The food park craze has definitely taken over Metro Manila in the past year, however, The Food Hivehas opened to offer some of the freshest food and drink choices every certified foodie could ever think about. The newest food park along Visayas Avenue is a 620-sqm culinary haven anchored by two high ceiling restaurants, a perfect spot if you want something which exudes a fine dining ambience.
From an Aligue-flavored Wings and a Chicharon Bulaklak marinated in squid ink to a Gin-Pom ice cream and a locally brewed Cheery Beer, here's your guide to the first ever food park with carefully crafted concepts from the country's most highly-regarded and award-winning chefs!
Fall-off-the-bone ribs is always a good idea. At Bab and Boy's, there are four different flavors you can choose from -- Hickory BBQ, Original, Chili and Garlic. Whether you're dining alone or with the whole barkada or family, they have something for you. There's the Singles (P220) which serves one person or you can go all out with the Deli Buster (P720) where you can choose six flavors and three sides. There are also sides you can choose from: Mashed Potato, Java Rice, Mixed Veggies and Macaroni & Cheese.
Sizzling skillets have long been a thing but Chef Ed Bugia sees more to it and creates variations of the classic sizzling favorites. For instance, the Bulalo Sisig (P220) are tender and crispy pork with grilled cabbage and corn but at Blaze, it is flambéd for added flavor. You should then pour in the bulalo (bone marrow) gravy onto the hot skillet to complete the dish. Make sure you mix everything all together to incorporate all the elements – tender meat, the buttery bone marrow and bone marrow gravy – on the sizzling skillet.
Goat and Kinilaw are dishes you won't usually find in every food park. But at The Food Hive, Goatcha serves a Kilawin (P185/with rice; P160/half; P285/full) that is unassuming. Just how Kilawin should be prepared; whipped up by a true Kapampangan. If you are not a fan of Kilawin, they also offer other goat dishes such as Sinampalukan, Papaitan, Sisig, Cabrito Caldereta and so much more.
Known for the aesthetic freedom and the creative twists he applies to basically every dish he works on, Chef Niño Laus whips up the bravest and boldest flavors at this modern Izakaya offering contemporary Japanese cuisine. An example is the definite must-try, the Black Sakura (P195), everyone's favorite chicharonbulaklak marinated in squid ink for 12 hours served on a bed of uni-oyster foam which serves as the vinegar for dipping.
Another is chef Nins' take on the classic California maki, the Hamaru Soft Shell Crab Roll (P430), has deep fried soft shell crab and aligue (crab fat) mayo for a twist you think you won't need but actually really do and the Oyster Motoyaki (P195) which is also a great find! It is a baked oyster topped with a chili-garlic mayonnaise sauce and a cauliflower puree.
Wash everything down with Juicifi. Order any of their refreshing drinks – Fresh Brewed Iced Tea, Classic Lemonade, Cucumber Basil with Lemongrass, Cocoa Dinosaur and so much more. If you're feeling a little adventurous, order the Brazilian Lemonade (P75/tall; P95/grande) with aloe vera which is the classic lemonade mixed with a dash of condensed milk for added sweetness in the tart concoction.
A stall perfect for queso lovers a.k.a. everyone! La Carnita kids not with their Nachos a la Bomba (P195), the first ever grilled nachos. Light and crispy nacho chips topped with generous servings of cheddar shavings, mozzarella strings, la carnita cheese sauce, mexican beef, refried beans and cucumber salsa. At only P195, you'll surely get more of what you pay for!
Serving pasta in a cone, Chef Gem Tee says the idea of it is to grab your pasta and go about with your day. Order one of their best-sellers, the Mee Gamberi (P250) which has shrimp, fish cake, shiitake, their special sauce, egg and fried shallots. Another can't-miss on the menu is the Panini de Porchetta (P235), the only sandwich on the menu is a pork belly heaven with caramelized balsamic onions, arugula and pesto sandwiched between freshly baked brioche buns.
A food park wouldn't be complete without any cocktails! Aside from the standard menu of local and international beer flavors including the specially crafted Belgian Ale, they also whip up specialty cocktails inspired by iconic video game titles. Sip on their Donkey Kong (P150), Tetris (P200) or The Legend of Zelda (P200).
A concept by Chefs Rosebud Benitez and Jonah Trinidad, Potato Bomb or Po-Bo for short just amazes the palate with their breaded and deep fried mashed potato covered in generous toppings of ground beef, corn kernels, caramelized onions and cheese sauce. Must-tries are the Sisig Fries drizzled with sour cream and sriracha and topped off with fried egg. There's also the Pizza Fries, Bulgogi Kimchi Fries and Nacho Fries! Who knew these elements when put together would still work?
A play on the Godfather film, the Wingfather and the Fry Mafia's menu is created by Chef Luigi Muhlach who redefines familiar and homey flavors making it more delectable. Ever imagined your favorite wings covered in boy bawang? Here, they have interesting flavors covering crisp wings like a sweet Maple Buffalo Wings (P190) served with blue cheese aioli for dipping or the Boy Bawang Crusted Wings (P230) with red pepper aioli. And would have ever thought that a sinful Aligue (crab fat) Wings (P230) with kesongputiaioli for dipping could actually work?
The first ever Bulgarian restaurant in the metro, Yordanovi serves authentic Bulgarian dishes that are bursting with flavor created by their resident chef, Plamen Yordanovi. Don't know which to get? Order a plate of their Zucchini Salad (P129), fried zucchini topped with their homemade garlic yogurt sauce. If you want something more filling, the Kebapche (P169) which is a Bulgarian dish of grilled minced meat packed with spices, is your perfect choice. It has an elongated cylindrical form that is similar to that of a kebab.
These egg waffles from Bubble Wraps will surely make anyone with a sweet tooth smile. You can make your own dessert bubble wrap which starts at only P155! All you have to do is choose your waffle: original, chocolate or matcha, choose your ice cream and the toppings you'd want to add. If you're in a hurry, pick any of their ready-made flavors – Bubble Wrap Original (P100) or the Matcha-flavored (P110) bubble wrap.
A childhood favorite, Chef Wado Siman offers a version 2.0 of ice scramble in Iskrambolan (P180) – an ice scramble flavored ice cream, polvorón on the side and toppings of chocolate sauce, candy sprinkles, milk powder and mini mallows. Pretty much just how an ice scramble is served on the streets. If you sort of want a cleanse after the feast you just had, order the Char Cool (P170), scoops of cookies & cream flavored ice cream infused with charcoal.
There's also the Kwatro Kantos (P165) which is perfect for the older crowd. Scoops of refreshing pomelo ice cream topped with crisp corn flakes and a side of gin. Everything can be enjoyed either on a liquid nitrogen bath (which I believe is the most fun to devour this with) or tucked in their signature Hokkaido Bun.
The idea of cold, blended coffee whipped up upon ordering is already sensational as it is, but Mozafrio takes it up a notch with their locally-sourced toppings and makes their milkshakes even more appetizing to eyes and palate. Whether you're craving for some over-the-top frappes or just a simple milk tea mixture would do, there's definitely something to satisfy your palate at Mozafrio.
If you are not a fan of sweet drinks, order the Solana which is their salted caramel blend. It is a lip-smacking combination of salty and sweet caramel and cream topped with their signature garnish, whipped cream and caramel drizzle. A perfect drink that will take away all the blues and bring sunshine to your day!
The Food Hive is located at 80 Visayas Avenue, Brgy. Vasra, Diliman, Quezon City. They're open daily from 11am to 12mn. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram for exclusive updates!