June 25, 2019
After-dinner sweet thrills
Punctuate the perfect night with a sugar rush.
Are we talking about Chino enough?
A year into operations and it seems that the incredibly cool Hong Kong transfer in One Bonifacio is finally easing into a comfortable pace, slinging katsu sandos and soft shell crab tacos at diners, all of them incredibly well-dressed and only slightly drunk on a combination of mirth and mezcal.
Even on the day of their birthday festivities, there was an easy air to the space, the laughter — boisterous and slick with alcohol — bouncing off the concrete walls with such freedom and abandon that it seemed almost as much part of the place as was the restaurant’s impressive array of Mexican liquor stowed behind the bar.
So it makes an awful lot of sense that Chino is steadily inching its way to be the talk of the town.
It is that rare place that understands exactly what makes for terrific drinking food without having to revert to the gastropub clichés from ten years ago.
Here, in place of German craft beer served with house-made nachos you will find slinky glasses topped up with incredibly drinkable Japanese ales or herbaceous mezcal tinctures matched with scallop tostadas draped with briny uni, and golden crisp corn fritters dusted with a snow of cotija cheese.
And as soon as the Cazadores Highballs begin to kick in, diners here find themselves presented with tortas and tacos so heavily laden with flavor it might just knock some sense back into them.
Who, in their right mind, would not talk about the unrelenting joys of a lobster taco laced with chilies or an absurdly crisp chicken cutlet doused in kewpie mayo and squished between slices of tender milk bread? And who would deny themselves the pleasure of having a slice of some of the best tres leches cake (doused in milk tea, just barely sweetened) that this city has ever seen?
After a night of such incredible food and merrymaking, though, all you might want to do is bring a couple of friends over to Chino to help them see what all the ruckus is really all about.
CHINO MNL is located at the ground floor of One Bonifacio High in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.