Top 10 Fish Tacos in Manila
Which taco is muy delicioso?
(SPOT.ph) Chili con carne has had its time in the sun. Now, make way for fish tacos.
The standard fish taco is Baja-style: white fish is lightly battered then fried before squeezing in between cabbage, sauce, salsa. Then, there’s a final drizzle of lime juice on top to tie all those great elements together. But traditions change and tacos have constantly been reinterpreted. What makes it good, however, is just one thing: the seamless combination of all those elements that’s difficult to perfect.
Here, the 10 best tacos de pescado in the city:
All SPOT.ph Top 10 lists are researched, paid for, tested, and selected by the writers and editors. They are discreetly conducted without any notice made to the restaurants or their owners.
10. Madeca (P165)
Two servings of tacos come in Madeca’s basket. Each one features a soft and firm cream dory thickly encased in batter, and fried so perfectly that you won’t find extra grease spilling onto your fingers. Cool cabbage slaw makes up a nest for the fish over a nice and sturdy tortilla. Douse your tacos with the fresh salsa or sour cream; whichever one you choose will make the delicate fish flavors pop out more.
Madeca is at 5/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
9. Agave Mexican Cantina (P175/single, P315/double)
A burst of flavors explodes inside your mouth when you take a bite of Agave's fish tacos: the savory garlic sauce and crunch of the cabbage provide depth and texture to the light flavors of the moist cream dory wrapped in homemade flour tortilla. You know what would make it better? A margarita!
Agave Mexican Cantina is at Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City.
8. B&T (P330)
B&T Mexican Kitchen’s generosity won't leave you wanting: three soft tortillas are stuffed with lightly breaded and well-seasoned dory, then topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese. They require you to eat with your hands, but that's not the trickiest thing about this basket of tacos. You have to finish them off quickly before the tortillas get soggy.
B&T's Mexican Kitchen is at 368 Sekai Center, Ortigas Avenue corner Madison Street, Greenhills, San Juan.
7. Fish & Co. (P425)
Fish & Co. peddles their fish dishes proudly, and with good reason. Their fish tacos, for example, are simple yet effortlessly good. The lightly breaded and well-seasoned dory is reason enough to bite into the soft tortillas: they come in huge chunks mixed with shredded cabbage while sweet mango salsa completes the crunchy and tasty mix.
Fish & Co. has branches at 4/F Trinoma Mall, Quezon City; and G/F Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City.
6. Maple (P450)
Maple's version is a delicious DIY project: pieces of grilled fish rest on a delicate bed of slaw-a mixture of red and white onions, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, and white cheese-all waiting to be hugged by still-warm tortilla (you can choose either flour or wheat). What we like best about this plate? The subtle and delicate flavors do a good job of wooing you in.
Maple has branches at LG/F East Wing, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong City; San Antonio Plaza, Forbes Park, Makati City; G/F Commercenter Alabang, Commerce Avenue corner Filinvest Corporate City, Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
5. Earth Kitchen (P240)
Earth Kitchen doesn't serve your typical Baja fish taco, but theirs is a refreshing newcomer that we’ve fallen in love with. They use loro fillet instead of cream dory, but flawless execution gives it a texture that’s between firm and tender. The greens-a merry mix of cucumbers and edible flowers-provide a light backdrop to the salty seaweed toppings and sesame dressing. This plate, which fuses together Japanese and Mexican influences, proves that opposites do attract.
Earth Kitchen is at White Plains, Quezon City.
4. Rub Ribs & BBQ (P250)
We doubt fish tacos are top of mind when one drops by Rub Ribs & BBQ, but if you like surprise hits, then step away from the ribs and get the fish tacos. Gorgeously grilled slices of fish and veggies are enveloped in a warm tortilla (also grilled to a toasted perfection). The explosion of flavors-fresh, tart, earthy-make up a profile that’s just as bold as their special barbecue sauce, and in true manly fashion, the serving size is huge.
Rub Ribs and BBQ has branches at 88 East Capitol Drive Kapitolyo, Pasig City; 64 Scout Rallos Street, Quezon City.
3. Hermanos Taco Shop (P175)
Hermanos' fish tacos are deceptively simple, but this isn’t to say they’re not satisfying because they are-very much so. Shredded cabbage and pico de gallo are the soft pillows to lightly battered, golden-fried, and crispy fish tucked in a soft blanket of tortilla. A drizzling of lime sauce and sour cream provides just the right contrast and zing to the fish's delicate flavors.
Hermanos is at 27 Granada Avenue, Quezon City.
2. Orale (P245)
Images of summer come to mind when you order the fish tacos at Orale: fresh flavors from the mangoes, tomatoes, and onions sing harmoniously to complement the star-the fried fish, which are served open-faced in a slightly toasted tortilla. Generous jalapeño slices provide the pep that lifts up the entire dish. Our only beef about Orale's tacos: we wanted more than just two servings!
Orale is at G/F The Fort Strip, Bonifacio Global City.
1. El Chupacabra (P120)
When ordering the fish tacos at El Chupacabra, be prepared to wait. Just like Earth Kitchen, they skip the dory and opt for tilapia instead. The kitchen cooks the white-fish fillet on the fly with practiced perfection: the meaty nuggets of fish are fried crispy, locking in the natural flavors and keeping excess oil at bay. They’re anointed with El Chupacabra's special spicy sauce, while ribbons of cabbage, diced tomatoes and onions, as well as a heaping of coriander help bring together a complex smorgasboard of fresh, salty-savory, and briny flavors in every messy bite. If you dream of the perfect fish taco, wake up. This is it.
El Chupacabra is at 5782 Felipe Street corner Polaris Street, Makati City.