CHINO Manila-56.jpg

Chino Manila is a Modern Mexican Japanese restaurant by Filipino American Chef Erik Idos. It is the second branch of the Asian Mexican fusion restaurant originally from Hong Kong, popular among Filipinos traveling to the city. The name is Mexican slang for people of Asian descent.

The Manila menu is almost similar to that of Hong Kong but with unique specialties based on local produce. Most people agree that it is quite good, befitting its One Bonifacio High, BGC location. What’s more, you don’t have to travel to Hong Kong to enjoy it.

However, most people also say that it is a bit expensive given its portion sizes. We tried it for the first time, and here’s what we think…

chino manila
ground floor one bonifacio high, bonifacio global city
mobile: +63 917 142 0588
operating hours: 6:00 pm – 12:00 am
email: [email protected]
website: http://www.chinorestaurant.com

note: closed mondays! tuesdays to sundays from 6 pm to midnight. no reservations, walk-ins only.

 

first things first

CHINO Manila-57.jpg

chino manila menu / starters, chips & dips, tacos, tostadas, others, familia / desserts
chino manila drinks
/ wine, cocktails, beer / highballs, beverages

Love the high ceiling, open feel with an industrial chic ambiance and geometric lines accented by a green glow.

They don’t accept reservations but it’s easier to walk in these days.  It is regarded as a fine casual restaurant with a high seating bar set-up and a good place to hang out with friends.

 

starters

CHINO Manila-12.jpg

market fish ceviche / citrus dayap / cashews // 595

The fish was fresh and cured on a bed of dayap sauce with cashew nut to refresh the palate with every bite.

This was highly recommended and did not disappoint. We wished we had bread to wipe the sauce off the plate. Good to share for starters.

CHINO Manila-8.jpg

blue corn chips // ₱175 with chorizo queso fundido // ₱445

Deliciously cheesy with good salty slices of chorizo to complement the dip.

Take note that the chips are charged separately and I regreted not ordering the guacamole.

CHINO Manila-9.jpg

chipiña / suntory whisky, pineapple, lemon // ₱350

The cocktails were surprisingly good. This was a pleaser with a sweet whisky lemon drink accented by Mexican Tajin spice.

CHINO Manila-33.jpg

If you mention that you’ve been to the Hong Kong place, they’ll welcome you with a shot of ocho blanco 100% agave tequila.

CHINO Manila-34.jpg

It’s also a thank you toast for choosing the resto, at the same time serving as an aperitif to prepare for the meal.

 

tacos

Tacos are the highlight of the meal, served in tostado or soft taco which you can eat in 2-3 bites.

CHINO Manila-15.jpg

white fish / pickled wasabi // ₱345

This was our favorite. Talakitok with pieces of nori, nuts and flavors of pickled wasabi.

CHINO Manila-25.jpg

The taco is packed with as much fish as they can fit it in and just perfect with a squeeze of lemon.

CHINO Manila-16.jpg

goat barbacoa / arbol miso / sesame // 195

A bit disappointing. It’s like caldereta with shredded goat meat taco.

CHINO Manila-39.jpg

I like my taco with added chili sauce. Don’t forget to ask for it.

CHINO Manila-18.jpg

tuna poke / yuzu miso // 345

Diced raw tuna topped with thin slices of avocado, fried garlic. It’s good but you can get a bigger bowl version for its price.

CHINO Manila-20.jpg

mushroom / black bean / queso // ₱225

A vegetarian mushroom-based taco that I would love to eat but a bit messy with mushrooms flying around when you bite it.

CHINO Manila-27.jpg

chicken al pastor // ₱195

Don’t forget to ask for the off-menu specials for the day like this chicken ala shawarma taco.

CHINO Manila-22.jpg

margarita / cazadores reposado, yuzushu, lime // ₱380
jabaranks / reposado, grapefruit, kaffir lime leaves, chile // ₱420

Because of our good impression with the chipiña, the ladies were encouraged to order their own cocktails.

Our friend Maong loved her sweet jabaranks cocktail paired with the tacos.

CHINO Manila-28.jpg

wagyu beef / guacamole / pickled jalapeño // ₱285

So good that I didn’t want to share it. I stretched it up to 4 parts and savored each and every bite. 🙂

CHINO Manila-30.jpg

crispy fish / chipotle kewpie / salsa fresca // ₱245

After all the fresh raw seafood we’ve tasted, eating fried fish taco was not appealing anymore.

 

for sharing

CHINO Manila-43.jpg

clams / chorizo / aji amarillo // ₱780

Loved the fresh taste of the clams and enjoyed slurping the clam juice off the shell. The chorizo’s salty contrast was nice in between bites of the clam.

I wished we ordered rice or extra serving of bread to wipe the sauce off the pan.

 

desserts

CHINO Manila-47.jpg

thai tea tres leches / fresh crema // ₱300

A Thai milk twist to the Mexican tres leches classic with cereals on top.

We unanimously did not like it but did not mind finishing it.

CHINO Manila-50.jpg

adzuki brownie / dark chocolate cremoso / milo ice cream // ₱350

A better dessert to end, like a milo dinosaur chocolate version.

M Bakery

Good thing M Bakery was open beside it to save us from dessert disappointment.

 

final thoughts

CHINO Manila-52.jpg

Congratulations to Chef Erik Idos and Manila partner Dom Hernandez for the successful opening of Chino in Manila!

CHINO Manila-17.jpg

Overall, we enjoyed our first Chino experience with Maong and Caryl. It was a perfect place to meet up with friends who appreciate good food and cocktails.

We would recommend you start with the market fish ceviche and blue corn chips with chorizo queso fundido to share. It would be nice to dine here with more friends so that you can order additional guacamole dip.

For tacos, we would recommend the white fish tostada, wagyu beef soft taco and whatever is their off-menu special taco for the day. Order the clams and chorizo for sharing. We regreted not ordering the chorizo fried rice to pair with this.

CHINO Manila-1.jpg

Budget about ₱1,500/head for the full experience—starters, cocktails and tacos (skip the desserts). It’s good value considering the quality of the ingredients, cocktails, attentive service and cozy ambiance for bonding. The tacos were a hit and miss, so make sure to order the good ones.

chino manila
ground floor one bonifacio high, bonifacio global city
mobile: +63 917 142 0588
operating hours: 6:00 pm – 12:00 am
email: [email protected]
website: http://www.chinorestaurant.com

note: closed mondays! tuesdays to sundays from 6 pm to midnight. no reservations, walk-ins only.

 

Live an Awesome Life,
Anton
Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com 

Disclosure: We paid for our meal—thank you Caryl!  I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.

P.S. Nice touch serving these mini-chiclets to freshen your mouth for the kissing later on.

CHINO Manila-53.jpg