Chino is a modern Mexican restaurant from Hong Kong helmed by Chef Erik Idos, a restaurant I’ve had on my must eat list for a while but never got around to. Chef Erik used to work for Nobu and this influence can be readily seen in the Japanese flavors and ingredients in many of their dishes. Chino Manila is not a franchise but is a branch owned by Chef Erik and local partners. He visits Manila regularly to keep things humming along.
They opened June 2018 and have fine tuned their menu and adjusted their prices to cater to the Filipino diners love for more substantial fare.
We tried out their new set of lunch plates coinciding with their new lunch service. We also tried a few of their ala carte dishes which are available during lunch and dinner services.
Tiayuda (P330). We started lunch with this popular Oaxacan street food. A large toasted tortilla covered with a layer of bean paste then topped with crushed chorizo, roasted salsa, cotija and fresh avocado slices. Squeeze some lime before cutting it up and sharing with your dining companions and enjoy the flavor bomb.
Kataifi Shrimps (P645). A lettuce taco of sorts featuring a baked kataifi (shredded phyllo dough) wrapped shrimp topped with jicama salsa and drizzled in spicy Kewpie mayo. You just wrap the lettuce around before putting the”taco” in your mouth and get the cool and hot contrast with crisp crunch from the jicama and the kataifi.
Chicken Al Pastor Lunch Plate (P400). This is a hefty lunch plate option, served with garlic rice and grilled corn salsa, slaw and tortillas. The chicken is marinated in pineapple, dried chilies and spices before being grilled. The pineapple gave it a sweet tangy flavor that was enhanced by the smokiness from grilling. Lots of fun ways to tackle this plate, you can eat everything with the rice or make small soft tacos with the chicken, spicy kewpie slaw, sweet smoky grilled corn salsa.
Taco Salad (P250). The cheapest item on the lunch menu might be this pretty and crispy taco bowl filled with cabbage, pickled green mangoes, mixed grains, cotija cheese and drizzled with chipotle vinaigrette. You can a piece of grilled chicken breast for P125. I actually felt it did not even need the chicken breast to be a delicious yet light lunch option and priced almost similar to Salad Stop.
Other lunch options are Achiote Marinated Chicken Breast (P350), Fried Mahi-mahi (P400), Soy Braised Pork Belly (P380), plus 3 burrito variants (P300-450). You can also add P80 for a beverage (Lemongrass Calamansi Iced Tea, Mango Iced Tea or Calamansi Lemonade)
Their rocking bar crew whips up a lot of interesting cocktails
Got to try 3 of their tacos also, Goat Barbacoa (P195), Grilled Shrimp (P225) and Wagyu Beef (P250). My favorite among the 3 was the Grilled shrimp with comes with the nutty Salsa macho and lightly spicy guacamole. Their tacos are pricier than most but they use premium ingredients to assemble each one.
Crab Fat and Roasted Bone Marrow Rice (P950). Chef Erik recently thought up this indulgent item exclusive to the Manila branch. Hot rice with crab fat, spring onions, ginger and a piece of roasted bone marrow you can scoop into the rice before mixing and enjoying. This should pair well with their extensive line of cocktails.
Thai Tea Tres Leches (P300). For dessert I really enjoyed the unique take on tres leches. Thai tea is added to condensed, evaporated and fresh milk to create a great dessert. Sweetness was just right and fun contrast of texture with the soft sponge cake against the crisp rice pops.
The lunch menu is available from Tuesday to Saturday from 11am to 3pm while a special brunch menu is available during Sundays from 12 to 8pm.
Chino ManilaG/F One Bonifacio High Street Mall
28th Street, Bonifacio Global City
Contact No: (63917) 142-0588
*Closed on Mondays*
Facebook Page: Chino Manila
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