FINDING  NEMO  AND  'SEX  AND  THE  CITY'  AT  SERENDRA

MANILA, OCTOBER 18, 2006 (STAR) By The Star Lifestyle Staff - The word "intimate" is not the first adjective that comes to mind when thinking of a retail complex. But that’s exactly what The Shops at Serendra represents – an intimate, laid-back space that complements the suburban lifestyle of the Serendra development in Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

One Thursday morning, the Lifestyle staff of The Philippine STAR went to check out the restaurants that are already open. Lifestyle editor Millet Mananquil, assistant editors Tanya T. Lara and Therese Jamora-Garceau, sub-editors Joseph Cortes and Kathy Moran, and columnists Lucy Torres-Gomez and Letty Lopez are all certified foodies – and very opinionated ones at that.

From table to table, from restaurant to restaurant, the progressive lunch became one cheerful party as the Lifestyle staff was led by executives from the Ayala Malls Group led by Rowena Tomeldan, VP and deputy head; Cathy Bengzon, division manager; and CJ Jesena, senior division manager.

CJ Jesena says the retail complex will have only 88 merchants. "We promise a place that is cozy, intimate and relaxing. And how do you do that? With authentic and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants set in an environment with water and lighting features."

With its cobblestone walkways and architecture that blends the feel of a small town square and a concrete city park, the complex was inspired by the quaint and charming neighborhoods of Soho, Melrose Place, Chelsea, Santana Row and San Jose. The restaurants were handpicked by the Ayala Malls Group, which chose proposals for retail concepts and restaurants that are either unique or already have a loyal following in previously out-of-the way places.

The Shops at Serendra is literally right outside Serendra One’s doors and in the middle of the shopping section of BGC, anchored by Market! Market! After our progressive lunch that started at Gaudi, then Fez, Tatami, Polu Kai, Cupcakes by Sonja, and Mary Grace, the Lifestyle group came to three conclusions: one is that there is no such thing as a "sampling" lunch – Filipino restaurant owners will overfeed anyone that comes through their doors; two, when going to The Shops at Serendra, make sure you wear baggy clothes; and three, food is best enjoyed with great company.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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