—either start with an appetizer of crab claws or fried spring rolls, or go straight to the main course of beef ribs adobado, or tease your palate with the mango yogurt.
Each serving is good for one person, but there some dishes whose portions are almost for sharing.
“My tip is to start with your favorite food at once, then gradually move to try other samplers,” suggests Tan. “This way, you’re not too full or bloated before you get to your preferred dish. Pacing is also important.”
Depending on your craving, you can begin the journey with Pinchos Restaurant and Bar’s Baked Oysters with hollandaise sauce and served on a bed of spiced chili rock salt and star anise.
Right beside Pinchos is Blackwood Bistro, where the refreshing Crab and Mango Salad awaits you. The salad has nice, crunchy lettuce blended with ripe mangoes, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, basil, arugula and fresh crab meat.
Take your time to enjoy Red Crab’s Butter Ginger Crab Claws (five pieces with lots and lots of chopped ginger and garlic swimming in melted butter) and then move on to a heavier meal of Beef Ribs Adobado by Kuse. Owner Larry Cortez is proud to serve his best-selling beef ribs prepared adobo-style. The slab of meat is especially tender, falling off the bone with a bit of sweetness in the sauce.
Old Vine Grille’s Salmon Carpaccio can be an ideal pair for the meat. The home-cured fresh salmon is peppered with chopped shallots, basil and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
If you want a tomato-based morsel, hop in and enjoy Empire Deli and Restaurant’s Baked Macaroni with Orange Summer Salad. The baked mac is deliciously served on a ramekin and accompanied with cool, citrus greens.
“We’ve made sure all featured dishes complement each other,” says Karen Diane Sta. Maria-Llana, Megaworld commercial division communication manager. “We don’t want to confuse your taste buds.”
To slow you down a bit in your food journey, a perfect morsel is Ramen Bar’s Kakuni Buns and Karaage. The restaurant has gained a reputation as one of the most authentic Japanese ramen houses in the country, and its sweet buns tucked with the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly is to-die-for.
Sweet Pea’s Quesadillas and Buffalo Wings are also worth trying because they’re light and savory. The warm meal comes with ranch dressing, garlic sauce, guacamole and salsa.
There are two choices for Little Asia: Minced Chicken with Lettuce Cups (ground chicken with chestnuts, mushrooms, carrots and celery with lettuce leaves) or Vietnamese Spring Rolls (traditional Vietnamese fried spring rolls stuffed with glass noodles, pork, crab and mushrooms and served with Nuo Cham dipping sauce). Both are delicious and quite filling. PhoHoa also has Fried Spring Rolls for you to enjoy.
Those with an affinity for sweets can cap the meal at two fantastic dessert places: Yo Swirls by BTIC (choose between Original Mango and Vanilla Chocolate) and Sol Gelato (choose three gelato flavors).
Sol Gelato has more than a dozen of flavors: Hokey Pokey (vanilla with caramel toffee), almond, Ferrero, pistachio, double delight, bubble gum, mint chocolate, nutty dutch, coffee crunch, Reese’s, roasted cashew from Palawan, and Irish ice cream.
“Sometimes, you’re already too full to finish the 12 dishes,” says Tan. “But, it’s nice that you can see where your P550 can bring you.”
The passport also offers other discounts and freebies from other restaurants during the promo period. However, you can use the passport only on the day of the purchase.
“This is not a bad deal anyway you look at it,” Tan adds. “This promo is just to reinforce our position right now as a unique dining destination.”
Apart from the Food Adventure on Saturday nights, there are also Food Adventure Extreme, which features exotic dishes like frogs, fish-charon, lizards, horse meat and street food like isaw; and Food Adventure Cook-out, a paluto concept where you can enjoy fresh produce cooked the way you want it, right in front of you.