Sunday, January 10, 2016

Mesa: a taste of Filipino Fusion Cuisine (Eastwood, Quezon City)

Last December 12, 2015, Aldous Calubad the Great invited me to join him for an upscale gathering at MESA Restaurant. The venue was located in Eastwood, Quezon City. The occasion was marked by the Christmas party of Team Aldous and the food review of the restaurant. According to the owner, the restaurant is a fusion of the best dishes of Asian cuisines, with a heavy emphasis on Filipino, Chinese, and Thai specialties. He also pointed out that the restaurant is just one of his businesses on a long list of establishments. As a veteran restauranteur, he has been at the helm in managing some of the most popular franchises including Tim Ho Wan.

Seeing that the place itself speaks volumes of the quality of service and food, I was eagerly anticipating the what the establishment had to offer us. We started off with their fresh fruit shakes. I had a taste of their freshly squeezed mango juice which was on a tall glass. The taste was enough to whet my appetite for more things to come. The first meal of the entourage consisted of the Tofu Salad. At 255 Pesos, this delectable serving of tofu topped with shrimp, century egg, and basil swimming in a special soy sauce mix started off my night. The texture was more akin to a cold cut offering on the menu. Also, the ingredients never overpowered each other in any way. Each had its own unique contribution to the overall taste of the dish. 

The second appetizer was the tinapa roll. This fried bundle of goodness complemented the first dish by giving a cooked variation of a fish-based dish. Upon tasting, I could feel the excellent mix of the fish together with the salsa composed of onions, tomatoes, and garlic. This truly was an excellent complement to the fresh goodness of the earlier dish. At 195, it was pretty reasonable for 4 people.

The Hito flakes in spoon, another fish based dish, was composed of ground hito with brown sugar, chili, cucumber and green mango. This was an explosion of different tastes and flavors that was brimming with more excitement as compared to the other two. The unconventional taste of this dish made me want to taste more that this restaurant had to offer. The 195 price tag was also pretty reasonable.

The main viand was capped off by the 1/2 Cripchon. At Php 2400, this dish truly embodied the spirit of this restaurant- Filipino fusion. The lechon was fried to a crisp. The skin and meat was then rolled into dough wrappers and eaten like Peking duck. Actually the texture of the lechon plus the taste reminded me of Peking duck. Add to that the fact that the sauces were composed of a good selection including hoision, garlic mayo, and chili, you truly have one winner of a dish. I had more than 10 rolls of the crispchon in wrapper until I gave up. I took my time trying out the taste of fried pork together with all the sauces on the plates.

The sigarilyas sa gata reminded me of a home cooked favorite my parents used to cook. This one though, had high quality ingredients that made me want to crave for more. The cocount milk was evidently fresh. The same goes for the sigarilyas. Add to that the fact that the dish was spiced with chili and pepper. It truly is a godsend for those who like spicy food. The 180 price tag, was a bit pricy but still worth paying for. Another variation of the vegetable dish is the Laing 2 ways. This spicy concoction of gabi leaves drenched in coconut milk and cooked to perfection is another wonderful complement to the array of dishes that we tasted. At 120, I'd go for the Laing anytime.

The perfect accompaniment to the viant was the duck basil fried rice. The Chinese influence of this dish was pretty unique. Normally yang chow fried rice would be composed of pork and vegetables. Not this one. The dish settled for more adventurous ingredients such as duck and basil. I do love how the dish played out on this one. It costs 180 per cup and is good for 2 people per serving.

Soup is an integral part of Philippine cuisine. Mesa has recognized that by offering chicken binakol soup. This version of tinola is cooked with coconut meat and served in a buko shell for that authentic Pinoy flavor. It really is good for consumption during the cold December night. I especially love the fact that the cocount meat accentuated the chicken flavoring on the soup. Plus the fact that the servings were huge and good for 2 or more people. 

Given the quality, style, and presentation of its dishes, I'd surely go back to MESA for a unique dining experience. Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant is a fine dining fusion cuisine restaurant catering to those looking for Filipino dishes with a twist. Its Eastwood branch is located at 3/F Eastwood Mall, Eastwood City Libis Q.C. Its facebook page is

Aldous Calubad for the invite.

The story in pictures:

Tofu Salad

The cripchon

Hito flakes on spoon

Tinapa Roll

The special hot sauce mix recommended by the owner

Hito flakes with Tofu salad

The sumptuous array of dishes

Tilapia with 4 sauces

Garlic chicken and tofu salad

Sigarilyas sa Gata

Baby Squid in Olive Oil

The cripchon head chopped off

Peking duck style cripchon

Laing 2 ways

Duck Basil Fried Rice

Chicken Binakol Soup

The facade
Mesa Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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