There are only a few places where I can have my Mexican food fest here in Manila. I wish there could be more options to choose from but only a few made it to my list. Because there are only a few Mexican restaurants here in Manila, I believe that the competition is stiff. If you’re a new player in the market, you have to give your customers a different kind of experience. Actually, this is what I have experienced with Jalapeño Cantina Mexicana, the newest Mexican restaurant in town.
At the Second Floor of Jalapeño
Jalapeño is a small restaurant located in Food Street at the Ortigas Home Depot. The Food Street is known as a drinking joint rather than having good meals. Most restaurants there open in the evening and closes at around 3 am.
The restaurant was opened only last April and they have not even done any marketing strategies yet. People who come to their restaurant go there through word-of-mouth. The owners will be having their formal opening this September and will be serving lunch for people who crave for Mexican food during lunch time. They invited food bloggers to give us the reason why the Jalapeño is a different kind of experience. It was indeed a different kind of Mexican food experience 🙂
I felt that rustic Mexican ambiance while I was there. It looks plain as of this moment because they are still in the process of adding additional Mexican ornaments.
Baked Jalapeño Cheese Dip @ P140; Chili Con Carne @ P160
The first thing they served to us was the Baked Jalapeño Cheese Dip. It’s a combination of different cheeses, sour cream and Jalapeño oil ( I think). I loved the spiciness of this dip. For me it’s just right but you can request your friendly waiter to lessen the spice.
Herbed Lemonade (@ P65 per glass and P155 per pitcher) and Red Berry Iced Tea (@ P45 per glass and P125 per pitcher)
As for our beverages, they served us Herbed Lemonade and Red Berry Iced Tea. I loved the taste of Herbed Lemonade. The basil complements the lemons. It’s very refreshing. The Red Berry Iced Tea is good too but I prefer the Herbed Lemonade. The owners say that this is a favorite among their frequent customers.
Jalapeño and Cheese Quesadilla @ P155; Grilled Chicken Quesadilla @ P195
Their quesadillas were very good. They served two kinds: Jalapeño and Cheese and Grilled Chicken. Their tortillas were very soft and I love their cheese.
Various dips such as guacamole, cheese, salsa, sour cream, chopped jalapeños
They gave us a sample of all the available sauces and dips so that we can do whatever we want with our food. I loved their sour cream because it’s whipped and therefore it gives a creamy texture in your mouth. Also, I loved the guacamoles and the corn salsa (not sure if that’s what it’s called ;).
Pepper Steak Fajitas @ P285
Pepper Steak Fajitas is a good meal to share with someone. It’s served with Tortillas too. The steak is very tender and tasty. What I like about Jalapeño is that they have big servings and very cheap too. I think they are the cheapest Mexican restaurant in town but still retains the quality of food.
Grilled Cajun Pork Chop @ P195
Another thing I like about Jalapeño is their big servings most especially in their rice meals.
Baja Fish Fillet @ P185
I loved the Grilled Cajun Pork Chop , Baja Fish Fillet and Grilled Chicken Mexicana. The pork, chicken and fish were very juicy and tasty. Good job in the marination! Also, it was not overcooked.
Grilled Chicken Mexicana @ P175
Mexican Style Sausage @ P195
The Mexican Style Sausage was also good. It looks like a chili dog but it does not have a hotdog bun with it. It’s best eating it with tortillas then mix the sour cream and cheese when you put it in your mouth.
Baked Cheezy Potato Mexicano @ P240
The Baked Cheezy Potato Mexicano was so big; it can actually be shared by 3-4 people. I am a potato freak and this is probably one of the best potato dishes I’ve tasted. This can be made into a “pulutan” when you’re having alcoholic drinks at Jalapeño.
Pepper Steak Burrito @ P175
Their Pepper Steak Burrito was ok. This was actually the only thing that I didn’t really like. Probably I’m just used to eating gigantic burritos from other Mexican restaurants. I feel that it lacked the fillings that I was expecting. Their burrito is good only for one person.
Banana Nutella Tortilla @ P140
This is a unique dessert that they’ve came up. Instead of the crepe, they used the tortilla. You have to eat this dessert at once because the tortilla tends to become very chewy when it’s exposed too long.
Bacardi Light Mojito (P140 per glass, P340 per pitcher)
Oh yes, this was my favorite part: tasting the alcoholic beverages. I am a mojito freak and I really requested to taste their mojitos even though it was early in the afternoon. They offered us the Bacardi Light Mojito and Jalapeño Dark Mojito. I loved the light mojito! The dark mojito was too hard for me or probably because I am not a fan of rhum.
Frozen Blue Lime Margarita (@ P120 per glass, P 390 per pitcher)
I also loved their margaritas. They made us try the Frozen Blue Lime and Frozen Red Berry. I loved the Frozen Red Berry because it’s sweeter. The Frozen Blue Lime was also good.
The overall experience with Jalapeño is really different compared to the other Mexican restaurants I’ve been to. I am addicted to their food, really. In fact, the very next day (Sunday), me and Karla came back to Jalapeño to have dinner. I also brought some of my friends after a few days and they loved the food too. On my third visit, I tried their chicken enchilada and it was so good! Everything that we’ve tasted here were the best dishes that they serve and I am recommending you to try all of them.
Jalapeño Cantina Mexicana
FOODSTREET, Ortigas Home Depot
Julia Vargas Ave corner Meralco Ave.,
Pasig, Philippines, 1605