This Poblacion Fave Is Back and You're In for a Treat If #RiceIsLife

Almacen returns with new dishes to boot.

Almacen Cantina
5910B Matilde Street, Barangay Poblacion, Makati City
Contact: 0977-291-1920
Open from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. (Thursday to Saturday)

PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

(SPOT.ph) When talking about the “good ol’ days” a.k.a. pre-pandemic in Poblacion, Almacen would definitely be top of mind when it comes to go-to bars in the Metro. Epic nights of dancing, friendly crowds and pounding music within Almacen’s walls were a sure-fire guarantee for a night to remember. But those carefree, maskless days of no social distancing are behind us now, and entering the recently reopened Almacen Cantina feels familiar but fresh at the same time. The artsy murals and calavera (skull in a sombrero) welcome you in like an old friend. The well-loved and ‘gram-friendly, neon-lit interiors are still here, but the necessary additions for safety purposes—including temperature checks, wearing masks and face shields, and plexiglass shields on tables—are in place. That way, your night out is memorable for all the right reasons—and you’re able to focus on the company you keep within a safe social distance and the tasty Mexican-themed comfort eats.

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Be on the lookout for this sign.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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It feels familiar but fresh at the same time. 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
Neon lights dominate the space.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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According to Almacen Cantina’s Executive Chef, Chef Francis “Kiko” Tolentino, they kept their tried-and-tested regular crowd favorites on the menu for both dine-in and take-away, and added a couple of mains for those who take their rice meals seriously.

There are tons of artsy and IG-worthy murals all around. 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
Their current menu is a mix of old and new.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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If you’re looking to start your meal on a spicy note, you can choose between two appetizing options: the Hot Cheetos Fries (P250), a mix of thick-cut French fries, melted cheese, and Hot Cheetos crumbles; or the Hot Cheetos Corn Elotes (P175), Almacen Cantina’s take on Mexican corn elote that’s served fresh on the cob or in a cup.

Hot Cheetos add a savory, spicy punch in the Hot Cheetos Fries.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

Both Hot Cheetos options make a good side dish to the Beef Taco (starts at P205/solo), which is reminiscent of authentic carne asada Mexican street tacos. It’s got bite-sized chunks of well-seasoned steak with onions, tomatoes, and cilantro on a toasted soft taco shell served with house-made Sriracha Red and White Aioli Sauce, and it’s sure to satisfy any street-taco craving that you may have.

The Beef Taco will satisfy your hankerings for street tacos. 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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Like it on the even juicier side? Try the Carne Asada Taco (starts at P205/solo), which is stuffed with a tender beef asada and comes served with fries. There's also the Shrimp Taco (starts at P190/solo) with fresh shrimps tossed in a special spice mix if seafood is your protein of choice.

You can't beat a classic Carne Asada Taco.
PHOTO BY Almacen Cantina
The Shrimp Taco proves seafood tastes great when given the taco treatment, too! 
PHOTO BY Almacen Cantina
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For those looking for a Pinoy twist on a Mexican burrito, the Beef Pares Burrito (P275) is a hefty bite. This dish turns the classic Pinoy beef pares in burrito form, with the steaming fluffy rice absorbing the beef pares sauce for a slightly sweet yet juicy savory bite.

Pares in a burrito? Yup, Almacen Cantina makes it work!
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

And for the rice-topping lovers, Almacen Cantina has three new main dishes that are sure to satisfy all your savory hankerings—beginning with the Chicken Skewers on Mexican Rice (P380). This dish features two pieces of tender, seasoned chicken skewers over a bed of Mexican rice, with their two house specialty sauces and a slice of lime to give them that kick.

The Chicken Skewers on Mexican Rice gives you a happy medley of Mexican flavors. 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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If you loved the 2014 movie Chef, you’ll adore the Cuban Pork with Mojo Sauce (P385). The pork is perfectly grilled, seasoned, and succulent, with garlic and citrus flavors. It’s best enjoyed over zesty Mexican rice with Chef Kiko’s special Mojo sauce for an explosion of flavors in your mouth.

The Cuban Pork with Mojo Sauce is grilled, seasoned, and succulent. 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu

For non-meat eaters who don’t want to miss out on having a Mexican rice meal of their own, the Mexican Fish Fillet with Corn Salsa (P345) is a great option, with flavorful fish that comes in a crusty coating. It’s also got a corn salsa drizzled on top, which makes the flavors all the more alive.

Get your seafood fix with the Mexican Fish Fillet with Corn Salsa. 
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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Love burgers, but prefer rice over buns? You'll want to try the Loco Moco (P395), their take on the modern Hawaiian dish with a meatball over rice, topped with gravy and an egg.

The Loco Moco is their take on the Hawaiian dish of the same name.
PHOTO BY Almacen Cantina

Almacen Cantina is the kind of place where you can celebrate good times with friends over some well-crafted Mexican comfort food. The fiesta vibes are all in here, just like before—made safer of course, but without sacrificing comfort. All you need to do is kick back, relax, and feast away at this chill casa space in Poblacion.

They got that bit right.
PHOTO BY Jilson Tiu
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Photos by Jilson Tiu and courtesy of Almacen Cantina.

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