Written by Chiara Mischke
TACO FANATICO - Authentic Mexican Tacos and Unique Japanese Fusions
The newly opened TACO FANATICO in Tokyo offers authentic handmade tacos as well as fun Japanese fusions and a vast variety of Mexican tequila and mezcal. Let's have a look at the unique taco bar located right besides Meguro River.
If you visit Japan, you will probably want to try as much Japanse cuisine as possible. However, depending on how long you stay, you might also miss some of the comfort food your home country has to offer. What would you say if I tell you that you can have both if your comfort food happens to be tacos?
TACO FANATICO in Tokyo does not only offer authentic, bite-sized, hand-made tacos but also Japanese inspired fusion tacos with the best of both worlds. Let's head to Nakameguro Station!
TACO FANATICO - Authentic Taco Bar Overseeing Meguro River
TACO FANATICO opened its doors on October 19th, 2018. It is the smallest and newest addition to Global Dining which owns famous restaurants such as Gonpachi which inspired famous fight scenes in the movie Kill Bill.
The restaurant is located two minutes walk from Nakameguro Station, right besides Meguro River which is famous for its luscious cherry blossoms in spring. It is open towards the front, so you can enjoy the view of the river while eating tacos.
TACO FANATICO was created with the wish to offer an authentic taco experience without shying away from fun Japanese twists and experiments as well. The staff trained with the help of a real taco chef in order to make sure to deliver the most authentic and delicious tacos possible.
Please be aware that the restaurant only has twenty-two Counter seats and eight spots on the standing counter, so it might fill up quickly in the afternoon or at the weekends. Reservations can not be made so be prepared to plan in a little bit of waiting time in case the restaurant is full.
Unique Payment System - Cashless in a Cash Dominated Country
If you visit TACO FANATICO, make sure to have your IC card charged or your credit card ready because you can't pay by cash. Only Credit cards, IC cards, and mobile payment methods are accepted as payment.
Even though Japan is one of the leading countries of electronic devices and might often seem very futuristic, cash is still the leading payment method. Many places do not even accept credit cards. Introducing a place that's completely cashless is nearly unheard of in Japan.
The Taco's - Authentic and Unique at the Same Time
As of now, there are eight different tacos on the menu. They also offer a completely vegan taco with seasonal vegetables and a vegan salsa. If you have any other dietary restrictions or allergies, please let them know beforehand.
The hand-made corn tortilla is gluten-free and comes in four flavors. The flavors are very light and don't overpower the toppings. You can't choose your tortilla as each tortilla is designed to go perfectly with its designated topping.
Currently available topping and tortilla combinations are as follows:
1. Pink Beet Tortilla: Al Pastor and Vegan
2. Black Charcoal Tortilla: Tempura Shrimp
3. Yellow Turmeric and Cumin Tortilla: Spicy Lamb and Beef Steak
4. White Plain Tortilla: Guacamole Chicken, Kakuni Pork Belly and Chipotle Beef
TACO FANATICO's Top Four Taco's
Taco's left to right: Kakuni Pork Belly, Tempura Shrimp, Al Pastor Pork and Beef Steak
TACO FANATICO's top four recommendations include originals and Japanese fusions. The tacos are on the smaller side and can easily be eaten in two or three bites which allows you to sample multiple flavors in one sitting.
1.Kakuni Pork Belly Taco - Braised Japanese Pork on Creamy Mashed Potato
Kakuni Pork is a Japanese slowly simmered pork dish with its roots in China. The high-quality pork melts in your mouth and becomes one with the mashed potato it is bedded on. Fresh herbs and vegetables like cilantro and onions add a refreshing twist to the creamy flavor. A plain tortilla is chosen to not disturb any of the delicate flavors.
2.Tempura Shrimp Taco - An Outstanding Japanese Fusion
The Tempura Shrimp Taco is the most obvious Japanese fusion, even for people not familiar with tacos. For this taco, a deep-fried shrimp rests on a bed of guacamole, providing you with a true flavor fusion of Japanese and Mexican cuisine. The two flavors and textured go surprisingly well together especially wrapped in the slightly smoky charcoal tortilla.
3.Al Pastor Pork Taco - A Mexican Original Only Available at TACO FANATICO
Al Pastor is one of the most popular taco toppings in Mexico. I have been told none of the other Mexican restaurants in Japan serve it. The meat is marinated overnight and then cooked with chili until it is perfectly juicy with a slight spiciness to it. Pineapple and the beet tortilla add their juicy flavors making it the perfect combination of savory and sweet.
4.Beef Steak Taco - Juicy Meat in a Refreshing Salsa
The Beef Steak Taco is prepared with high-quality hanger steak. It is only flavored with a homemade salsa and wrapped in a cumin and turmeric tortilla to add some spice. Simple but utterly scrumptious and rich in flavor.
Crispy Cheese Gringa - A Popular Appetizer
Even though most people come to TACO FANATICO for the tacos, one of the appetizers seemed to fan favorite as well. When I did my research on TACO FANATICO, I encountered many people highly recommending the Crispy Cheese Gringa.
The Crispy Cheese Gringa consists of a flour tortilla(not gluten-free) filled with cheese and the same chili marinated juicy pork as the Al Pastor Taco. The tortilla is folded over the filling and grilled until it is golden brown. The Crispy Cheese Gringa is nearly double the size of a taco and cut in half so it can easily be shared as an appetizer.
TACO FANATICO's New Lunch Menu
TACO FANATICO has recently started offering a lunch menu. On weekdays between 11:30 and 15:00 you can choose between a three tacos (1000 yen), four tacos(1200 yen) and five tacos(1500 yen) lunch option. Every option comes with a salad and a soft drink.
You can not choose the tacos or the salad but you can choose between four different drinks. For 300 yen extra, you can add Mexican pudding or coconut ice cream as a dessert.
Tequila, Mezcal, and Unique Cocktails
You don't necessarily have to visit TACO FANATICO just for the tacos. They also offer over 100 authentic Mexican tequila and mezcal as well as alcoholic and unique non-alcoholic cocktails. With its warm atmosphere and fun staff, it is the perfect place to just go for a couple of drinks by yourself or with friends after a long day of sightseeing or work.
I tried the Limonada de Jamaica(left) and the Cajyutta Pink Paloma(right).
Cajyutta Pink Paloma - Dessert and Drink in One
The Cajyutta Pink Paloma is an impressive to looking drink. The big pink grapefruit is served on a bed of ice and the TACO FANATICO logo is burned into its skin.
The grapefruit itself is frozen and infused with tequila. To drink it you scrape the inside of the grapefruit with the straw and suck up the juicy fruit pieces. A rather unique experience. This drink can easily serve as dessert and cocktail after your meal.
If you don't drink alcohol, the Cajyutta Pink Grapefruit is the non-alcoholic version. It is just as delicious.
Limonada de Jamaica - A Herbal-Fruity Homemade Lemonade
The Limonada de Jamaica is a homemade hibiscus lemonade with the inclusion of herbs to complement the taste of the tacos. It is refreshing and not too sweet with a sour edge from the hibiscus. I had this lemonade alongside the tacos and it refreshed my taste buds without overpowering any of the taco flavors.
Delishes Tacos at a Forward Thinking Restaurant
TACO FANATICO is a great place for taco lovers and beginners alike. They take great pride in their authenticity as well as their unique fusions of Mexican and Japanese comfort food.
Even if you aren't hungry, why not just drop by for a couple of drinks in a fun atmosphere?
Time Limited Offer: We are happy to announce a special offer only for MATCHA readers. If you drop by TACO FANATICO until end of December 2018 and mention that you read this article on MATCHA, you will receive a free taco! Don't miss out!
In cooperation with TACO FANATICO and Global Dining
|Address||Tokyo, Meguro Ward, Kamimeguro 1-5-10|
|Accepted Credit Cards||Not Available|
|Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages||English|
|Nearest station||Nakameguro Station|
|Access||2 minutes walk from Nakameguro station|
|Price||260 yen and up|