The best part about doing what you love is that it hardly ever feels like work. Sure, there are long hours, deadlines, and hectic schedules—but for The Moment Group, their motto definitely isn’t ‘all work and no play.’ Aside from opening their unique take on the office canteen, Mess Hall, to the public, they’ve recently gone the extra mile with Test Kitchen.
Inside a sleek building tucked away in Karrivin Plaza, you’ll find The Moment Group’s headquarters—a.k.a the Moplex—housing a team of collaborative individuals who are just as sharp and innovative as the impressive pool of restaurants that they’ve generously blessed Manila’s collective taste buds with.
Abba Napa, one of TMG’s founding partners, shares that moving into this spacious HQ is what led them to decide to get everything done under one roof. The Test Kitchen was initially the space meant for special Research and Development work. Eventually, TMG began holding their own private dinners here, which led Napa to then ask herself: why limit all this to just us?
So Abba along with founding partners, Eliza Antonino and Jon Syjuco, decided to throw their doors wide open and let friends and family use the space to hold their own private gatherings—fully catered by TMG, of course.
During one of their most recent private events, TMG hosted an exclusive pop-up series with Trophée Espoir of Ile de France 2015 winner, Aaron Isip. Intimate, one-of-a-kind dining experiences like these are exactly what Abba envisioned for the space, and she imagines that future “restaurant concepts might even sow their seeds here.”
In true TMG style, the Test Kitchen itself was fashioned for just these sorts of casual, fine dining experiences. Abba admits that as a whole, the team isn’t too fond of the pompous, formal dining scene because, well, it just isn’t their style. To help them build the right atmosphere, they carefully selected stoneware dishes, marble countertops, structural wooden seats, and soft yellow lighting to complete the Test Kitchen‘s casual cool interiors.
Abba says that in everything that they do, it’s important for the group to find a reflection of their own personal histories, making it highly personal with each new project that they develop—including Test Kitchen. This communal identity is also what helped shape the role of both the Mess Hall and Test Kitchen, which aim to not only bring their internal teams together, but also help them connect with their local community and surrounding neighborhood.
Ultimately, the Moment Group likes to think of Test Kitchen as their very own “playground at home base, where creative culinary happenings—whether big or small—are definitely abound.”
Photos from The Moment Group and Renzo Navarro
Special thanks to Maita Quesada and Margaux Antonio
TEST KITCHEN IS LOCATED AT 2316 KARRIVING PLAZA, PASONG TAMO EXTENSION IN MAKATI CITY. VISIT THE MOMENT GROUP‘S WEBSITE AT MOMENTGROUP.PH AND FOLLOW THEM ON INSTAGRAM AT @THEMOPLEX.