When Pound by Todd English opened last year, another spin off of this famous food hall came about. Offering the freshest seafood in the Metro, Hook was set to open just weeks after Pound! I've been waiting ever since because pictures and videos from their food tasting showcased mouthwatering seafood creations! But due to foot traffic issues in UpTown Parade, Hook's opening got delayed! Until early April, Hook FINALLY opened it's doors to the public!
|Welcome to HOOK!|
I was giddy to go! Good thing I got an invite for a sponsored dinner before the date that my seafood allergic hubby and I planned. Hook by Todd English x looloo x foodfanaticph = SEAFOOD OVERLOAD!!!!
|Beer, hard drinks and cocktails - they've got you covered!|
When I got to the restaurant, I was greeted by the ever generous and accommodating husband and wife tandam - Erick Dee and Kidd Tan Dee. They ushered me to our table and offered some drinks. While waiting for the others, I checked out the place and their seafood display.
|Hook at night! A glimpse of the restaurant that has long tables for big groups.|
The place looked like Pound. The signature bricks, brass, tiled floor, dim light and privy feel were present here. It was like a hide-out, a secret bar that was classy.
Spacious with customized chairs, simple yet elegant interiors, they even have a second floor to boot (not yet open to the public though)!
We started the night with this simple appetizer - Mixed Frito. The bowl was a mix of battered and deep fried seafood with fries and taro chips. Drizzled with mayo, each bite was a surprise!
|A closer look at all the good stuff in this bowl!|
I caught some squid in there, chunks of salmon and even oysters! Such a good start to a seafood feast!
After the appetizer, let's go straight to the good stuff. If you wanna indulge and your pocket is ready, I suggest you get the 3 Tiered Seafood Platter. A mighty tower of seafood freshness and goodness, this is good for a group of about 3-5. Priced at 3500Php, it's expensive but it's worth it.
Let me drill down...
Let me drill down...
Let's start with the Aklan Oysters! Served with granitas - Apple Sriracha, Yuzu and Coriander Lime - the Coriander Lime was the best, IMO, because I love coriander or cilantro! It makes everything taste refreshing and light!
Together with the oysters were two ceviches. Let's talk about the the White Clam Ceviche first. Citrusy kick, peppery bite, this had bell peppers, some herbs and freshly cracked black peppers!
Next is the Raw Scallop Motoyaki. This was one of my favorites. The fresh sushi grade scallops cut into small cubes, the creamy and a little citrusy mayo-based sauce all went so well together! You'll want to have more of this!
Onto the Middle Platter, let's start off with the Chilled Shrimps. They were blanched until pink with that certain snap when you bite. Definitely juicy with a hint of seafood sweetness.
Then my favorite from this platter - Snapper! Sliced with just the right thickness, each piece was melt in your mouth! Don't forget to include some of the apple slaw when eating this for the much needed texture and sweet end note.
Another ceviche was in the middle platter - Apple and Clam. A bowl filled with chunks of apples, fresh clams, juicy cherry tomatoes, cilantro and some other herbs. There were also some Mussels with Kimchi-Miso Sauce in this platter but I wasn't able to try.
The top most platter is the best platter for me. Why?
First, it's because of the Crab and Uni Slaw. Raw crab meat tossed in a yuzu vinaigrette, topped with fresh uni and Ikura or salmon roe. Umami overload! Best consumed by getting a little of each component and then dunk everything into your mouth!
Then the Tuna Poke that's nothing like all the poke bowls that are sprouting like mushrooms. Not too much of a dressing, no Japanese rice included - just fresh chunks of tuna, light sesame dressing and a good kick of cilantro. It's served in a coconut shell with fresh coconut meat, it's one knock out good poke!
Let's not forget about the raw and fresh Salmon slices from this platter. Topped with ginger-scallion jam, the sweet and spicy notes added character to the melt in your mouth Salmon slices.
Moving on with the other dishes that we tried, let's get on with the starters.
|Crab Head Gratin for 430Php|
The goodness of crab meat topped generously with melted cheese and saffron. So easy to like this one!
|Baby Squid and Garlic for 200Php|
Nothing fancy here. Just deep fried squid in a light and crunchy batter.
|Shrimp on the Rocks for 350Php|
Fresh shrimps cooked right in front of you in a container full of hot rocks! As soon as the fresh shrimps hit the rocks, a good aroma of fresh herbs will fill he room. Cover the container for a while and when you open it after several minutes, your herb infused shrimps are ready!
Then the PLATES ---
|Salted Egg Prawns for 550Php|
Shrimps covered with a salty but umamilicious salted egg, each piece was delicious!
|A closer look at these umamilicious coated shrimps!|
The shrimps were still juicy and had that nice bite PLUS they were peeled already! YAY! Very easy to enjoy.
|Blacked Tuna Loin for 375Php|
Another must not skip dish from Hook, is this! Premium fresh tuna with just the right thickness, garnished with jam and served with a sweet potato mash.
|A closer look at these pretty slices of fresh Tuna!|
Make sure that you got a good serving of the mash with your tuna because it's the best!
From the Rice and Noodles section of their menu, we tried the following ---
|Uni Udon for 450Php|
This is the kind of noodle that you will not be able to resist. If you haven't had Uni ever in your life, start with this. It's basically like your trusty Carbonara with all the creamy and delicious white sauce. But then again this one was made even better by the dollops of fresh Uni on top! Make sure to mix the Uni well into the Udon and enjoy! So much umamilicious-ness from this bowl!
|(Not) Paella for 750Php|
Trying not to be your usual Paella, this dish had a generous serving of seafood on top.
|A look at all the seafood on top!|
It was the not too dry and not too saucy type of Paella but IMO, it wasn't a stand out dish.
|Mr. Penguin for 420Php|
Towards the end of each meal, I always wish that if a restaurant must serve dessert, it should be a good one. I'm a sweet tooth and dessert is very important for me. It can make or break the entire dining experience. Good thing Hook has one killer dessert - Mr. Penguin!
Black & white cake served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, dark chocolate ganache that have been drizzled generously with truffle oil, garnished with saffron and finished off with caramel sauce. It was one heavenly dessert! The cake was moist and the truffle oil laced dark chocolate got me asking for more! Do not skip this especially if you are a chocolate lover!
Overall, it was one EPIC seafood feast! Definitely loved the ambiance and the food! Highly recommended place if you love fresh and clean sea food!
5 out of 5 Stars for Hook by Todd English!
--- Hook by Todd English: G/F Uptown Parade, 9th Ave. cor. 38th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
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