Last night, foodies from all over the South found themselves trooping to a simple white tent located on what was previously a old empty lot. Why? Because finally, the long awaited Soderno @ Molito finally opened its doors. Or tent flaps, rather. This large, white tent is now home to a selection of home-based food vendors and rising new food brands.
Sister to the much talked about Mercato Centrale and Midnight Mercato, Soderno aims to duplicate the same success in the South. And it’s about time, I say. Finally, there is no need to drive to Makati’s Salcedo and Legaspi weekend markets or Bonifacio Global City’s Mercato.
Patterned after Mercato Centrale, Soderno @ Molito has two incarnations. An evening food bazaar that operates on Friday and Saturday nights, from 6pm to 3am. On Saturdays and Sundays, from 7am to 4pm, the tent transforms into a market featuring organic goods, arts and crafts and fashion stalls.
Filled with excitement for opening night, we headed out to try the night food bazaar. Soderno @ Molito offers a good variety of food vendors. They have standard street food offerings like barbecue, isaw and fried dumplings. There are fast food offerings like nachos and hamburgers. Rice meals are also available, from Pinoy favorites like inihaw na liempo to American classics like roast beef. Novelty dishes like bite-sized tacos served in egg cartons also proved to be popular.
Diners should remember that this is a specialty food bazaar. As such, prices aren’t as cheap as a mall food court, but nevertheless, there are a lot of reasonably priced offerings.
As expected on opening day, there are still things that need to be ironed out. Some vendors were bemoaning the lack of electricity, they couldn’t cook therefore had nothing to sell. There were a lot of industrial fans in the al fresco area but were turned off, probably due to electrical supply issues. Parts of the tent had a tendency for smoke build-up, needing a better exhaust system, or perhaps a dedicated outdoor grilling area. A number of vendors, probably not expecting the large turnout, ran out of merchandise as early as 8pm.
More tables and seats would be ideal. Sharing tables is fine–we actually enjoyed the company of a young family we shared with–but I could hear snarky comments about the lack of seating from people who were standing. Kudos to the Soderno servers though. They were forever milling about with trash bags, ready to clear the tables clean.
Despite the opening day issues, Soderno @ Molito holds a lot of promise. The extended community feel is definitely alluring. In fact, stopping by here can easily be a part of a South family’s weekend. I definitely know I’ll be back on future weekends,
stuffing my face on the lookout for new things to eat. Here’s to Soderno @ Molito and the sincere hope that it shapes up to be the weekend market the South has been waiting for.