Try This: Your Best Day-and-Night Orders at Vengo Neighborhood Café, Taco Vengo’s Makati-Based CounterpartSeptember 16, 2017
Taco Vengo semi-recently underwent a makeover at their Williams St. location, shifting towards a neighborhood café suited for the street-level restaurant destination it lies within. Offering the same great tacos that we’ve grown to love in its original restaurant iteration, only curated down to a selection of highlights, Vengo Neighborhood Café adjusts to its new bougie surroundings with stunning dual-sided interiors looking like a yin-yang interpretation. One side features a white café with tables suited for sharing, illuminated by the picture window funneling in natural sunlight filtered through the tall buildings; the other, a dark bar perfect for small dinners, with tables separated into private segments for more intimate conversations.
Bar manager JP Gomez tells us that the concept was particularly designed with the location in mind, making the experience of their Makati branch something fresh and set apart from the Williams branch under the same name.
Whether you visit their café in the day, or step into their cocktails bar at night, here’s what we think you should try:
in the day: MEXICAN SPICE CHICKEN AND a ‘LOVE ROSIE’
Hearty, heavy, and filling: an assortment of flavors and textures in this chicken plate hits all the right spots. The spiced chicken is tender, the sautéed veggies not too wet, the roasted sweet potato smokey, and fried tortillas toasty and crunchy. The rice provides a subtle herby flavor that punctuates the dishes main components and holds it all together for something cohesive. Their ‘rice platos’ are a new introduction to their menu as they are only available in their Makati branch, and the serving size is more than enough to keep you going throughout the day.
Marketing Manager Gerard Cancio tells us that this drink was inspired by the Bandung, a typical Malaysian drink made with milk and rose syrup. The ‘Love Rose’ features coffee from Vengo’s own house blend, milk, rose syrup, and boba pearls. It’s sweet, pretty, and fun—and anything but typical.
at night: Homestyle TACO AND A ‘SAN JUNIPERO’
The perfectly portioned snack while you’re drinking but don’t want to pig out on a plate of nachos, the homestyle taco comes in a serving of one and is just what you need to soak up those cocktails in your belly. The flavors are familiar and tasty, but Vengo elevates this simple dish with fresh ingredients that are strike a balance with one another—think of this as an elevated version of a childhood fave. Plus points: this was surprisingly neat to consume as the taco held together through each bite.
The San Junipero, named after Black Mirror’s only happy-ending episode whose aesthetic is unforgettable with its bright 80’s neon, is the evening answer to the Love Rosie. This tequila-based cocktail is said to be designed for people who don’t like tequila (a group that Gomez admits to be a part of). It has a smooth texture that slips down your throat with its trickling rose-sweetness. And while its stunning ‘instagrammability’ gives the impression of youthful innocence, this cocktail will sneak up on you like a bandit in the night, so take it slow and enjoy the ride.
Vengo Neighborhood Café
A neighborhood café and bar specializing in tacos and Mexican-inspired fare.