Skip the Meat and Go for Seafood at This Mexican Eatery
Check out Tittos' new dishes at their second branch!
G/F O Square 2, Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Avenue, San Juan City
Open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Friday to Saturday), and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday)
(SPOT.ph) When you have a restaurant that’s been doing pretty well for four years, your first instinct would usually be to not mess with what is obviously a winning formula. But for the folks behind Tittos, the key to longevity is shaking things up every now and then.
“We really change our menu every six to eight months,” shares chef and co-owner Jerwyn Rabo. “We try to improve on what we’ve done before, and we also try to conceptualize different ideas.”
Plus, Chef Jerwyn finds playing around with the menu fun. “I get to [play around with] new ingredients. That’s what’s exciting about it,” he shares. “Normally we just communicate with our current suppliers, and try to find new ingredients that we can use.”
There’s no better place to try out a new menu than at their newest branch in Greenhills. While significantly smaller than their first location in Kapitolyo, Tittos Greenhills has the same festive and vibrant Latin vibe, with a yellow-and-teal color scheme and light-wood decor. This outpost also has colorful murals on almost every wall—this time, done by local artists Jappy Agoncillo, Nico Ng, and Art De' Lite Designs.
Even with a new location and an ever-changing menu, Tittos maintains a strong grasp on what makes them what they are: “Our original story branding has always been Latin American cuisine,” says Chef Jerwyn. “The idea behind [Tittos] was just to make really good comfort food na maiintindihan ng Filipinos with a Latin American twist. Do’n talaga kami nagko-concentrate.”
Most of Tittos’ new dishes are seafood or fish-based, at the request of their regulars. “We try to listen to our guests,” says Chef Jerwyn. “I remember before we only had a few seafood dishes, and I was talking to some of our customers back in Tittos Pasig. They mentioned that it would be great if I could add more seafood dishes to the menu. So it's more about trying to adjust also to what the customers want.”
Seafood dishes are usually light, but, staying true to their Latin roots, Tittos packs their new dishes with punchy flavors. When it comes to Latin American seafood dishes, you can’t go wrong with a classic gambas, and Tittos’ version doesn’t disappoint. The Grilled Gambas del Ajillo (P375) has tender smokey shrimp with just the right amount of savory, herby heat thanks to garlic oil, chili, and garlic chips.
Another great way to wake up your palate here is through tasty tapas, like the Pulpo Inasal (P395). Inspired by chicken inasal, the tender octopus has similar smokey-tangy notes flavors that a sweet potato mash helps elevate.
The Choritos con Coco (P295) is a wonderfully brothy dish that begs to be eaten with bread or rice (or perhaps a tortilla) to sop up the spicy and rich coconut jalapeño sauce. Tittos is generous with the mussels swimming in the broth, though if you have no other order, you might end up with a bowl of empty mussels pretty quickly.
That said, there’s more on the menu that’s worth a try. The Crab Tortilla de Bomba (P525) lives up to its name as a flavor bomb—the fried crab omelette is almost sinful, but it’s nothing a squeeze of lime can’t fix.
The Blackened Tuna Belly (P495) arrives on your table looking like an impressive hunk of steak, but you won’t miss beef once you have a bite of the flaky fish. There’s nothing light about this dish in terms of flavor, from the strongly smoky-sweet barbecue marinade of the fish to the garlic bits and the tang of pickled vegetables to balance everything out.
Even at a new location, Tittos shows that they’ve still got a flair for colorful dishes full of punchy, unforgettable flavors. If you’ve got a friend who still thinks seafood dishes are too light for their palate, you know just the place to bring them.
Photos by Majoy Siason