Words by Waynnie Melendres
Photos by Alyssa Gabrielle Chen
It was a busy Saturday morning as people gathered, as usual, at the Salcedo Community Market. In the middle of that weekend market stood a booth with a flag of Mexico, a brightly-colored signage, and a masked man working in its little kitchen—I had found Cochi Loco Manila.
Cochi Loco Manila Cocina Mexicana is the brainchild of Chef Cochi, the man in the mask who cooks the amazing dishes they serve. He, together with business partner Marissa Bautista, wanted to bring traditional Mexican food in the Philippines; thus, the birth of Cochi Loco. And, man, they did not disappoint.
Here are the items we tried (all of which, by the way, I loved so much):
Cochi Loco Manila’s Cartinas Sopes are nothing short of amazing. (Php 220)
Carnitas are pulled pork, and sopes is corn dough (not a thick tortilla, as I first thought!). Put them together, add some lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sauce, and some cheese, and this is what you have: the tasty delight that is Choci Loco Manila’s Cartinas Sopes.
Tacos Al Pastor
Tacos Al Pastor is just the right combination of sweet and savory. (Php 220)
I’ve never had tacos with pineapple before, so I was surprised that this taco did come with pineapples. I thought it was a weird combination, but when I tasted it, the flavors actually complemented each other! It was the perfect combination of savory and sweet.
(SEE ALSO: 4 Must-Try Tacos Around the South of Manila)
Baja Fish Tacos
The Baja Fish Tacos features a Pinoy favorite—tilapia. (Php 180)
Cochi Loco Manila’s fish tacos come with different kinds of fish every week. We got to try the tilapia taco fish, which was their featured fish for that week. The flavor of the fish surprisingly complemented the usual taco fillings, all thanks to it being beer-battered—it’s fried, but it isn’t oily, making the fish taste stand out!
These Breakfast Quesadillas are loaded with all the good stuff. (Php 250)
According to them, their breakfast quesadillas are a certified hit—they sell these things out not long after their store opens! One bite into these quesadillas though and I understood why it’s such a favorite. It’s filled with flavorful beef barbacoa—slow-cooked braised beef, packed with spices, and purely scrumptious. It’s also filled with tomatoes, fluffy scrambled eggs, and sauces, topped with guacamole and Mexican cheese. The quesadillas alone are sure to fill your tummy enough to take on the day!
Chicken and Pork Tamales
Cochi Loco Manila’s tasty tamales in their full glory.
Tamales, to the Mexicans, is a significant dish, and is usually served during the holidays. It’s made of corn flour, and filled with a delicious serving of meat—you can choose between chicken or pork—and then wrapped and cooked in corn husks. It is then topped with flavorful sauce—red for pork, green for chicken. They’re just…delicious. *chef’s kiss*
These ceviche tostaditos got us drooling just by looking at them. (Php 280)
This one was my absolute favorite. These mini tortilla by Cochi Loco Manila, called tostaditas, is topped with a generous serving of seafood. Among the items we got, this one had the least spice. It has a light, citrusy taste—perfect for cleansing the palate after a nice Mexican meal!
They also serve beverages, which they call agua frescas. They have dragonfruit-calamansi juice, mango-melon juice, and pina-coco juice—a nice combinations of fruits, perfect to wrap up the dining experience.
Visit Cochi Loco Manila at the Salcedo Community Market, Jaime F. Velasquez Park on Saturdays from 7 AM to 2 PM.
Cochi Loco Manila
Salcedo Community Market, Jaime F. Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Phone: 0956 132 6040