Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mesa: Filipino Moderne

In an effort to add humor, I told Ghe to ask me where to eat. He asked, “Sa’n tayo kakain?” I responded sa “Mesa.” He then replied, “Ako sa pinggan.” I was left dumbfounded 'cause I wasn’t prepared for the counter reply. 

The place is quite dim. It left me thinking, this is so to leave the customers some quiet retreat with their dining experience. To further set the mood, a candle was lit on our table.  

As it should, the design of the place envelops local ambiance of stones and wood furnishings. Even the utensils are shaped like bamboo.

 “Mesa” serves Filipino food with a twist. I was somewhat excited as I browse through the menu. I kept on saying, “Let’s order this and that.” But we settled for Mangga Salad, Baked Tahong with Cheese, A little bit of (crispy tawilis, crispy shrimp, calamares and adobo flakes) and Beef 2 Ways.

While waiting for the food to be served, G took a whiff of the condiments available on the table. There’s chili in the ceramic ware and pinakurat vinegar in regular and spicy. The plain-looking sauce is the spicy one while the other bottle with herbs is actually the regular vinegar. Our learning: what the nose and eyes can perceive will be proven by our tastebuds.


Mangga Salad:  It was supposed to be julienned green mango with shallots and cilantro dressed with sweet fish sauce. But per my request, they served it as a regular ensalada with nothing more than chopped onions and tomatoes. Although it was a little bit ripe for my taste, I was able to enjoy it with their saline shrimp paste. 

Baked Tahong with Cheese:   Mussels baked with garlic and cheese.  It was a surprise to us when they served  twelve shells in a long dishware. The cheese is so inviting that’s why I tried a piece or two. G said it was a little bit slimy. But for someone who’s not into seafood, the taste is alright for me. Though I don’t know if it’s a good thing that the cheese overpowers the mussels.

A little bit of (crispy tawilis, crispy shrimp, calamares and adobo flakes); We really wanted to have a taste of everything so we decided to have this. 

The shrimp works well with mayo. The calamares is just fine but it’s a tad pale for me. Little did I know that the paler it looks the better the calamares is. Maybe I’m so into meat that it should be cooked golden brown. Also, dipping it in vinegar makes it more interesting. The adobo flakes is crispy enough but not that exceptional. The greatest discovery for the day is the tawilis. Getting my first bite, it was salty but the sweetness of the mango complemented the fish. 

Beef 2 Ways: Beef chunks stewed in coconut and spices served either saucy or crispy. The resto is famous for their “2 Ways” dishes. Since this is labeled a “Must Try”, we did not have second thoughts and ordered for this in an instant. I tried on a piece of the crispy beef but I liked it saucy as the coconut milk added more flavor. I even poured some on my rice. There’s chili but it did not taste spicy enough for me.  


We ordered for bottomless lemonade and iced tea. Nothing particular but the price is more economical than other restos.  

Each serving is good for two or more people which makes this a safe bet for family gatherings or barkada food trip.  

Other than the food was served 20-30 minutes after, it was a pleasant eating experience for us. Well, for me.

The staffers are attentive to your needs without being intrusive and you have a good deal between the price and the serving. We haven’t tried half of their menu yet so we are surely eating here again. ◘

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