DIY Taco Bar at Encima Roofdeck Restaurant, Makati

The appeal of Tex-Mex cuisine for me is the interplay of the fresh and tangy flavors of citrus, tomatoes and onions with the earthy and hearty fullness of its meat dishes.

Tex-Mex cuisine is front and center at City Garden Hotel’s Encima Roofdeck Restaurant with its first anniversary offering. I was invited, along with fellow bloggers, to experience Encima’s Taco Bar, which will be launched to the public on July 2.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant has come a long way from its beginnings as a mere alternative to the hotel’s bistro downstairs, carving out its identity, adopting the name Encima (meaning “above”). The roofdeck resto does live up to its name, giving its diners a spectacular view of the Makati skyline and the city lights.

According to City Garden Hotel’s PR and Marketing Manager, Jo Ruales, the roofdeck restaurant’s Tex-Mex Menu was developed by the hotel’s powerhouse chefs: Chefs Mario Basig, J-Ann Fernandez and Dennis Peralta. Rinna Reyes, the hotel’s F&B Manager proudly shared the resto’s Tex-Mex offerings were hailed by the cities of Makati and Manila as one of the best in the country.

The twist to Encima’s Taco Bar is in giving the guests free rein to create their taco however they want. For only Php499, diners can mix and match from the ingredients found in the bar: crisp and soft tacos; a richly-flavored Mexican Rice; beef, pork and chicken filling; grated cheese and cheese sauce, chopped onions and tomatoes, and a host of other ingredients you can add to your heart’s content.

This unlimited do-it-yourself taco bar comes with bottomless margarita and sangria, two of the restaurant’s most popular drinks.

For non-drinkers like me, the resto also offers non-alcoholic drinks like the fresh mango shake they served me.

The Taco Bar will be open every night from July 2 to August 5.

The restaurant also has a happy hour from 4pm to 8pm wherein shooters are served for only Php50 and cocktails at Php99. Beers are also paired with Tex-Mex sampler plates.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant is located at City Garden Hotel, 7870 Durban Street corner Makati Avenue, Poblacion, Makati. For reservations, call +63 2 899 1111.

Disclosure: Together with other bloggers, I was invited to attend a Thanksgiving Dinner held in this restaurant.  All the food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Encima Roofdeck Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Check out my reviews of restos offering Mexican food:


Chillin’ with chums at Chili’s, Tomas Morato

Fans of hearty Southwestern and Tex-Mex cuisine will not be disappointed with the fare offered at Chili’s.  It is well-known for burgers, ribs and fajitas – basically items that go well together with beer and barkadas (friends).

In a recent dinner/get-together with friends held at this chain’s Tomas Morato branch, I was able to sample its offerings after nearly fifteen since my last visit to the exact same branch albeit with a different group of friends.

At first, I had trouble finding parking space as all the ones directly in front of the resto were occupied.  I had to circle the block again to find parking space some distance away.  I was supposed to call the resto to inquire about parking space (yes, in this area, this is a valid concern) but the number listed on Zomato was not working.

The resto has a casual, chill and cheery vibe, lots of seating room, with friendly staff who are quick to assist with our requests.

Of course we ordered Tostada Chips (Php395) which were crisp, fun to nibble on while chatting and, best of all, refillable. We partnered it with Skillet Queso (Php295), a rich and velvety cheese dip that went absolutely perfect with our chips and salsa.

Our hearty dinner consisted of Craft Burger Bites (Php495). These are four mini-cheeseburgers with flavorful American smoked beef bacon, sauteed onions and ranch sauce.l, which the group divided among ourselves. Also for sharing is an order of the Ultimate Dipper (Php750), a sumptious sampler of Chili’s best-selling appetizers – chicken fingers, buffalo wings, egg rolls, calamares and onion rings – served with five dipping sauces.

The most health-conscious in our group ordered a Buffalo Chicken Salad (Php295), chicken strips tossed in Buffalo Sauce (so you know this dish has quite a kick!), with bacon bits, bits of bleu cheese and ranch dressing.

For dessert, we shared a Skillet Cookie (Php385), a confection consisting of a warm, enormous chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate fudge.

The whole meal was a feast of fresh and hearty flavors that complemented our group’s long talks and frequent laughter.

This Chili’s branch is located at the corner of Tomas Morato Ave and Scout Fernandez in Quezon City.

Chili's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato