Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Gochu-Gang, Beefier and Babu: By The Numbers with Stalls 5,6 and 7 at The Grid Food Market in Power Plant Mall

If you still haven't been to The Grid Food Market at Power Plant Mall, then consider this your partial guide to their sumptuous offerings in a first of a series posts. Let's do The Grid Food Market by the number starting with Gochu-Gang, Beefier and Babu, that's Stall Numbers 5, 6 and 7...

The Grid Food Market at Power Plant Mall is more than just another food hall, it's an elegant space where good food, company and lifestyle converge in one place for a unique dining experience. And with 12 tempting stalls to choose from offering burgers to bulgogi and bibimbap, laksa and nasi lemak to tsukemen, pintxos, porchetta and crab rolls, The Grid Food Market offers both variety and value in a lavish setting. Here's a snapshot of the wide array of tasty selections starting with Stall Number 5...

...at Gochu-Gang by Chef Patrick Go with his take on Korean flavors. One of the metro's talented young chefs, Patrick Go adds some exciting heat to tease your palate with the Spicy Tuna Salad (P 340), an excellent starter before the savory mains. The sweet and briny notes of the fresh tuna are kicked up with a thick and fiery chili sauce that's perfectly tempered by the garden-fresh greens and crisp vegetables. It's a soothing kind of heat, allowing you to taste the distinct flavors of the different components in the salad. Rich flavors and contrasting textures makes Gochu-Gang's Spicy Tuna Salad the perfect choice to kick-off your Korean feast at The Grid Food Market.

If you're craving for even more heat, the "Fire" Noodles (P 330) should be right up your alley. The name alone should give you a clue. Inspired by a viral sensation from the net, Chef Patrick Go's lip-numbing dish sets you up for your own spicy noodle challenge. The spicy heat doesn't overwhelm the palate initially, but it builds up intensifying with each successive bite. And it lingers. They take heat quite seriously at Gochu-Gang.  

For the mains, Gochu-Gang offers hearty and sumptuous Bibimbap Rice Sets, each one a complete meal served with pickled vegetables and spicy chili paste.

The Beef Ribeye Bibimbap Set (P 390) combines the savory richness of tender beef with fresh and crisp greens, carrots, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms and egg on rice delivering a wide range of flavors. Add a healthy dollop of chili paste and you're good to go.  

And Chef Patrick Go knows Asian flavors (more on Chef Patrick Go on my earlier post, Stories and Inspirations: Progressive and Innovative Culinary Expressions at Black Sheep). Other Bibimbap Rice Sets include the Pork Belly (P 320), Chicken Kalbi (P 290), Beef Tenderloin (P 420) and a vegetarian option, the Mushroom Bulgogi (P 365).

Gochu-Gang also offers savory BBQ Grilled Meat Sets that's great for sharing like the Beef Ribeye Bulgogi (P 530) served with pickled vegetables, rice, chili paste and fresh greens to roll it all up.

Other tasty options include the Pork Samgyupsal (P 420), USDA Prime Beef Ribeye (P 1,150)...

...and the Grilled Duck Breast (P 580). Pair your BBQ Grilled Meat Set from Gochu-Gang with a refreshing Peach Cucumber Cooler (P 125) to cleanse the palate. Meant for sharing, these BBQ Grilled Meat Sets add a festive vibe to your dining experience at The Grid Food Market.

The Beef Ribeye Bulgogi, Pork Samgyupsal and USDA Prime Beef Ribeye offer comfortingly familiar flavors. It's everything you love about Korean cuisine in a set. But the Grilled Duck Breast option is surprisingly different. With its distinct savory richness, the Grilled Duck Breast BBQ Grilled Meat Set offers a whole new flavor experience that's great for sharing. But if you want your own BBQ Grilled Meat Set, then go ahead. Served with rice, pickled vegetables and kimchi, you can't go wrong with the BBQ Grilled Meat Set at Gochu-Gang.

Burgers? Head on over to Stall Number 6 for classic burgers and fries at Beefier with its all-beef smashed patties ringed with a crisp and lightly charred crust. Ground fresh in-house daily and served on their own signature custom-made potato buns, Beefier offers a classic approach to burgers. Savory and juicy, the burgers at Beefier are uncomplicated. And why not, it's really all about the premium beef patty and the bun. Think of it as the burger for purists.

The Cheesier Cheeseburger (P 290) gives you an idea of Beefier's no-frills style with each bite delivering all-beef goodness capped by the pillow-soft potato bun. And with a premium all-beef patty this good, all you need is a topping of cheese and nothing else. There are times when you just want to go back to the basics, and Beefier lets you rediscover pure burger love with its clean and uncluttered approach to burgers. You can customize your Beefier Burger if you wish with Bacon (+P 90) and an Extra Patty (+P 150) for that bespoke burger. Add Iced Tea and Fries for only an additional P 60.

One bite into that soft potato bun, creamy cheese and juicy burger brings you back to the day when burgers were burgers. Your second bite brings it home with richly layered yet straightforward flavors all the way to your last bite. The intent is clear and apparent from that very first bite, a good burger really doesn't have to be complicated. And there's no need for over the top additions or rocket science for a really good burger.  

Other must-try burgers at Beefier include the Beefiest (P 490), a prime steak cut burger with oversized 190g patty made from freshly ground ribeye topped with Emmental cheese and draped in special sauce or the Cheesiest (P 450), a reverse cheeseburger with deep-fried molten Emmental and Mozzarella cheese patty and crispy skinny burger. If you're looking for serious beef, the Hanger Steak with Arugula Salad or Fries & Gravy (P 680) and the USDA Prime Ribeye (P 1,990) should do the trick. Looking for a meal with rice? The Gravy Boat Burger Steak (P 350) and BBQ Short Ribs (P 420) are excellent choices. You can also bring home the Beefier experience with the 6-Pack DIY Burger Kit (P 980) complete with six potato buns and 800g of premium chilled ground beef or the USDA Prime Ribeye (P 2,480/kg) for your home grill.

The soft buttery bun, the moist and juicy beef patty with its delicately charred and lightly crisp edges topped with cheese, it just doesn't get better than that. They're doing it right at Beefier.

Cap your burger feast with the Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut and Orange Tart (P 220 but keep an eye out for their special discounts offering as much as 30% off). Sweet with the deep, nutty notes of dark chocolate punctuated by subtle hints of orange and crunch of hazelnuts, this tart completes your purist burger experience at Beefier. But there's one more stop at Stall Number 6... 

At Babu, feast on Malaysian and Singaporean classics like Laksa (P 375 Classic/P 560 Premium) that's just perfect for the rainy days. Or any day, really. Chef Him Uy de Baron weaves his masterful spin on Asian flavors with regional flavors like this...  

...with its comforting notes warming both the palate and body. The rich broth with its creamy texture and multi-layered spice blend is enriched even further with fresh seafood and vegetables. Each sip blankets the palate with a burst of vibrant notes, with each distinct flavor coming through in a fine and seamless blend. It's no surprise that Babu's signature Southeast Asian offerings were created by an old friend whose culinary style is stamped on each dish. I first met Chef Him Uy de Baron six years ago (see my post, Nomama Artisanal Ramen: Definitely Not Your Mama's Ramen), and I've always been impressed with his nuanced take on Asian cuisine (check out my other posts, Progressive Chinese: A Tasty Peek at Ping Pong Diplomacy's New Dishes and Recreating The Singaporean Hawkers Street Food Experience at Makansutra). At Babu, Chef Him Uy de Baron's expertise on Asian flavors is reflected on their menu from their small plates to signature mains.  

Start with their Small Plates like the Crispy Spring Rolls (P 165) with a savory filling accompanied by crisp greens and a tart dip. One bite just leads to another, and you still want more. Another tasty starter at Babu is the Tofu with Century Egg (P 220).

The Rice Meals at Babu are complete meals, perfect for that lunch break from the office. The Hainanese Chicken Rice (P 290) recreates that Singaporean hawkers' staple with delicately poached chicken with its juicy and springy texture served with soft and fluffy rice and traditional condiments and sides. The finely minced ginger sauce and hot chili paste adds bold flavors to the dish, complementing the juicy chicken and flavored rice. The cucumbers and crackers complete the dish. 

The popular and ubiquitous Malaysian favorite, Nasi Lemak, is also offered at Babu. Diners can choose from two Nasi Lemak offerings, the Grilled Salmon Nasi Lemak (P 490)...

...or the classic Fried Chicken Nasi Lemak (P 350), each offering contrasting textures and flavors. Deep-fried and crisp anchovies, roasted peanuts, boiled egg, cucumber slices, crackers and sambal complete the dish. The sambal adds depth to the dish with its bold flavors. The heat is both subtle and gentle on the palate, and a generous dab with each spoonful rounds out the flavors.  

Wash it all down with the refreshing Calamansi Pandan (P 95) or the soothingly sweet Almond Grass Jelly (P 95).

Spicy and savory Korean cuisine, classic burgers and comforting Malaysian and Singaporean dishes are just some of the tempting treats offered at The Grid Food Market. The curated and chef-driven selection of tasty options are what sets The Grid Food Market apart from the usual food hall. Add both variety and value to the equation, and you've got a winning option for lunch, snacks or dinner any day of the week at Power Plant Mall. And there are more stalls to be discovered and experienced, so stay tuned for my next posts on The Grid Food Market by the numbers...

The Grid Food Market is located at the R2 Level Expansion Wing, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell Center, Makati or call 759-4605 for inquiries and more information. You can also visit their FB Page at https://www.facebook.com/thegridfoodmarket/ for more updates.

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