Mexican cuisine is packed with exciting flavors, but it’s not really known for its presentation. Santiago, the sister establishment of long-standing Bangkok favorite La Monita Taqueria by Chef Billy Bautista and co is out to change this perception.
The expectation for this new venture is high considering how its precedent has been a beloved spot for authentic Mexican food in town for over a decade—and we dare say that Santiaga has gone further and beyond to exceed it.
Unlike La Monita, where the focus is on Mexican street food, Santiaga is stylized as a more upscale establishment that reintroduces Mexican food as a multi-course omakase meal. Chef Billy, along with cooking maestros Mauricio Rosales, Beto Garcia and Arturo Villegas, aims to present Santiaga as a place where avid gourmands can come and have a crash course on Mexican food, and the best way to achieve that is to have small plates that represent the culinary offerings of various regions in Mexico.
Santiaga’s signature tasting menu, Mexican 101, consists of 11 courses inspired by Mexican staples like tacos and mole. Sopa Ofelia, one of the starters, drives your appetite with a wholesome soup of lima bean and mole that’s made according to the recipe of the chef’s Mexican grandmother. Two lighter dishes follow—Satiaga Grilled Salad, which reworks grilled street corn; and Seafood Cocktail, a flavor bomb packed with chockfull of fruit de mer.
Be ready to have not one but three different tacos, including Pescado Taco (smoked yellowfin tuna), crispy Carnitas Taco, and Wagyu MBS6-7 Carne Asada Taco. Don’t give up just yet because Chef Billy still has two more dishes to tickle your palate—Enchilada de Pato, a corn tortilla stuffed with braised duck and drizzled with hot red enchilada sauce; and Chicken Pipian, a roast chicken with Santiaga’s signature mole that’s made from about 37 ingredients.
If you’re not a fan of sitting through a few hours of dining, Santiaga also welcomes you to try its many flavorful à la carte dishes, which take all La Monita offerings up a notch. The guacamole (B350), for instance, comes with delectable tlayuda chips freshly made on a clay comal and mole that has a special jalapeño zing in every bite.
Overall, the experience at this restaurant is top-notch. Not only do the dishes excite with different tastes, textures and creative presentations, but the dining atmosphere is enhanced by the entertaining repartee of Chef Billy and the other chefs.
Santiaga’s eleven-course Mexican 101 is priced at B2,700++. For more information and reservations, call 0 2651 4399.