What better way to spend late night jaunts til’ 3 am than at a coffee shop or perhaps while you finish that pitcher of Margarita.
“La Chinesca”, as known in Mexican history, gets its origin in the Chinatown neighborhood of Mexicali where that is the highest concentration of Chinese immigrants to date. They outnumber Mexican Nationals 10,000 to 700. The area which they occupy is called “Chinesca”. In Chinesca, it is common to see the Chinese try to preserve their Art, Food, and Culture thru festivities like calligraphy writing, movie showings, and food festivals. It is also a common sight to see the local restaurants adapt to the local tastes. This is perhaps the only area in Mexico where you can find Shark fin tacos, and a Chinese man wearing cowboy boots while having a burger and green tea.
The fusion of the East and South America is very evident in their food and culture. To bring this concept to light, Chef Bruce Rickett’s travelled to Mexico, the land of tacos, to learn more about the Mexican art of taco making. La Chinesca, is his passion project, to bring a bit of Mexico to home. I believe that this is what he tries to bring in his 19-seater restaurant in the middle of Aguirre St. in BF Homes, Paranaque. It’s very similar to his first restaurant Sensei, his initial venture into Japanese before the Mecha Uma and Ooma fame he has today.
It can be hard to find since there are no signages. Once you see Imbiss and Songkran it’s right across beside the organic place. Look for the wrestler sign and you know you’re near.
The space is quite small and can get loud when full. I recommend sitting by the window or by the bar so you can watch the chef in action. The walls are decorated with posters from different Hollywood films and icons from China, Mexico and some pop culture references that feature the taco.
Since we came early on a Sunday, there were still seats available.
Let’s get to the tacos. Once seated, they give you their menu where you simply tick off what you want. They then serve your their 3 sauces, the Salsa Roja, Chipotle, and Salsa Verde.
CARNE ASADA, 110 PHP
This taco with the hanging tender steak is quite similar to the steak they have at Sensei and Ooma. It then topped with esquites (a Mexican street food salad), creme and salsa. The steak is cooked very well, but I felt it lacked the texture of the usual taco I like. The flavors blended well together, but if you don’t eat it immediately it tends to crumble on your hand.
CARNITAS, 90 PHP
This taco had flavorful pork confit, bean puree, picked onions, roasted pineapple, and chicharon. This was very balanced in texture and flavor. The pork was well complimented by the sweetness of the pineapple, then tanginess of the pickled onions. The chicharon was a nice touch to add another dimension to the dish.
HUACHINANGO, 100 PHP
For their version of fish tacos, they use a battered snapper. The deep fried fish for me was a bit disappointing. Rather than a crisp batter, it seemed a bit soggier. The different sauces on the top complemented it well but lacking the texture we look for in fish tacos.
CAMARONCITO, 90 PHP
We’re not sure how I feel about this taco. The shrimp inside was fresh and delicious with the mozzarella, however, I didn’t like the small shrimp pieces they used to top it with the sesame leaf. It made the taste of the shrimp a little too fishy for my taste.
Insider Tip: We suggest you order one taco at a time, the soft tortilla crumbles after you add the sauce. It get’s a bit damp and the piece breaks. To enjoy the taco more, get it one by one, then eat while it’s hot.
La Chinesca throws away your typical notion of what a street taco is. In this true meeting of Eastern influences and South American taste, Chef Rickett’s combines both worlds in his use of ingredients and food preparation style. La Chinesca produces the bi-racial love child of China and Mexico with their unique tastes, textures, and combinations.
Call me old-fashioned, but we prefer the good old street taco with the grilled meats, chopped onions, and cilantro. But when we get a craving for something more refined we’ll find ourselves back in La Chinesca, and devour their unique tacos, guacamole, paired with a bottle of Corona.
- 248 Aguirre Ave., BF Homes
- Operating Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11am to 2pm; 5pm till we’re out
- Contact Number: +632 738-0724
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