#embracingthesouth with La Chinesca and Southern Dairy

While it sucks that I don’t get to see this girl as often as I used to (because no maid, no social life), when we do see each other we get to have wonderful dinner dates. This one was particularly awesome because finally – La Chinesca! About bloody time!


I tried to look for this place before – it’s along Aguirre in BF – but I just couldn’t find it. There is no signage of any kind outside the establishment.


The place is also tiny.

Around the same time we came in, a group of #titasofmanila (plus a token tito) came in and loudly complained about the very same thing: “Galing pa kami ng Makati! Ang hirap niyo hanapin!” (We came all the way from Makati! Your restaurant is so hard to find!).


Allow that to serve as a precedent for having an enjoyable time at La Chinesca: if you seek – albeit hard enough – you shall find.

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding this restaurant – an esteemed young chef best known for his take on Japanese food now tackles another beloved cuisine, and proceeds to wow the dining public all over again.

Seared lengua. Palm sized but so filling.

Myself included in that wowed crowd.

This is my first time in La Chinesca. Any hassle associated with locating this place or even in actually dining here is worth it. Any fan of Mexican food that has tried some of the Metro’s finest will find himself wonderfully surprised with what Chef Bruce Ricketts cooked up here.

When the food arrives in their pretty plates, the first thing you’d notice is that it’s beautifully presented. Once that registers, a little too soon afterwards (or maybe it’s just me), you’d notice that the portion seems a tad small. Like, single-serve-small. Well, this isn’t Tex-Mex. It’s a size you may not be used to, but each bite delivers a punch of flavors and textures. Do take it slow and chew: this food is meant to be savored, not wolfed down.

Beer battered oyster. So similar to what they also offer in Sensei, also great in Mexican form.

My initial experience with Chef Bruce Ricketts is with Sensei. People that follow his cuisine will be treated to the same signature with La Chinesca. As my friend put it, his food is layered, like it goes through numerous stages of preparation before it ends up on the plate. I also appreciate that this is a man that puts a premium on freshness and quality of ingredients.

La Fresca. Probably the most expensive thing on the menu at Php260 a glass, but so good, so refreshing! Perfect punctuation to a heady, flavorful meal.

The promise is a unique Mexican dining experience with food that has been meticulously prepared. As far as my experience goes, it’s a promise kept. Take on the challenges of going to the South, make sure to withdraw cash beforehand, and remember to be patient when parking or tables are lacking. This establishment delivers on its promise.


P.S. Their wonderful and knowledgeable staff suggested the Carne Asada for my kid, when I asked for the safest-tasting/non-spicy item on the menu, and offered to have the condiments and salsa on the side. That was a great suggestion, and she polished her food up. Thank you, La Chinesca!

Time for dessert!


If like us, you are dining with a child that’s most likely going to look for some kind of dessert, Southern Dairy is a BF favorite.

The specialty is homemade gelato, and there are a myriad of flavors to choose from. But my kid loves only one sweet thing in this world, and that’s chocolate. I ordered the brownie ala mode with chocolate gelato and she right about lost her mind.


I think she didn’t expect the brownie to be so yummy too, so actually that’s the bulk of what she ate. As for me, I think the chocolate and caramel syrups drizzled on the plate are unnecessary (and just too sweet already), but still, this makes a good dessert pick.

Southern Dairy is perfect for hanging out (had the chairs been more comfortable), and offers comfort food apart from an extensive selection of gelato. It merits a second visit.


La Chinesca is in 248 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque City

Call them at +632 738 0274

Like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram

Southern Dairy Homemade Gelato + Kitchen is in 273 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Paranaque City

Call them at +632 475 6505

Like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram

*All photos taken by the super awesome Macon Baladiang

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