175 – On A Retrospective: Makansutra Hawkers, SM Megamall

(AUTHOR’S NOTE: This establishment is already defunct; thus, its original address was never indicated in this entry.)

The island nation of Singapore is known for its diverse cuisine, influenced by the different cultures making up its society. From laksa and Hainanese chicken rice, fish head curry and roti canai, to chendol and teh tarik—the Lion City’s culinary palette leaves one hankering for more. Travelers and locals alike agree that the best way to enjoy Singaporean cuisine is at hawker centres, where different culinary specialties are gathered under one roof and sold at pocket-friendly prices.

Entrepreneur KF Seetoh decided to bring these hawker centres here in the Philippines, seeing that this country and his homeland shared a common love for street food. Through the World Street Food Congress, Seetoh introduced new and unfamiliar dishes to a larger Filipino audience. Some time after, he took the idea a step further – opening up Makansutra Hawkers at a far corner of SM Megamall’s Building A. Makansutra Hawkers gathers Singaporean purveyors under one roof, akin to a legitimate hawker centre. KF Seetoh is no stranger to hawker centres; he was also the big man behind Makansutra in Gluttons Bay – which remains operational. He partnered with a few names in the local dining scene to make Makansutra Hawkers possible. Do note, however, that Seetoh had previously opened an earlier version of the hawker centre (Makansutra Asian Food Village) at the Manila Ocean Park prior to this one.

CJ and I have been to Makansutra Hawkers for a number of times now, always leaving with full bellies and happy faces. A minimum order here will set you back around P200 to P300 – and that’s already good for sharing! (If you have a large appetite like me, that amount is enough for one heavy meal.) Besides, dining in actual hawker centres would cost you around that much (if converted to Singapore dollars). I would usually have dinner here after a long walk from Eastwood City, and I think it’s money well spent. No need to book a ticket for an international flight!

Sadly, Makansutra would not last long. It eventually closed down a year after it opened to much pomp. The closure apparently stems from “unresolved issues” with its local licensee partner, according to their official statement on Facebook (now deleted, unfortunately.) It doesn’t help either that some of their suppliers are demanding they pay up as soon as possible—as seen in some of the comments. I was supposed to come back here one last time for two main reasons: to try out their martabak manis (Indonesian sweet pancake) and to take pictures of their interiors.

Given the establishment’s untimely closure, I offer my most sincere apologies if this entry does not have any pictures of the dining area. I’ll try my best to describe it, just to make up for that loss. Makansutra’s interiors are a nod to hawker centres with a touch of industrial elements. The space itself can accommodate around 100 diners, with a dedicated function room (closed off for most of the time) allocated for private celebrations. Makansutra also has washrooms within the establishment so that diners need not leave the premises. Furthermore, they also had a corner for mini games where diners can play and win free drinks.

On a side note, permit me to rant as this needs to get off my chest.

I tried reaching out to a few bloggers who had pictures of Makansutra’s interiors asking for permission to use their images for this entry. They already wrote about the place before; it wouldn’t hurt to ask permission instead of simply grabbing images right away, yes? Sadly, I received no replies from them after more than a week. Even a direct message on their respective Instagram accounts yielded none. Out of frustration and disappointment, I just sent a follow-up e-mail stating that I already found other suitable images and thanking them for their time to read my initial message. In reality, it’s stupid and pointless to offer a collaboration with other bloggers when I get nary a single damn reply.

Thus, I learned my lesson: if you’re a regular blogger who doesn’t sell out to marketing companies, if you’re not a so-called “influencer”, if you don’t have any money to pay bloggers for just a few damn pictures, people won’t even bat an eyelash when you ask for something. Don’t bother sending them messages either; it’s a waste of time for you since you won’t expect anything, and it’s a waste of time for them since they consider a regular blogger who only knows proper image crediting as beneath them.

I’d like to end this entry on a positive note: despite Makansutra Hawkers’ closure, upper management has reassured that they will be re-opening in a different location—once the kerfuffle they’re involved in gets ironed out. I’m among those hoping for their return.

Until the next post.


7 thoughts on “175 – On A Retrospective: Makansutra Hawkers, SM Megamall

  1. Makansutra, for me, looks like a food park inside the mall. It’s sad to know about what happened. Hindi ko pa ‘to nakakainan. But hoping success to their next establishment.

    • Not to mention that it offered a variety of cuisines in one establishment – and the servings are good for sharing too.

      Indeed, sana nga wala nang sabit pag nagbukas sila in a different location. 🙂

  2. I only ate here once. di ko pa nga nabblog sa sobrang kabusy-han. tapos nagsara na sya 😦

    sana kasi hindi sya sa mall ipinwesto. alam mo naman si SM. tsssskkkk.

    medyo mahal din kasi price levels nila pero masarap naman food. sana magrelocate talaga sila. abangan ko yun. at oo nga, sana wala nang sabit hehe

    • If you ask me though, Makansutra’s location in the mall was a good thing. Every time na kumain ako doon, hindi ako amoy-ulam afterwards (compared to other outdoor-based establishments). Walang problema sa akin kung outdoor siya, as long as the new spot is clean just like hawker centres in SG and maayos yung banyo.

      Makansutra’s only downside would be going to their actual place (dulo siya ng Mega A), far from the areas that have a lot of foot traffic such as Fashion Hall and Mega B.

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