How To Safely Dine In The Mall (In Case You Absolutely Need To)

Suddenly need to dine in the mall? Here are some of the key things you must keep in mind. If not, just eat at home, because we also found the best restos that offer superb to-go and delivery services.

It’s been months since the majority of us were able to dine in the Filipino cultural mainstay that is the mall. Ever since the government has placed the entire Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine, we’ve stayed at home to keep ourselves protected from the violent virus still persisting with no end in sight.

Due to the lockdown caused by the unprecedented pandemic, all businesses in the malls were consequently and indefinitely shut down. Of course, that was the most logical way to do since there was no foot traffic going to the brick and mortar establishments. However, since we’re now on general community quarantine, people are starting to go back to their usual work routines. And as sad as it is to admit, Manila’s heavy traffic is back—again. So, we totally understand that there are moments when we’re stuck in traffic during dinner time. That’s why in lieu of starving at an unfortunate time, it might better to just dine in the mall and wait a short while for the unbearable situation to subside.

Fortunately, some restaurants and malls are opening their doors to welcome back its dine-in customers and mall-goers. One of which is the high-end Podium Mall where you can enjoy dining in your favorite posh restaurants. With this, customers can order food directly from pop-up restaurants, dine-in some of the luxe restaurants, or grab a quick bite at the Corner Market (the mall’s food hall).

Now, of course, there are additional safety protocols at the mall’s restaurants and new dining spaces are strictly implemented to ensure the safety of diners. These include registration and filling out a quick health survey form, thermal scanning, sanitation stations, disinfection mats, disposable menus, diagonal or solo seating, marked seats and tables set apart to observe physical distancing, designated safety protocol and sanitation officers, and frequent and thorough disinfection of tables, seats, and the dining area. 

Although this may be, as we are now living in the so-called new normal, all mall-goers or dine-in customers also have their own responsibility. This should never be a one-way arrangement. So, here are some of the key things you must keep in mind to be fully protected.

Wear Your Mask

At this point in time, this is pretty obvious. In fact, it’s mandated by the government that people must always wear a mask whenever you’re going outside of your house. To put it in its simplest terms, you wear a mask to protect others while others wear a mask to protect you. So, don’t be a Karen and reason out that wearing one is uncomfortable because always remember: we’re all in this together. (In case you don’t know where to buy, click here).

Bring Hand Sanitizer or Alcohol

While properly wearing a mask may save us from the virus, there’s nothing that is “too much” when it comes to safety. As we normally touch a lot of things when we’re outside—from money, papers, tables, to handles—it’s critical to always keep your hands clean. Hence, keeping a small bottle of sanitizer should always be a part of your new essentials.

Order Everything At Once

Delectable meals in Cocina Peruvia

Admit it, we don’t normally order everything all at once when we dine in. Normally, we have additional orders in between meals, but in this context, we highly suggest that you order everything in one go—from appetizers, entrées, drinks, to desserts. In addition, only request your dishes to be bussed once you’re done. By doing so, you’ll have lesser interaction with your server.

Dine Outdoors (if possible)

Roof Deck Garden

Restaurants are currently limited to 30 percent on dine-in seating capacity, so malls such as Podium have extended its dining spaces to accommodate overflow from any of the establishments. In fact, Podium is that it has finally opened its Roof Deck Garden offering shoppers a unique al fresco dining experience amid lush gardens and the city skyscrapers.

But the best thing about the dining outdoors is you’re much safer. Due to the natural ventilation outside, the air is not recirculated and viral particles can move further away even more quickly unlike indoors.

Go Cashless

Finally, as much as possible, go cashless if you can. We’ve actually seen this being implemented on Transport Network Vehicle Services such as Grab because it protects the driver and the passenger being in contact. So, it’s kind of like the same when doing transactions with your servers or cashiers. Instead of exchanging bills which you randomly get, it’s better to just use your cards.

Restaurants That Are Open For Dine-In Service in Podium:

Now that you know the protocols and safety precautions to keep in mind when dining-in, we assume that you’re ready to have a bite of your current cravings. Below is the list of open restaurants that cater to dine-in customers.

Fine Dining:

  1. Mamou Prime
  2. Wolfgang Steakhouse
  3. Paradise Dynasty
  4. Sen-Ryo
  5. Shanghai Saloon

Modern Filipino Restaurants:

  1. Lola Café
  2. Manam Cafe
  3. Nono’s

Asian Regional Restaurants

  1. Banana Leaf
  2. Bowl’d
  3. Healthy Shabu Shabu
  4. JinJoo Korean Grill
  5. Juju Eats
  6. Kimono Ken
  7. Mann Hann
  8. Marugame Udon & Tempura
  9. New Bombay
  10. Nikkei
  11. Shi Lin
  12. Tai Koo HK Roast
  13. Tsujiri
  14. Uma Uma Ramen
  15. Yaku

European Cuisines

  1. Ca Va Café
  2. La Vita Ristorante Italiano
  3. Motorino Pizza
  4. Salvatore Cuomo Café
  5. Souv by Cyma
  6. The Café Mediterranean

Latin American Fare

  1. Cocina Peruvia

Cafés and Baked Goodies

  1. Wildflour
  2. Starbucks Reserve
  3. Famous Amos

Corner Market (Food Hall)

  1. Bird House
  2. Ca Phe Saigon
  3. Catch of the Day
  4. Char Express
  5. Easy Tiger
  6. Gusto
  7. La Taqueria del Chupacabra
  8. Sundays
  9. Stockwell Cafe
  10. The Rabbit Hole

Restaurants Offering To-Go And Delivery Service:

While it is possible to now dine inside the malls, bear in mind that it’s always safer to still stay at home. So, if ever you’re craving for some of your favorite viands, fret not, some of the restaurants and even the Michelin star resto Putien in Podium can have your food to-go, if not delivered to your house. Below is the list of restaurants that cater to delivery services.

Modern Filipino Restaurants:

  1. Lola Café
  2. Manam Cafe

European Cuisines

  1. La Vita Ristorante Italiano
  2. Motorino Pizza
  3. Salvatore Cuomo Café
  4. Souv by Cyma
  5. The Café Mediterranean

Cafés and Baked Goodies

  1. Ben’s Cookies

Specialty Restaurants

  1. Putien
  2. Wolfgang’s Steakhouse of New York

How To Order:

  1. Check online: Browse the restaurant guide on The Podium’s website, Facebook, Instagram, and SM Viber community for the complete To-Go restaurant guide, menu, contact details, updates, and promotions.
  2. Call to order: Enjoy a more personalized and efficient experience by simply calling the restaurant to place your order and other meal requirements. The restaurant will coordinate delivery to your doorstep with Fastrack Courier Service riders stationed in the mall. Delivery fees are based on the customer’s location.
  3. Pay and collect: Customers can opt to pay for orders and delivery fee via cash on delivery or contactless payment methods in coordination with the restaurant. Collect order from your Fastrack courier and enjoy it!

The Podium is open at 11:00 am-8:00 pm from Monday to Thursday, and 10:00 am-8:00 pm from Friday to Sunday.

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