You may or may not have heard of Kapitolyo’s hidden gems located in the United Alley Compound, but you’re about to. One of the first restaurants to have been set up in the container-filled compound would be Taco Vengo! serving up Mexican-inspired cuisine.
Taco Vengo’s owner, Ted Manotoc, shares that when they first set up the restaurant, there was nothing in the compound aside from a carinderia, which was located in the very spot that their restaurant was born. “When we ran into this place, we fell in love with it despite people telling us ‘no one’s going to go into the tunnel,’ ‘you’re not going to be seen’ and all this.” His gut instinct proves to have been a good call as they had celebrated their first anniversary having opened last July 2015.
Once you step foot into the container, it’s like entering a whole other locale. The overall ambiance is very casual and chill thanks to their interior’s of mix-matched chairs, eclectic multi-colored lights, and the indie playlist crooning in the background. The owners wanted to create an entire experience that fused together good food and the cool and friendly vibe that the restaurant radiates.
Ted shares that the reason for having opened his restaurant stemmed from his love and excitement of food. Particularly taco. He and his wife, Abee, wanted to come up with taco dishes people would be excited about.
“I’ve always loved food and I loved sharing it. I’m not a chef, I don’t know how to cook, but there’s just a joy I get and I’ve always gotten. So that’s always been an inspiration for me, for both of us, I think that’s really at the core of it – just the joy we get from sharing that with other people,” Ted recalls.
Their menu consists of an array of tacos, which isn’t all that surprising considering its’ their namesake. From pork to shrimp to steak to chicken, all major meats are represented. Flavored and seasoned expertly, your tummy will be more than satisfied. They also have other Mexican favorites like burritos and cilantro rice. Across the board, each dish was rich and flavorful especially when served hot and fresh.
Nachos Por Machos
Honey Soy Chicken Rice Bowl
Steak Quesadilla with Guacamole on the side
When asked about how they came up with curating their menu, Ted explains, “We’re very particular about the food. Nothing goes on our menu where it doesn’t give us that excitement that Abee and I are looking before we started the restaurant.”
Chwaffle ala Mode
Pork Cheek and Shrimp Taco
A trip to Taco Vengo! is definitely worth having. From the hearty meal you’ll be sure to have, to the dining experience at a casual and fun hangout spot, this one should be on your list of must-try around Kapitolyo. They’re in the business of making good tacos–which safe to say, is mission accomplished!
United Alley Compound, Kapitolyo, Pasig
Operating Hours: 5pm to 12am Tuesdays to Sundays
Visit their soft opening at their new branch nearby located at 16B Williams Street, Highway Hills, Mandaluyong just behind Unilab.