Spoiled for choice at SM Aura’s Food on Four

SM Supermalls’ president Steven Tan, Ana Antonio, SM’s Carol Sy and Le Chon Prime’s Happy Ongpauco-Tiu at the launch of the newly spruced up Food on Four at SM Aura.

There are several new food outlets at the transformed Food on Four but one that’s particularly making mouths water is chef Chele Gonzalez’s Deli by Chele. 

On a recent visit to the food hall on SM Aura’s fourth floor, we chanced upon Cyril Addison who, along with chef Carlos Villaflor, is a partner of Chele Gonzalez in Deli by Chele. The fact that Gonzalez is behind the Deli’s concept virtually guarantees that what is served is not your ordinary food court fare. 

To recall, Gonzalez is the Spanish chef from the gastronomically rich region of Cantabria on the northern coast of Spain who came to the Philippines a decade ago and went on to do his share in elevating Philippine cuisine through his Gallery (originally Gallery Vask). 

Addison relates that the more accessible Deli by Chele was started by Gonzalez as an online store in December 2020. “We started expanding into small kiosks, putting up our first brick-and-mortar in Rockwell, and then our flagship store at Podium, then a third one in Magnolia Robinsons,” Addison said. “This is our fourth,” he added, referring to Deli by Chele’s newest location at Food on Four. 


Fans of New York-style deli sandwiches a la Katz’s Deli — those with a passion for good eating period — could get delirious about the food on offer at Deli by Chele. “What we have in the Deli is basically an all-day dining and breakfast New York-style sandwich shop and everything served in the Deli are made in our commissary — sourdough bread, the brisket pastrami, the sauces, along with the ingredients that go into chef Carlos Villaflor’s Filipino flavor all-day dining rice bowls including the Deli signature tapa, crispy bacon on pastrami fried rice, Deli corned beef on garlic rice and Longganisa Pattie on garlic rice as well. 

To be sure, Gonzalez and partners’ Deli by Chele are not the only scrumptious come-ons at SM Aura’s Food on Four. 

Before the sprucing up of Food on Four, there had been at least four tenants including Sizzling Plate and Pepper Lunch on Food on Four. However, according to Joaquin “Jonjon” San Agustin, senior vice president for marketing for SM Supermalls, “now we have new tenants but what’s really nice is that there was a whole architecture done to the place, a better feel in terms of experience for our customers.”


San Agustin walked us through a better lit, refreshed-by-greenery Food on Four, with a sleeker, higher-end-looking modern interiors with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a central skylight brightening up the hall. “Look,” he said, “we even have a play station for the kids, a green wall at one end of the hall and even outside seating. So basically, it’s a place where one can bring the whole family, or where people could come and hang after work, enjoy the food and just being here.”

Other than Deli by Chele, we found ourselves likewise drawn to the counter displaying self-taught French pastry chef and chocolatier Kevin Ong’s eponymous Kevin Ong Patisserie. Here, you’ll find sweet delicious gems: exquisitely handcrafted chocolate bonbons, choux pastries, mirror-glazed mousse cakes, among many others. 

Indeed, food lovers are spoiled for choice with Food On Four’s well-curated mix of tenants serving cuisine catering to every craving and palate, from chef-driven concepts like Deli by Chele to exciting new players like Japanese chef Yoshiaki Kudo’s Nadai Fujisoba’s casual Japanese dining specializing in authentic soba noodles; Le Chon Prime by chef Happy Ongpauco Tiu who incorporated French techniques and flavors to the beloved dish, lechon; US-based hamburger-serving Bored & Hungry which is famous for its smashed patties; Teakha, with its delectable freshly crafted dim sums and other Chinese comfort food; and Delimondo Cafe with chef Hermogenes Hernandez’s pastas, rice bowls and other comfort food.  

Soon to open is Diggy’s California Style Pizza, headed by chef Carlos Garcia with 14 years of cooking experience at Michelin-star restaurants in Madrid and London.


There too are returning favorites Cinnabon, Frankie’s New York Buffalo Wings, Pepper Lunch Express, Puffy’s Souffle Pancakes, Sizzling Plate and Sushi Nori.

Certain to perk up appetites are soon-to-open tenants including Shinjuku, Tokyo-based Saboten Express, one of Japan’s largest tonkatsu chains, serving toothsome cutlets of pork, chicken and seafood. 

There is anticipation also for the start of operations of Pronto, an on-the-go food retail concept specializing in a range of epicurean dishes and wholesome meals, with a retail row offering a curated selection of gourmand finds, wines, preserved goods, truffle snacks and more. Pronto’s SM Aura branch will be the first in the market. 

Also opening its first branch at Food on Four is Malabar, which is set to revolutionize traditional beverage offerings with its unique and innovative take on both cocktails and non-alcoholic options. 

Indeed, whether one is craving classic comfort food or hankering for exciting new flavors to tickle one’s palate, there’s much to discover and savor in this culinary haven up here on SM Aura’s fourth floor.