Foodee refreshes its first

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TODD ENGLISH Food Hall is now simply Food Hall — but Foodee Global Concepts COO Eric Dee says the original partnership is intact.

FOODEE Global Concepts is the company is responsible for bringing in foreign restaurant brands that have earned Michelin stars in their home countries: think FOO’D, Hawker Chan, Tsuta, Kam’s Roast, and Tim Ho Wan (among others). But Foodee’s success with foreign brands began with the Todd English Food Hall in SM Aura, which by now has expanded into other concepts under the name of the celebrity chef: there’s Hook, then Pound; both by Todd English.

The original Food Hall has been renamed to drop the Todd English name (though Foodee COO Eric Dee says that the partnership is intact). Inside the Food Hall, complete menus of the other Todd English brands, such as Hook, Pound, and Flatterie, are all inside, making it quite the high-end — dare we say it — food court.

At a tasting last week, BusinessWorld gorged on the sliders from Pound, the salmon from Hook, and the pasta from Flatterie, but most memorable is the steak from The Grill, a new concept launched in The Food Hall. It is buttery soft and a whole slice can be folded on the tines of a fork; and its flavor is perfectly robust.

Asked why the renaming was done, Mr. Dee said, “Refresh!” — meaning, it’s an effort to make the original Food Hall feel new.

Other new exploits by the company will include a Filipino eat-all-you-can grill concept, and Food District (a dining outlet for the Stock Exchange Building). All these are expected to open within the year, as well as a few more branches of their other concepts. Mesa, for example, one of the company’s first restaurants, which serves modern Filipino cuisine, is set to open in Los Angeles this year.

The opening in LA is an effort to mainstream Filipino cuisine: while Thai and Vietnamese restaurants have already been accepted in the global palette as standard fare, Filipino food is still largely seen as exotic. “I think it’s because no one actually puts Filipino restaurants right smack in the middle of where everyone is,” said Mr. Dee. — Joseph L. Garcia