The tantalizing Peruvian/Mexican menu at Manly’s newest eatery Tijuana’s is fast making fans, and the old school and spicy Margie’s have everyone raving!

When Manly locals Eduardo Miranda (a Head Chef) and Nick Bracci were out surfing one day, they realised they were out of new and exciting eating options in the local area. So they sat down over a few coffees and decided to offer the solution.

“We decided to take our experiences and create a venue that not only would introduce a new style of cuisine that Manly hasn’t seen before, but one that would fill a gap that people in the area have been asking for” says Nick. “Chef Eduardo is of Peruvian decent and, having 11 years of experience cooking around the world, it was only natural to take a Peruvian focus with a strong Mexican influence.”

“Manly is home for us and if we were going to start a new venue and give it everything we had, home was the only option! We pride ourselves on the saying we have “Locally owned, traditionally made!”

The duo wanted to ensure they kept the venue, menu and staff as authentic to the cuisine as possible, and luckily they were in the right place. “We were fortunate enough to have applicants with incredible resumes of both Mexican and Peruvian backgrounds to fill the remaining spots,” says Nick. “The majority of staff are locals to the Freshwater/Manly area too, and of South American heritage to add to the experience for the customers.”

The build was inspired by from the coastal cities of Tulum & Cancun, and local suppliers, builders and contractors were used. “We were able to pull off everything and more of what we initially envisioned,” says Nick. “The whole concept was to transport the customer from the moment they walked into the venue, to the very last second before leaving. With the warm and cozy dimmed lighting, rustic walls and South American music, you truly feel like you’re not in Sydney.”

It’s not usually the best time to open in Winter, but it seems everyone has been happy to venture out and try Tijuana’s. The buzz from the community was almost instantaneous. “The response from the local community, friends and family has been astonishing,” agrees Nick. “We couldn’t be anymore thankful to the community for accepting us with open arms. We’ve been fortunate enough to have our weekends fully booked and the occasional line up. It’s blown us away just how much people are loving our style of food and the flavours we are putting forward

The menu is mouth-watering to read and Nick is happy to offer suggestions: “I wouldn’t go past the Kingfish Ceviche, it’s Chef Eduardo’s traditional recipe he’s brought from Peru and an absolute fan favourite. The BBQ octopus is marinated overnight and slowly cooked for 5 hour before being grilled to order. This is no ordinary octopus, we spent weeks adjusting the recipe and making sure that we nailed this one. So far, we generally sell out of this most nights. In saying all of this, our menu caters to all, vegans, vegetarians, celiacs and anyone in between. The menu has been thought through and carefully designed, every dish should be tried at least once!”

The Sirlion Steak W/ Chimichurri, Padron Pepper, Charred Lemon + Jus
The Kingfish Ceviche with yellow tigers milk (not from real tigers), avocado sweet potato + white corn

Margarita fans should be making a beeline for Tijuana’s Manly too. Opt for the Original (but done better), the spicy Jalapeno, or the Tommy’s Garden Margi – a herbaceous take on the all time fav, with hints of rosemary and pineapple. So what’s the secret to a Tijuana’s Margi to have everyone raving about them?

“Haha, well I can’t tell you all the secrets,” says Nick, “but I can say we don’t use cheap ingredients and we make sure everyone that goes out is the same as the very first one ever made.”

The Tommy’s Garden Margi. A herbaceous take on the all time fav, with hints of rosemary and pineapple

It’s brilliant to see the passion and authenticity that’s gone into Tijuana’s Manly, and Nick and Eduardo intend to continue delivering an experience to remember.

“We want to be looked at as a venue that gives back,” says Nick. “We have staff training around the drinks and food menus to ensure the information that goes out is spot on, as well as providing the best recommendations with pairings. We are about to start releasing the dates for our Tequila Maker Dinners. These dinners will be once a month where Chef Eduardo will tailor a three course meal to the tequila brand of focus for that month. The Tequila company will run a workshop on the night to explain the way the Tequila is produced, as well as the history behind it. The different tequilas will be paired with the specific dishes that Chef creates to really accentuate the flavours of both the Tequila’s and food.”

For more and bookings, see Tijuana’s socials below.

Shop 1a, 4-8 darley road, Manly, NSW, Australia, New South Wales
Instagram: @tijuanasmanly


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