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A new gourmet treasure trove

THE WORLD is getting bigger for One World Deli, which opened its latest branch in San Juan City on Aug. 7. Guests surveyed and celebrated the shelves and counters lined with fresh local produce, meats, seafood, and pantry staples brought in by the deli’s suppliers, chef collaborators, and in-house experts.

One World Deli presents goods from all around the world — the Meat Anton counter alone offering such specialties as John Stone Beef dry-aged meats from Ireland, black angus beef by Braveheart in the US, Red Duroc pork from Dingley Dell in the UK, and Satsuma Fukunaga wagyu from Japan.

The deli may look like a clean, spacious supermarket from the outside, but within lie high-grade items that can either be brought home or cooked and consumed on the spot.

For PYC Foods Corp. president and founder Julio “Jun” Sy, who owns One World Deli, it was a no-brainer to open the second branch in San Juan to follow up the success of the first one that opened in Makati last year.

He mentioned that others are slated to open this year, including a branch in Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Many foodies joined the warm and lively opening in San Juan, commenting on the sheer cavernous space within the deli. It turns out, it was inspired by one of the city’s major attractions, the El Deposito, which is the Philippines’s oldest underground reservoir.

The various pods also reflect One World Deli’s various points of interest.

The Farm Fresh area, for instance, has a mix of local and imported organic fruits and vegetables, as well as towers of hydroponically grown greens. Whether it’s vibrant greens or flavorful mushrooms, this spot will have it all, according to Nicolo Durian of produce supplier Pedro Farms, based in Cavite.

Meanwhile, the Cellar houses a mix of old and new world wines, while the Top Tipples bar pours out choice wines and spirits. Tagaytay-based Monkey Eagle Beers provides bottles of premium craft beer.

“Everyone involved here loves food, loves exploring, loves experimenting, and loves sharing all of that with everyone else,” said chef John Lees of The Tattooed Baker, which stocks the deli’s bakery with bread baked daily.

He told BusinessWorld that there’s a delicious story behind every food item you pick out. His own macaroons, with flavors spanning carrot cake to Bailey’s to Vegemite with white chocolate, reflect that motto.

With that mentality, even condiments are a must-try and must-buy here — take for example a sweet honey elixir resulting from sustainable harvesting methods by A Buzz From The Bees.

“Eating is way more fun if you’re curious about everything,” he said.

One World Deli San Juan is located at The Corner House, C.M. Recto St., cor. P. Guevarra St., San Juan city. — Brontë H. Lacsamana