M A MO U
You say you want a revolution? Let me tell you the story of a restaurant revolution: the story of a tiny restaurant called Mamou. The restaurant’s opening was a big bang that reverberates to this very day. Inspired largely or in part by Mamou, hundreds of restaurants have opened in the past decade; many have prospered, but sadly, many have failed too. But for the one that, arguably, started it all? It shows no signs of stopping. It’s been drawing crowds ever since it opened back in 2006, and to this day, it’s still as popular.
Eleven years ago, most people still called the whole area now known as BGC as “The Fort”. There were still a lot of wide open spaces back then, it was a breezy district with very little traffic. A far-flung destination, actually. People were excited to venture forth and discover the rare and few delights it had to offer. A new mixed use commercial development on the edge of the former Fort Bonifacio had just opened. It was called Serendra. Not too long after, Malou Forés opened her establishment there, and the rest is culinary history.
Historic, because it led to the restaurant boom: the success of Mamou inspired many people with zero F&B experience or training to consider opening a restaurant of their own… it looked easy: comfort food, a cozy setting, an attentive staff. How hard could it be? Well, the answer, they soon found out, and as Mamou’s founder herself will tell you, it’s not easy at all. It never is. But in the case of her namesake restaurant, the stars aligned.
Maybe it was destiny or maybe it was luck or maybe it was a case of perfect timing. Maybe she’d found the ideal location. Got lucky with trustworthy suppliers. Blessed with a wonderful front of house led by her sister, Annie, and a skilled and loyal kitchen team. Or all of the above, and more. I’d call it serendipity, or more romantically, magic. Or to be more precise: a large part of Mamou’s overnight popularity was due to a most magical steak.