Wake Up, Philippines!

Chillin’ in Greenbelt 5

Posted in Malls by Erineus on February 25, 2009

Chili’s Grill and Bar, the fun, fresh, flavorful dining haven has taken over the world with its over 1,000 casual dining restaurants in the United States and in other parts of the world. Its famous lineup of hamburgers was first loved on Greenville Avenue in Dallas, Texas on March 13, 1975. Larry Lavine, Chili’s founder and creator, named his resto Chili’s since its signature bowl of chili became famous with its Big Mouth Burgers. Now, Chili’s Grill and Bar is in 24 other locations including Canada, Venezuela, Germany, Mexico, Puerto Rico, UK, Peru, El Salvador, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Guam. The Philippines, of course, has had its own taste of Chili’s flavors when it was first introduced to the Filipino diners in December 1996.

Urban food trippin’ would be a lot more fun, fresher and hellah flavorful as Chili’s conquers Greenbelt 5, its fourth branch in the country. Guests are definitely in for excellent services and mouth-watering dishes that always come with every Chili’s dining experience.


Chili’s takes pride in its delicious American southwestern comfort food such as its scrumptious starters Triple Play, Buffalo Wings and its Bottomless Tostada Chips. Mouth-watering staples such as their Mushroom Jack Fajita, Big Mouth Burgers, Flame Grilled Ribeye and Baby Back Ribs are guaranteed to satisfy your cravings with its large servings.

Diners can look forward to a new take on their old-time favorites. The best-selling Big Mouth Burgers are now available in their bite-sized version called the Burger Bites. You’re set to love these savory mini beef burgers topped with bacon, American cheese, sautéed onions and Ranch dressing that could give you this certain picnic-feel inside a resto. The crowd-favorite Buffalo Chicken Fajitas is a combination of their famous Fajitas and Buffalo Wings with crispy breaded chicken breast in Buffalo sauce, served with onions and bell peppers and topped with bleu cheese crumbles and crispy bacon. The Fire-Grilled Chicken and Shitake Mushroom are perfect for grilled-food lovers. It’s a meal of fire-grilled chicken breasts with marinated Shitake mushrooms served over zesty peppercorn sauce, with loaded mashed potatoes and fresh veggies.

The sweet treats are meant to complete your food trip. The sinful Molten Chocolate Cake will surely sink your teeth with its fair sweetness. Its fairer cousin, the White Chocolate Molten Cake, white chocolate cake with a warm white chocolate filling, raspberry sauce and white chocolate curls, topped with vanilla ice cream under a crunchy white shell, will make you forget your name as it melts nicely in your mouth. While the High and Mighty Pie is made up of Heath candy pieces in rich vanilla ice cream, piled high on a crushed Oreo cookie and drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce.


“Greenbelt 5 and Chili’s are a perfect match,” says Laine de Jesus, Chili’s marketing head. “This mall is a hub of new and exciting activities. It is perfect for people who love dining as much as they love shopping. We try to give them exactly what they are looking for by giving them consistently good food and great service in a more modern and relaxing ambiance for that perfect chill-out dining experience.”

This latest 160-seater branch boasts of a bigger and more modern bar—a 25-feet long Margarita Bar with 40-inch plasma screen television sets. Chili’s bar serves an extensive alcoholic and non-alcoholic selection of drinks, including frozen, flavored and distinctive premium hand-shaken Margarita’s—which has been a Chili’s trademark. Its Presidente and Topshelf Margaritas gives a brand-new meaning to chillin’ and social drinkin’-way, way cooler than any other drinks in the metro. While techies and Internet enthusiasts will surely love the store’s free Wi-Fi Internet connection available here.


Located at the 2nd Level of Greenbelt 5, the resto sports a new, contemporary image of Chili’s seen in their other locations around the world.

“Our restaurant’s improved layout reflects our direction towards achieving a fresher and a brighter ambiance. We have, however, retained signature and familiar elements as part of the global brand identity maintained by the Chili’s franchise for over 30 years now,” De Jesus explained.

It starts with a white and red façade with the Chili’s logo impressed upon brick walls flown in from the United States. The wooden green French doors serve as the entrance to the dining area festooned with stone-finished tables, granite countertops and comfortable chairs and booth seating.

The familiar Chili’s red color is made more upbeat and cheery with bright splashes of blue hues. Modish drop light fixtures, stainless steel railings and the signature giant red pepper hanging from the ceiling are just some of the features of the restaurant. The outdoor dining patio affords diners with a fantastic view of the Makati skyline and is a great place to hang out and enjoy the cool breeze.

Chili’s are also located in Northeast Greenhills, San Juan and Tomas Morato, Quezon City. If you wish to have your food delivered within Makati area, you may call 729-3022 up to 23.

By Marane Plaza

SM City Annex: The mall that started it all

Posted in Malls by Erineus on February 21, 2009

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The new 92,832-sqm., six-level Annex at SM City North EDSA is located on the site of the old Annex building.

MANILA, Philippines – The recent opening of SM City North-EDSA’s Annex Building gave shoppers a first look at the exciting redevelopment and expansion of SM’s first supermall.

When SM City North-EDSA first opened in November 1985, the country was in the midst of a major political and economic crisis brought about by the death of Ninoy Aquino.

Despite conventional wisdom, SM founder and chairman Henry Sy Sr. pursued his dream of bringing the shopping mall concept he had observed during his visits to the US to the Philippines. And as they say, the rest is history.

As SM wraps up its 50th anniversary celebrations with 33 supermalls all over the Philippines, it returns to its roots with the redevelopment of the mall that started it all. The new Annex highlights the initial phase of the mall’s redevelopment, which began with the opening of The Block in 2006.

When completed, the new SM City North-EDSA will have a gross floor area of 425,000 square meters, making it the third largest mall in the world.

The new 92,832-sqm., six-level Annex is located on the site of the old Annex building. It has been designed to create an enjoyable and festive shopping and entertainment environment, while becoming an iconic symbol in Metro Manila’s rapidly changing and growing cityscape and community.

The exterior of the Annex consists of a simple block clad design in undulating perforated aluminum panels. In the context of the total redevelopment, the façade treatment is carried over to the Main Mall and The Block. The façade is interspersed by either glass or metal cubes with the undulations of the cladding panels creating a dynamic composition.

The eastern end of the Annex overlooking the park will consist of a monumental glass wall. This creates a grand shop front from which the atrium, its scenic lights, as well as various other retail outlets and restaurants can be seen from the park, thereby merging indoor and outdoor experiences and integrating these two components of the mall.

The choice of aqua suggests an affinity to the other SM malls — Megamall and SM Mall of Asia. In all, a dynamic composition is created to give the mall a distinct architectural identity with a balance of dynamism and elegance.

In the Annex interiors, tenants are arranged along the ribbon-like atrium with vertical circulation provided by escalators and lifts at the opposite ends of the so-called ribbon.

Interiors are clean and modern, and centered around a curvilinear atrium, which stretches its length. Daylight is provided through a series of circular glass cones set into the ceiling, giving the interior a light, airy feeling.

The new Annex’s tenant mix includes high-end retail and dining establishments, a Cyberzone, a games arcade, and bowling center.

Its lower ground floor includes leisure shops, while its upper ground floor consists of general services. Nourishment and indulgence shops are located on the second floor, while specialty shops and fashion finds complete the third floor. Cyberzone is the attraction of the fourth and fifth floors, while an upcoming call center will be placed on the sixth floor.

The Cyberzone at SM City North-EDSA is the largest tech center in all the SM malls, and a one-stop haven for tech-savvy shoppers. With over a hundred shops and tech services, it will include tenants offering hardware and software solutions, mobile communications, Internet, and gaming services.

With the opening of the new Annex as well as the upgrading of its popular main mall, SM City North-EDSA is all set to establish new benchmarks in the shopping world.


Celebrate Valentine’s Day at SM Megamall

Posted in Celebrations, Hotels/Restaurants/Bars, Malls by Erineus on February 15, 2009
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Pistaccioccolato (chocolate pistachio cake), P595 for a whole cake and P65 for a slice

Discover new ways to celebrate love at the Mega Atrium

A pretty bouquet. A sampling of fine chocolates. Dinner for two. Celebrating Valentine’s has never been more delicious. SM Megamall’s mix of restaurants, shops and flower houses has everything to make your loved one feel special on the 14th.

Making merry with your single friends? Not to worry. You can drown your woes with a pitcher of margarita at Tia Maria’s with a couple of your equally single friends or celebrate the glories of singlehood with a few orders of kebab at the Kebab Factory with a healthy helping of garlic sauce. Because nothing says single and proud like some serious garlic breath! So share the day with your spouse or your single yet-just-as-significant others (I mean girlfriends). Valentine’s means sharing the love — even if it means handing over that choco chip cookie to your unbearably talkative co-worker.

Amici: It’s amore

You know it’s love when you follow the object of your gastronomic affection wherever it goes. Thank god Amici has opened a branch right smack in the center of the metro, as you can now enjoy their authentic Italian cuisine any day you want, from their thin crust pizzas to scrumptious pastas, to their to-die-for cakes and gelato. And for BPI credit cardholders, Amici has an additional treat for you: For every P1,000 single-receipt payment you make when you dine, you can enjoy two free scoops of gelato on your second visit, a free pasta dish on your third, and a free pizza on your fourth. Now, ain’t that kind of love grand?

Amici is at the 3/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 818-4444.

Chef’s Quarter: Love in the fine dining lane

Larry Cortez, Chef’s Quarter’s general manager who’s worked at Le Souffle and other upscale establishments, believes that in five years the working class will demand better food, not your regular fast food fare. With his partner, chef Mau Aruona, they created this “fine dining restaurant with fast food prices.” “Our motto,” says Aruona, “is the only thing expensive here is your taste.” They’ve held true to that mission statement serving steak at P260 and fish and chips at P195, served in a style true to their upscale restaurant background but in an accessible setting.

For Valentine’s they’ve put together a set menu for couples that include steak and prawns and a mouthwatering chocolate almond marquesse. This is what true love tastes like — on a budget.

Call Chef’s Quarter, located at 3/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 706-5336.

Painted Red: Color it red this day of hearts

Brought to you by the same folks who created the successful Red Kimono franchise (Painted Red is, in fact, linked to Red Kimono, sharing the same space with a divider separating the two establishments), Painted Red serves modern American cuisine with Chinese, South American and Italian influences. Bestsellers include the Philly cheese steak pizza and a build-your-own burger that allows you to choose from a large selection of ingredients.

Call Painted Red, located at the 2/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 0922-8992753.

Sizzling Pepper Steak: A sizzling affair

From the company that brought you Teriyaki Boy comes this Japanese take on the traditional steak house. An industrial exhaust hood whirs above your head as you are served numerous incarnations of sizzling beef/chicken/seafood. Dubbed DIY food, this sizzling concept combines Pinoy’s love of all things salty (savory dishes) with all things sweet (drizzle your dish with a honeyed teriyaki sauce). If your love life’s on the flat side, maybe a date over a sizzling plate might add some spice.

Call Sizzling Pepper Steak, located at the 4/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 633-1569.

Bigby’s Cafe: Big on portions and flavors

Owner Henrik Yu classifies this warm, cozy restaurant’s cuisine as international comfort food. “We’ve got steaks, baby back ribs, and a large selection of pastas and salads,” he says. “We even have a deep sea pasta,” he says, which is a “Filipinized” dish of pasta with garlic shrimp and crabfat sauce served on a sizzling plate. “Bigby’s puts their own spin on a lot of favorite comfort foods,” he explains. For Valentine’s, they’re offering hearty midnight dream cake (P289) and kiss me cupcakes (P249). Sweet tooth, thy name is Bigby.

Call Bigby’s, located at the 3/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 499-9035.

Gotti’s: They’ve got connections

Named after the notorious mob boss, Gotti’s knows how to work the Italian angle. A caricature of John Gotti grasping a wooden spoon, like a charcoal etching of Marlon Brando circa Godfather, decorates the cover of their menu. Eileen Gonzalez, who worked at a hole-in-the-wall Italian eatery in NY “that got great Zagat reviews” for a few years, knows that every diner needs a little kick, a touch of humor.

This brick-lined, dimly-lit, family-friendly joint offers consumers with a hankering for authentic Italian fare at an affordable price a satisfying experience. “Our food is rustic and hearty,” says Gonzalez. “We really take it seriously. Educating customers on the right selections and flavorful offerings is what we do.” Expect to fork out about P250 per person, unless you make it to their merienda promo, available between 2 to 6 p.m., which offers combo meals at P95 to P130.

Call Gotti’s, located at the 4/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 634-0348.

Kebab Factory: From India, with love

A good way to introduce yourself to Indian food, says Kebab Factory owner Natasha Karamchandani, is to start with their spinach dip (P200), a creamy spinach and feta dip served with pita bread that’s like the most luscious dip you’ve ever had. Kebab Factory, which offers Mediterranean and Persian with a touch of Indian cuisine, had vegetarian-friendly dishes and numerous authentic and non-traditional takes on Indian cuisine like their cheese samosas (P200), a tasty spin on cheese sticks. A tandoor oven, a round enclosed oven with coals, lends the food a certain authenticity. “Some of the recipes we’ve used here we inherited from our grandmother,” Karamchandani says. Dine on tender stuffed chicken kebab (P300) and lamb chop tandoori (their own version of chicken tandoori sans the chicken). “People are more willing to try new food,” says Karamchandani. “This is a good way to start.”

Call Kebab Factory, located at the 2/F of SM Megamall Atrium, at 631-9648.

Eat and Go: There’s always time for a quickie

In a hurry? Sneaking off in the middle of the day for a quick nibble? Then Eat and Go is the perfect dining nook for a tasty quickie (quick meal, we mean!). Enjoy their London pies, with their puffed philo pastry and tasty filling: healthy primavera, juicy steak, salmon and spinach, and a lot more. Don’t be deceived by the medium-sized portion, as it’s a meal on its own already. Eat and Go is not just for the eat-and-run types, though. Have a leisurely meal with their bestselling menu picks like roasted chicken, sesame back ribs, and baked buccatini in prawn cream sauce, with the option of adding pasta, baked beans, or diced corn and carrots as side dishes.

Eat and Go is at 3/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 635-9559.

Curry Curry House: Spice it up

Big. Hot. Yummy. This is not an advertisement for an adult services hotline, but rather the kind of Japanese cuisine you can find at Curry Curry House. Highlighting the subtly invigorating kick of the savory Japanese curry, Curry Curry House dishes are plentiful and filling, paired with bottomless iced tea and bottomless rice to enjoy the curry sauce all the more. Their ramen dishes are also must-tries, with their spicy Japanese noodles. Whatever your pick, dining at the Curry Curry House is sure to set your palates on fire. Choose between the regular and the spicy curry — and watch sparks fly.

Curry Curry House is at the 3/F SM Megamall Atrium. Call 631-8470.

By Bea Ledesma
Updated February 09, 2009 12:00 AM