English Only, Please
At the Todd English Food Hall, the view from the second level function room.
When it comes to the holiday season and big gatherings, eating in restaurants can pose something of a problem. More often than not, we'll choose Chinese or Filipino restaurants by default; so it was nice to hear of the experience of a good friend who had travelled from Chicago and was hosting a dinner for some 24 persons - her parents, Titos and Titas, brothers and sister, and their children - and had wanted something different. Eliza Roque is the daughter of former basketball great and Olympian Ed Roque; and along with her husband Dean, and sons Julian and Jaime, they had travelled from the Windy City and wanted to organize one family gathering.
We recommended Todd English Food Hall at Aura and she came back gushing about how professionally they attended to her, how they helped recommend the food courses, seating arrangements (two long tables), and offered the upstairs function room as something more cozy. For Eliza, it was an ideal blend of Fine Dining in a Casual setting, with the built-in lounge area ideal for the inevitable picture-taking that accompanies occasions such as these.
Starters came in the form of flatbread Pizza that came in three waves (the salmon, the truffled mushroom, and meat lovers variant); with the right number of servers to keep the whole party happy. The deconstructed Caesar Salad with the sous vide perfect egg, ushered in two kinds of Carbonara Pasta, and one of their specialties, the Scallops Risotto. Then on the main courses - a Roast Pork dish, followed by their Ribeye. Your choice of sidings was printed on the little menus for drinks and desserts that were laid out on the tables. And the Dessert! Choices of the Chocolate OMG, the Red Velvet-inspired The Bomb, and flavored Panna Cotta.
The Caesar Salad; Romaine lettuce and their perfect egg.
The perennial favorite, the Scallops Risotto with Squid Ink Rice and Leek Purée.
Ribeye at Todd English, with French Beans and thin sheets of Potato
The ultimate Chocolate indulgence, their OMG - lave cake, silky pudding, cereal crumble and gelato.
I know that Rikki Dee and Foodee Concepts have had Todd English open for some time now, with concepts such as Pound and Hook sprouting from the success of this original Aura bastion. So it was great to see how high standards are still being maintained, how attentive food service and the handling of inquiries are done; and that this was done during a period when neither Rikki or his son were around, speaks volumes of the kind of training the staff undergoes. I know Eliza and Dean were really happy with their English 'lesson'!
Cover image from: https://www.instagram.com/toddenglishph/