For one night only, Chef Elia Herrera, popularly known for joining Canada’s Top Chef competition, has taken over the kitchen of Hacienda Comida Y Cocteles, and dishes up traditional Mexican fares perfectly suited for the hot Manila weather, and the Lenten season.
Born Cordoba in Veracruz, Mexico, Chef Elia Herrera uses traditional recipes, & draws inspiration from her mother and granmother who are acclaimed chefs in Mexico. Their catering firm has delighted celebrities, presidents, and even the King of Spain.
Chef Elia studied at the Culinary Institute of Mexico, and has worked and trained as a chef in Spain, France, Belgium, and Italy. Chef Elia moved to Toronto in 2003, working in some of the most revered kitchen, before opening Colibri.
The meal started off with Papaloma, made with Don Papa Rum. The said drink (Paloma), contrary to popular belief, is the favored cocktail in Mexico over Margarita. Traditionally, this cocktail is made of Tequila, though a very good Rum was instead use, to give ode to the Philippines.
Next came a raw Chayote Salad, made with Tajin-blend spice & Orange gastric, served with Jicama, Green Apples, and Hibiscus. This salad works sort of an appetite opener for the heavy meal ahead.
Everyone’s favorite, Shrimp Coconut Ceviche, with Basil Oil, Red Onions, Jicama, and Ginger, has that perfect amount of savory, heat, and cream.
Another crowd fave is the Empanada de Tinga de Pollo. Tinga de Pollo is a dish composed of Shredded Chicken, Tomatoes, Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, and Onions. This was then enveloped in a freshly made corn tortilla wrapper, filled with Ricotta, served with Salsa Verde, Crema, and Pickled Onions. The balance of flavors, and textures in this very dish is outstanding.
A Mexican degustation will not be complete without a Taco, since we had this entering Holy Week, it is just logical to have a Fried Mahi Mahi Taco, Taco de Pescado a la Diabla. Again served with that perfectly made homemade Corn Tortilla, Enchilada Sauce, creamy Avocado Puree, and Pickled Vegetables. The heat from the Enchilada Sauce was perfectly tamed by the Avocado Puree, and Pickled Vegetables.
Our last main dish was Arroz a la Tumbada, a traditional Mexican dish composed of white rice, seafood, tomatoes, and red pepper.
For dessert, we enjoyed a light Churro served with a lightly flavored lemon Custard or Natilla.
Hacienda Comida Y Cocteles
Unit F121 Forbes Town Road, Forbes Wood Heights Retail, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, 1634 Metro Manila
Contact Number: (02) 625 4727
Operating Hours: 11:00AM to 12:00AM
It was indeed a meal to remember, cooked by an acclaimed chef, Chef Elia Herrera, and served in my opinion, the best Mexican restau in Manila, Hacienda Comida Y Cocteles.
Nathaniel C. Uy