For the past four years, this taqueria in Condesa has been serving tacos, tortas, dumplings, and spring rolls all made exclusively with duck. That’s what they know, and that’s what they serve.
Duck is expensive around the world. It’s a party dish, a symbol of elegance. However, unlike most of the restaurants in Mexico City that serve duck in the more traditional way, the Pato Manila has adopted a “street style” of serving it: tacos, tortas, rolls or wontons in a small establishment in Condesa. “Don Alberca”, one of their best customers, and the restaurant’s owner, Edgardo, are in total agreement about one thing: “They offer duck without rolling out the red carpet.” Four years after its opening, and even considering that many clients have been going since day one, Pato Manila remains a novelty because it offers a culinary invention.
Pato Manila’s story started in the best way: casually. On Sundays, Edgardo would prepare Pekinese duck and invite his friends to have a taste. He looked to perfect his recipe by experimenting. Finally, when the duck “tasted like China,” Adriana, who is now Edgardo’s business partner, convinced him to open a place where his friends could go to eat his duck… but also pay him.
That is how the project started, driven by crafting the perfect delicious Pekinese duck recipe, and by a slight nostalgia for the markets and taquerias of Mexico City. When you enter the tiny space, you will notice details inspired by taquerias, markets, and juice bars: tall benches, stainless steel, an altar, various signs, tile, and festive decoration.
Like the decoration, the menu is simple but unique. It consists of five dishes, all with duck:
- Taco Kim: Pekinese duck and homemade salsa served in a flour tortilla
- Taco Manila: duck made in canitas style, beans, and epazote (a Latin American herb) served in a corn tortilla
- Spring rolls: with and without duck (the only vegetarian option on the menu)
- Wonton: filled with ginger duck
- Torta: Mexican-style sandwich with duck made in carnitas style and avocado, served in a bread roll
Enjoy your meal to the background music of Latin classics such as Los Ángeles Azules, Willie Colón, and Los Mirlos. In the ambiance, attitude, decoration, and of course, the food, you can pinpoint the intention behind the creation of the restaurant: a place to entertain friends.
El Auténtico Pato Manila
Open Monday to Wednesday 1:30pm – 9pm; Thursday to Saturday 1:30pm – 11pm; Sunday 1:30pm – 7pm
Check out the original article in Spanish by our sister publication, local.mx.