OMG at Todd English Food Hall

Have you ever felt like you were living under a rock or experiencing life through other people’s online photos?  That’s how I felt when yesterday on ASEAN holiday, I met up with my friend, Cielo, who recommended  lunch at Todd English Food Hall, SM Aura; this opened in the first quarter of 2014! (English is the chef’s name, not his nationality.) But as sometimes happens to moms and entrepreneurs or to you when your hands are full, we just have to drool while we watch others enjoy life and wait for holidays such as this! 🙂

img_2372-1Cielo and I had Caesar Salad, Lobster Tempura Dynamite Roll, Fried Baby Oyster, and 24-hour Brined Half Chicken.

After our mains, I took a quick round of photos of the chic and smart restaurant interiors and the staff at work, taking advantage of the lunch crowd having just left.

I met the tall and handsome Executive Chef, Carlo Miguel.

“Have you ordered dessert yet?” he asked.

“I asked my friend to surprise me with what she will order,” I replied.

“You have to try the OMG,” he quickly said.

“Oh my goodness, the name sounds good already!” I was convinced! I told him his name sounds very familiar and when he mentioned his other restaurants (Black Olive, Draft, and Microbrewery), I said, “Oh, you’re the one who created my favorite Squid Ink Paella and Salpicao at Black Olive, Capitol Commons.”

“I’m actually selling my shares from those bar concepts. From a culinary point of view, it makes more sense that I work in a restaurant group rather than a bar group,” he explained.

So if you are on the market for a food/ bar business, here’s an opportunity! [Shared with Chef Carlo’s permission.]

Then back at our table, Cielo said she couldn’t decide what to order! So OMG it was!  Presenting our death by (yummy) chocolate, the OMG:

OMG: Lava Cake, silky pudding, cereal crumble, chocolate gelato

As Cielo and I inhaled and savored multiple layers, textures, temperatures, and forms of deconstructed chocolate in one generous, happy bowl, we got to also inhale and savor the multiple layers of God’s goodness in our lives.

Cielo talked about her favorite verse:


Be still and know that I am God (Ps 46:10a).I always have to remind myself that God is in charge and that He loves me so much; He will always take care of me and because He is my God, then He knows everything and I don’t have to be anxious because that insults Him. He is, after all, God and He knows what’s good for me.  

I’m a control freak. I want to be in control; more so before. That’s why I was anxious. Now? I still become nervous and anxious; that’s why I have to keep reminding myself to be still and know that He is God. 

Cielo remembers the exact date when she joined our Bible Study: Wednesday, March 22, 2006. We were Wednesday Ladies.

“How does bible reading affect your life?” I asked her. “Oh Karen, I cannot imagine surviving the past decade of my life without bible study!” 

“Did you have reservations at first before you started studying the bible?”
“Yes…When Lorna Tabuena invited me to the women’s bible study, I remember saying ” I will attend when I am ready.” [meaning I did not want to at the time.]”

“What made you open to learning it?”
“The circumstances in my life were such that I was done trying my own ideas. I was ready to hear what God had to say.  The next time Lorna invited me, not only was I ready …it was a Divine appointment, I believe!”

“What was that process like, learning the bible?”
“I was called (Divine appointment, remember?) to study the Word during the start of the book of James… I remember almost falling from my chair when the I came across  these verses: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.’  I guess it was the Lord’s way of making it interesting for me… and also very relevant to that chapter of my life.”

Cielo and I have been trained.  And so we have a common daily appreciation for The Word!  My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees (Ps. 119:71)

Before I came to know the unlimited, sumptuous fare from God’s Word that truly fills the depths of hearts, I was living under a rock.  For a concert or a good sale or chitchat with friends, I could make myself ready, but not for a bible study. Yawn… Boring…I have better things to do… Maybe next time! Lord don’t make her invite me again because I’m embarrassed to come up with another excuse!

Yet, thank God for the foreplay of trials that made me ripe and ready to listen. I looked at the ladies from bible study and they were blooming, radiant, joyful, fun, laughter-filled. Even if they had trials themselves. Drool…

So I tried and I tried [tune of I Can’t Get No Satisfaction] and ended up loving bible study and doing my own quiet time at home where God just knocked my socks off when He would lead me to verses that literally answered my very questions. Over and over and over again. Hello? You mean You’re there at the other end of the line? No party line? No secretary? [Not because I’m good. I’m not. But because He is good. He knows I need remedial classes so when I seek Him, maybe He wants to talk to me more.] What can I say, I’m hooked. Hence, from living under a rock, I have been living under The Rock who just keeps giving me reason to exclaim Oh My God, you are faithful!

p.s. [The thought hovered over my head that I wasn’t helping honor God’s name with the OMG. Sorry, Lord, You know I respect You. I don’t want to take Your name in vain. That was the dessert’s name.]

My beautiful inside and out friend, Cielo.

[Cielo’s sharing is with her permission, too :)]

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