Thursday, January 28, 2016

Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant

Mesa
Recently, Mesa opened its newest branch at Eastwood Mall, and I couldn't be more excited!



I have this two friends who often raves about this restaurant. When they found out I hadn't been to Mesa before, they made it their life's mission to get me there. It's apparently one of their barkada's favorites, so when we met up at Robinson's Magnolia earlier this year, we ended up eating there. It was pretty funny because they already knew what to order before the server even got to show them the menu! So yeah, I guess it's safe to say that at the end of that dinner, Mesa has become one of my favorite Filipino restaurants, too!
Mesa
Their interiors are very sleek and modern, with some Filipino elements incorporated into the overall look. I think it perfectly captures the kind of restaurant that they are and what they offer, which is stylized Filipino food. Mesa actually started out as Lamesa Grill, where you can cook isaw and barbecue on your table, a concept similar to many Japanese and Korean buffets. Then Ayala came to them to start something more upscale - enter Mesa Filipino Moderne. If you haven't been to Mesa before, you're probably wondering what I meant by stylized Filipino food - keep reading and you'll see for yourself. ;)
Mesa
To date, Mesa has 22 restaurants all over the Philippines, and soon, they'll be in the US, as well. The owners have lots in store for Mesa, including Mesa Express, which will be more of a rice meal type of place, but for now, let me share with you their best-selling dishes that a few friends and I got to devour at their newest branch!
Mesa
We started off with the Kamias Cooler (P80) as per the owner's suggestion.

It was slightly sour, but 100% refreshing. I don't think I've ever tried kamias before and I guess it's true what they say - don't knock it 'til you try it! The Kamias Cooler also served as a palate cleanser as the night went on.

Tofu Salad (P255)
soft bean curd topped with century egg and shrimp
Mesa
Guess which ingredient was the star of this dish? You'd probably say the shrimp, but for our group that night, it was the century egg! Overall, the different flavors and textures in this dish went together nicely.

Hito Flakes on Spoon (P195)
crispy pulled catfish with mango salad
Mesa
Mesa
By now, you probably already have a better understanding at what I meant by stylized Filipino food. The dishes they serve at Mesa Filipino Moderne are not just delicious, but appetizing to look at as well. Take for example this Hito Flakes on Spoon. How often can you find places that serve their dishes this way? Doesn't it make it more appealing? Sometimes, the difference between restaurants is just the way they plate their food, but somtimes, that alone make all the difference. Don't you agree? My friends and I actually got two orders of this when we ate at Robinson's Magnolia months ago. A must-try! ;)

Duck Basil Fried Rice (P205) 
stir fried rice with duck flakes, chili, and basil
Mesa
To tell you the truth, I've always thought of Mesa as one of those pricier Filipino restaurants, but I was wrong, and this Duck Basil Fried Rice proves just that. It's even more affordable and more flavorful than most fried rice (yang chow, etc) I've tried, so I'm definitely ordering this again next time!

Laing 2 Ways (P170)
taro leaves, pork, shrimp paste, and coconut cream topped with adobo flakes served original and crispy
MesaMesa
This is definitely one of my favorite dishes here. Not all restaurants get this right, but from the two times I've been to Mesa, their version has been on point, even if they make it two ways.

Baby Squid in Olive Oil (P310)
sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and laurel
Mesa
What's better than salt and pepper squid? Baby squid in olive oil! I don't know what it is about this dish that I love so much, but I can probably eat an entire order in one sitting. Yep, it's that good.

Tinapa Roll Wrapped with Lettuce (P155)
flaked smoked fish with tomato, onion, and salted egg
Mesa
Mesa
Generous servings of tinapa, onions, and salted egg rolled together makes this one great appetizer to have with your friends and family. It's it lumpiang gulay's saltier cousin, which is also served with vinegar. This ran out fast! Another order please!
Mesa
Chicken Binakol (P260)
chicken simmered in broth with young coconut and green papaya
Mesa
Binakol is much like tinola, except it makes use of coconut meat and juice rather than water, resulting into a dish that's both unique and flavorful.

Crispy Boneless Tilapia (P340)
served with four sauces (sweet chili, special sauce, honey bagoong, and spicy vinegar)
MesaMesa
What do I like better than tilapia? Boneless tilapia! These bite-sized pieces make it so much easier to eat, and the fact that it was served with four different sauces makes it 10 times more enjoyable. It's like eating four tilapia dishes in one order. Also, it's much more appealing and delicious to look at this way, don't you agree?

Sigarillas (P195)
wing beans tossed in coconut milk with shrimp
Mesa
Wow, so this is what sigarillas looks like. Haha! It's my first time trying it and I loved it! I'm partial to anything with gata or coconut milk, so I definitely had my fill of this. The wing beans remained crunchy throughout the meal too, so that's a plus.

Swahe on the Rocks (P295)
Mesa
This dish is prepared by placing raw shrimps on top of hot stones. With a bit of water, it will create steam inside the pot, cooking the shrimps in a matter of seconds. It felt like we were watching a magic show when it happened! There were oohhs and aahhs around the room! I kid you not!

The best I could do are these photos. It's still better to try this for yourself, but I hope the photos give you an idea of how they prepare their Swahe on the Rocks. Add a bit of their special swahe sauce and you're ready to eat! 
MesaMesaMesaMesa
Mesa
Garlic Chicken (P220)
chicken tossed in honey and garlic glazed
Mesa
This Garlic Chicken often goes unnoticed with the wide selection of menu items that Mesa offers. But seriously, the next time you visit Mesa, do try this. It is delicious and flavorful, kind of reminded me of Bonchon (at least the way they prepare their chicken). It's actually a family recipe that they're sharing to the world, so it's definitely worth a taste.

Crispchon
Mesa
The way they prepare this is a lot like how they serve peking duck in Chinese restaurants - two ways.

Prices:
One whole: P4,550 | One-half: P2,400
One-fourth: P1,400 | One-sixth: P1,050
Mesa
First, they carve out the skin, wrap it inside pandan crepes with wansuy, cucumber, and leek garnishes, then serve it with your choice of three sauces from the following: Rikki's Choice, Garlic Mayo, Sweet Chili, Spicy Pork Liver, Wansuy Infused, Curry Mustard.
Mesa
Then they toss what's left of it in chili garlic. They can adjust the spiciness level depending on your preference, just let them know.
Mesa
Mesa
Mesa
Mesa is located at the third floor of Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City.
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Mesa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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