July 2, 2009
Greenbelt 5, Makati City
Finally got the chance to do the write-up for this resto. Been quite busy with work and microblogging. This is way overdue.
Mesa is a new dining experience from the La Mesa Grill Group in Greenbelt. It is purely a Filipino/Asian inspired restaurant with all the basics. Sometimes they also offer very different and very unique takes on classic Filipino favorites. Like the HANGED Fried Chicken and the FRIED Lechon. Since we were 10+ in the table, we all decided to order for sharing. We just made sure that the viands were a good mix of veggies, meat, seafood, and soup:
Tinapa Spring Roll - A very Filipino take on the classic spring roll. It could have used a little more tinapa (smoked fish) but it was overall very good. I think the smokey flavor gave another dimension to the already perfect roll. The roll was also plated nicely giving it the illusion of quantity and elegance.
Boneless Crispy Pata - This was probably the best dish of the evening. The skin was very crispy but it was not at all bland. It was very tasty and perfectly seasoned. The meat was moist and very tender. They did a good job on this since most of the time, the meat of the pata are usually a tad bit overcooked. Overcooking leaves the meat dry and stringy. Mesa's version was so good it disappeared from our table so fast... Everybody loved it! :)
Baby Squid In Olive Oil And Garlic - Mesa's haute cuisine version of the Adobong Pusit. This was also very flavorful and we could not help but spoon some of the sauce and drippings on top of our rice. The squid were cooked pretty well and consistently all throughout the dish. A nice seafood addition to our great meal...
Until the Pochero got in the way of an almost perfect meal... To put it bluntly, it was weird! Isn't pochero just stewed pork or beef with tomato sauce? How could they have gone wrong with that?!? The soup was a bit too gamey for me... I think it lacked some herbs or spices to at least mask the strong meat flavor.
The night almost ended in failure with the Pochero... Good thing our last dish, the Stone Grilled Shrimps, were amazing. Still alive, they were placed inside the clay pot containing stones that were heated above boiling point. The shrimps were cooked really fresh and thus maintaining its sweetness. They were so perfectly cooked that I personally could not get enough of it. It actually didn't require a dipping sauce to further enhance it. It was far too flavorful in itself.
I don't know how long Mesa has been in the Greenbelt area but I'm glad there is a new Filipino restaurant in town. Finally, another place that offers good food at an affordable price and yet not that commercialized. Some establishments have shifted gears towards the alcohol-fueled public and concentrated more on the number of buckets than the number of plates. Mesa is a breathing space between that and the high-end. A last breath of oxygen for the dying Filipino restaurant.
Back at Yentafo Kruengsonge at Kallang Wave Mall
17 hours ago