Edgardo is an art historian and curator. Adriana is a philosopher who studied theater and literature. They are friends and colleagues at the university where they teach art history. They like to cook together, chat and travel the world. From such an unusual premise, nothing more unique could arise than “El Auténtico Pato Manila.”
The restaurant that sits on 91 Culiacán street was first imagined in Edgardo’s kitchen. They used to cook for pleasure, developing more exquisite tastes over time, until the day Edgardo returned from China with a new obsession for Peking duck. For Adriana’s birthday that year, they experimented with one of the first four dishes on their menu: the “Taco Kim.” The tortilla, whose taste and quality is fundamental, is handmade from flour that comes from Oaxaca. The taco includes pieces of duck baked with honey and perfumed with oriental spices, fresh gherkins, chives, smoked oyster sauce, and plum sauce. It is an experience of multiple textures with exotic and surprising complementary flavors.
For Adriana, the most fun was imagining the concept and design of the restaurant. Fascinated by taquerias and Mexican pop culture, she wanted to recreate a relaxed but clean atmosphere. Edgardo added an oriental touch with a pink ceramic Mao from the Chinese Cultural Revolution.
Because of the brotherhood between Manila and Mexico City, both Spanish colonies with many cultural similarities, it only felt right to create a taco in its name. The “Taco Manila” is made with a homemade corn tortilla, carnitas style golden duck meat, black beans, fresh epazote, and a traditional Mexican macha sauce with tomato, green chili, and onion. The “Wontons” are made with slices of rice paste and duck with ginger and the “Spring Rolls” are prepared with Peking style duck meat and fresh, raw vegetables. Both dishes are served with a Jamaican flower and red wine sauce. The drink that best fits the food is a Mexican handmade beer called “19 Degrees North.”
With the idea of maintaining a simple menu, the restaurant does not serve desserts, coffee or tea. This creates an exchange of customers with the businesses in their community and encourages people to get to know the neighborhood. On El Auténtico Pato Manila’s anniversary, every June 23, they take to the streets for a party with live music and invite anyone who wants to try their exquisite tacos, unique to the city and probably to the world.
El Auténtico Pato Manila
Hours: Monday – Wednesday 1:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Thursday – Saturday 1:30 p.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Phone: 01 55 6798 8351
Text and photos: Guénola Bally