MANILA, Philippines – Far from what its name suggests, Hole in the Wall in Century City, Makati, is anything but dingy.
However, Hole in the Wall is definitely quite the hidden gem. It’s a gastronomic paradise with 11 stalls, and a wonderland filled with all sorts of eclectic and quirky furnishings – all located on the top floor of the futuristic-looking Century City Mall.
It’s tempting to call the place a food court, but it’s more than just that. Independently owned, Hole in the Wall is a food hall that may resemble a theme park. One area resembles an idyllic summer camp, while another is decorated with urban art. The biggest one is airy, and at night, is gorgeously illuminated by fairy lights.
Its vicinity has been the talk of the town, given the quirky moniker “Williamsburgos,” after New York City’s bohemian enclave and P Burgos St in Makati. The neighborhood has been a food-lovers’ destination, and Hole in the Wall is definitely a must-visit spot.
Since opening in 2014, the 500-seat food hall has gone through key changes. There are mainstays in its lineup of vendors, but there are a few that we miss.
We checked out the latest roster of food stalls with offerings that you can mix and match – perfect for a feast with friends or family:
Mister Delicious’ sandwiches are humongous slabs that might keep you stuffed for a while. They serve good ol’ deli classics like pastrami, bacon, and more – lovely with a bottle of beer.
Their smoked pulled pork sandwich (P390) is melt-in-your-mouth tender and is slathered with tangy BBQ sauce.
Partner your sandwich with bacon tater tots (P180).
The Beef strips down the classic hamburger (P275) to the essentials – no “clutter,” just the juicy, savory patty plus lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and cheese (cheeseburger – P295). Take a bite, and you definitely won’t have any beef with its simplicity.
Posporo labels itself as a “Taqueria Filipina,” as it puts a spin on tacos by loading them with tasty Filipino favorites like sisig, tocino, chicken inasal and Sarsi adobo carnitas (adobo slow-cooked in Sarsi rootbeer).
If you’re game for a belly-busting meal, order their humongous rice plate (P260) with your choice of meat (mentioned above), plus refried mongo, pico de gallo, ensalada, sour cream, atchara, and salsa.
Liberation Shawarma’s meats are marinated in a secret mix of spices and herbs – which might explain the enticing aroma wafting from the rotisseries as you approach its trailer-like facade.
Choose from beef (P260), pork (P250) or falafel (P190) as your stuffing for the pita bread, and liberally smother it with their garlic sauce.
You can also order their fried chickpeas (P60) on the side or as a snack.
Garde Manger initially seems to be your run-of-the-mill salad and juice bar, but look closely at their healthy – and not-so-healthy – offerings like the sisig and adobo flakes salads (P315).
We wish they were still serving this Fruits of the Ocean ceviche with tuna, clams, scallops, sea grapes, avocado, and pomelo, though:
Serious Dough gives their pizzas hysterical names: “Life of Pi,” “Once You Go Black, You Never Go Back,” “1-up, Power-up” – but they’re serious, though (get it?). They bake 11-inch pies fresh from the oven and smothered with odd but yummy toppings: chicken masala, octopus, lechon, and more.
Don’t Break My Heart (P390), as the name suggests, is loaded with artery-clogging lechon bits, but it’s the type that can you make you say, “I regret nothing.” Sinful is the apt word to describe it, and the arugula and garlic are just there to ease your guilt.
One of Hole in the Wall’s newest purveyors, Milk Trade’s specialty is steamed milk (plain, yolk or white/chocolate, white – P100), a sweet and silky custard-like dessert that may be familiar to those who have traveled to Hong Kong.
Pair the milk with eggettes (P150) – waffles that are crispy on the outside but pillowy-soft on the inside – for a nice contrast in texture.
Channel your inner Cookie Monster at Scout’s Honor and munch on flavors like the matcha & miso s’more or the Cookie Inception – a cookie within a cookie within a cookie: oreo, double chocolate fudge and chocolate chip (Eagle’s Scout’s Cookies, P95/piece, P250/3 pieces, P490/6 pieces, P970/12 pieces).
But you can also have their craft cookies (P135/piece, P335/3 pieces) – that is, pick your own dough and toppings. They pop your confection in the oven for about 8 minutes, and voila, you have your own fresh, soft-batch delight.
It’s hard to devour Green Cheese’s light and fluffy Japanese cheesecake (original flavor – P50/slice, P350/whole) with the cute smiling face etched on the surface. Nonetheless, it’s a perfect ending to a meal: light as a feather, but sweet enough to please.
Smoky Bastard has a wide range of craft beers (around P175 to P260/bottle) to pair with your meal – from blonde, to stout and IPA (India pale ale).
Bad Bird’s fried chicken explodes with umami flavors, and its long dinner queues are testament to their chicken’s juicy, flavorful goodness – and reliability.
Get 2 hefty pieces of generously seasoned chicken and choose your spiciness level: safe, spicy, or chemical. Order with a side of sweet potato waffles, topped with a dollop of miso butter and maple syrup (waffle plate – P290).
Will you be visiting Hole in the Wall soon? Let us know about your experience in the comments. – Rappler.com
Hole in the Wall is located at 4/F Century City Mall, Kalayaan Ave cor. Salamanca St, Makati City. Open: Sunday to Thursday 11am to 11pm, Friday to Saturday 11am to 1am