There are only quite a few Mexican restaurants in Manila that can be considered good. The only three restaurants that come to mind whenever I have Mexican food cravings are Chilli’s, Mexicali and Tia Maria’s. I’m glad that there is a new Mexican restaurant in town that serves fresh and quality Mexican food. It’s called Ristras, and is the hottest Mexican place to be in Manila right now.
photo by @oddharmonic
Ristras refer to the “arrangements of drying chile pepper pods” (according to Wiki). It is done to preserve the chilis or can also be used as a design ornament. I am guessing that this is the reason why the restaurant was named as such: it gives hungry customers the Mexican imagery. 🙂
Ristras has a very simple menu. The difference between Ristras from other Mexican restaurants is that the food is prepared when you order them. The usual Mexican food such as burritos, fajita burritos, burrito bowl, quesadillas, tacos and salad are the ones that would require you to choose the ingredients. Their ingredients are fresh and slowly cooked to achieve ultimate Mexican flavor. They are all priced at Php 290 each. Sounds expensive right? That was the initial reaction but when I was seeing burrito being prepared, I realized that it can be shared by 2-3 people. We were initially 3 that will share the food so we warned our 2 friends who came later than us to just order 1 dish because we won’t be able to finish them.
If you would look at the photo above, the tortilla is about 15 inches long and heated using an iron thing (sorry don’t know what it’s called 😉 ). They will ask you the main ingredients in your burrito: rice and the meat filling. There are 2 choices for the rice, they have cilantro rice and chorizo brown rice. As for the meat filling, they have 5: chicken, steak, vegetarian, barbacoa (shredded beef with onion, chipotle, adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano) and carnitas (naturally raised pork seasoned with thyme, bay leaves, orange juice, cracked black pepper-seawood then braised for hours).
Burrito @ Php 290
We ordered 2 burritos. One burrito had cilantro rice with 1/2 carnitas, 1/2 barbacoa, different kinds of salsas and cheese. Based from the photo above, you can see that it’s packed with all the good stuff.
For our second burrito, it has chorizo brown rice, steak and all the usual burrito fillings. The steak was tender and was proportioned to the size of the burrito. We asked the person preparing the burrito to cut it into three because it was enormous.
Quesadillas @Php 290
We told our friends who were late to order the quesadillas so that we’ll have some variation. I was also surprised with the size of their quesadillas. It can be shared by 3-4 people. What I like about them is that they are not afraid to put a lot of salsas. I can assure you that every centavo is well spent on Ristras.
Nachos with 9 Layer Dip Sauce @ Php 275
The label “9 Layer” for the nachos got our attention (especially Karla’s 😉 ) so we ordered this one too. I asked the guy why it’s called as such, he said that it’s because it’s composed of 9 layers of Mexican salsas and fillings but since he noticed that we’re foodtripping there, he placed 11 layers. Aren’t the colors vibrant? They sure are and they nachos were perfect. This is a must try.
Aside from the burritos, tacos, quesadillas and fajitas, they also have soups, enchiladas and other Mexican dishes. They also have different kinds of Mexican beers. I had a bottle of Corona with lemon at that time.
Everything was perfect but the only problem is that they use styroplates and plastic utensils. I am not sure if they will make it permanent or maybe it’s because they just recently opened their restaurant to the public. I just hope that they would use real plates and silverwares to help lessen the garbage of Metro Manila. At least the plastic utensils they provided were durable 🙂 .
Food trippings in Ristras is a different kind of experience. While we’re there, we were all feeling giddy and overwhelmed about the food at the same time. I will definitely be back here.
*blogger’s note: I am craving for their burrito while I am blogging this. Oh gosh.