https://flic.kr/p/27rFRrL HACIENDA MANILA is a Mexican restaurant and bar by Steve Mills (of Don Papa fame) with food and recipes by Mexican Chef Francisco. Most people would go here for their margarita and guarantee of only serving 100% agave tequila. They say this former Casa Marcos corner location is a bit unlucky and people hate the Burgos circle because of the lack of parking options. Most people have never been to Mexico and understand what authentic Mexican food tastes like. I still have OAXACA on my foodie bucket list. The food here is more authentic and way cheaper than Chino MNL. Here’s what we think of Hacienda Manila… Hacienda Manila F121 Forbestown Road, Forbeswood Heights Retail, Bonifacio Global City Operating hours: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm daily Telephone: +632 625-4727 Email: email@example.com Facebook: hacienda comida y cocteles Instagram: @haciendamanila Website: http://haciendamanila.com First Things First https://flic.kr/p/27rGrn1 It’s noticeably a Mexican bar and a bit quiet during lunch time than at night. https://flic.kr/p/LrzH9H Hacienda Menu: Botanas, Especialidades de la Casa, Tacos, Postres | Margarita, Beer | Tequila y Mezcal Love the Mexican memorabilia and artistic designs from Mexico but I can’t easily relate to them. The main focus is on the starters and tacos, but they are not limited to them since they serve family style Mexican dishes. Botanas (starters) https://flic.kr/p/Lrz9oH Start with chips, dips, hot sauce and margarita. https://flic.kr/p/2975U2N Queso Fundido (₱345) melted blend of monterey jack cheese & chorizo served with housemade corn chips. Melted cheese and chorizo never fail to satisfy our taste buds. I like how they make their own corn chips that are crispy and a good bite. Best of all it’s cheaper than Chino MNL and the chips are included in the meal. https://flic.kr/p/2975STq Guacamole (₱250) served w/ house-made corn tortilla chips Best to order a dip of avocado guacamole and mix and match it with cheese. So yum! https://flic.kr/p/N56ME3 Best of all they serve 3 kinds of hot sauces when you request. This was our favorite hot sauce from Mexico and their own green hot sauce which is a bit sweet. https://flic.kr/p/2acARtF Camarones al Ajillo (₱395) shrimp tossed in Mexican Guajillo paste, spiced-garlic butter, and Mexican spices. This was our favorite gambas but cooked in butter instead of oil. https://flic.kr/p/2a8fCYW Dos Berries (₱295) reposado tequila, house-made strawberry & blackberry puree, fresh mint, lime juice Rache liked the signature cocktail made of berries and tequila but it was quite strong which you can feel after drinking it all. Tacos https://flic.kr/p/N56RiL Carnitas (₱165) slow roasted shredded pork I like a good taco like this with their house-made tortilla from mashed corn masa, flavorful shredded meat with the right spice. The usual Mexican taco meat choices are pork, chicken, fish and vegetarian — and usually no beef option. https://flic.kr/p/2acAFdv Pescado (₱175). fish Nice fish taco option lightly fried and manageable to eat. They only have fried fish options for their taco, and I missed the fresh fish options at Chino MNL. Especialidades de la Casa (house specials) https://flic.kr/p/N572Jq Plato de Carne Asada (₱460) pan-fried hanger steak, seasoned to perfection w/ authentic Mexican spices. served with rice & refried beans. A good family sharing plate for pulutan. The meat is actually a bit fried, dry, and not the quality you would expect in a steak. https://flic.kr/p/Lrzx2D Arroz con Chorizo y Camarones (₱315) traditional Mexican rice dish cooked with tomato, chorizo, and shrimp. It’s not a paella; it’s more of a mixed rice with sour tomato hints, some shrimp, and chorizo. We did not enjoy this. https://flic.kr/p/2a8fYZ7 Fideo (₱285). mexican-style baked pasta with chorizo A bit too authentic for our taste because it resembles spaghetti with a sour tomato sauce. Postres (desserts) https://flic.kr/p/2976o8N Tres Leches (₱150). traditional Mexican 3 milk cake. We love this dessert — soaked cake in 3 kinds of milk. It is not too sweet and you can enjoy eating it without feeling guilty. https://flic.kr/p/2976t5S Donas (₱125). “Mexican donuts” served with warm house-made chocolate sauce & dulce de leche Like churros but in donut holes form and best to dip in a mix of chocolate and dulce de leche sauce. It’s quite hot when served but this is the best time to eat it with sauces dripping. final thoughts https://flic.kr/p/2acAPtt Overall, we love the Mexican food and I do hope they stay true to their authentic Mexican concept and educate the market. You would see Mexicans patronizing the place at night which is a validation of their authenticity. Start with the corn chips dipped in queso fundido and guacamole with camarones al ajillo as pulutan. This goes well with a night of tequila shots and margaritas. Order the carnitas and pescado taco as your main. End with their traditional dessert of tres leches and donas. The Mexican style family dishes are a bit too authentic or they should have better options that are familiar. Order the plato de carne asada if you like a heavier main course than the taco. Budget about ₱800/head. Congratulations to Steve and team for successfully opening Hacienda Manila! Can’t help but to compare Chino MNL (Mexican Asian fusion) and Hacienda (Authentic Mexican) because their menu and concept are quite similar. They both take pride in serving 100% agave tequila and recently opened in BGC. Chino MNL has better food overall with the good quality of ingredients, attentive service, and awesome ambiance. It is so much expensive and the desserts are blah. If you are looking for impressive Mexican food this is the hottest new place in BGC. Hacienda is cheaper by half and they have good starters, tacos, and better desserts. The main family-style dishes need to be improved. If you are looking to have a good night out with good tacos with friends, then this is the place to be. I would argue that why choose when you can hop from one place to another. Start at Hacienda with corn chips in queso fundido and guacamole, camarones al ajillo and margarita. Then walk across Mind Museum and have your main meal at Chino’s with tacos, family sharing dishes, and off the menu daily specials. End the food trip with a dessert at M Bakery. Hacienda Manila F121 Forbestown Road, Forbeswood Heights Retail, Bonifacio Global City Operating hours: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm daily Telephone: +632 625-4727 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook: hacienda comida y cocteles Instagram: @haciendamanila Website: http://haciendamanila.com Live an Awesome Life, Founder, www.OurAwesomePlanet.com Disclosure: We paid for our meal. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions, and insights. P.S. Can’t wait for Mexican Chef Francisco to go back to Manila to showcase Mexican Cuisine!