Dad was looking for Filipino food for our Sunday family dinner. After doing some research and a quick vote with the siblings, we decided to give Mesa a shot. Mesa is owned by the LaMesa Grill Group and I believe one of the partners is a local politician. They have other branches located in Greenbelt and Megamall, but since we live somewhere North, we went to their Tomas Morato branch instead.
Our dinner started off with soup. This was the first time I’ve ever tried a serving of chicken binacol and it was pretty good. Some of the ingredients include the coconut’s juice and meat. It was light and nice to have, but I wish it was served hot instead of just warm.
I was really looking forward to trying the Hito Flakes on Spoon because it looked like a fancier version of the one I love eating at Muang Thai, but I have to say that I was a bit disappointed with the taste. The mango strips weren’t sour or sweet enough to blend with the hito (catfish) flakes, that’s why I thought it wasn’t anything special. It looked really pretty though, so I think it was still okay.
The Tofu Sisig is probably something that I wouldn’t order again since it was served pretty cold and tasted really odd. The sauce was also too sweet, kind of like eating tofu tossed with honey mustard dressing.
The (Pork) Sisig with Egg came next and this was better than the tofu version. I thought it lacked a bit of flavor, but it’s probably because we didn’t get to mix it with soy sauce. Mom said this was also served warm, instead of sizzling hot; I didn’t notice that since I was too busy taking photos of the other dishes on the table.
We ordered two servings of the Bagoong Rice since each serving was good for 2-3 individuals (We were six in the group). It was just okay; not a lot of flavor there either and Mom declared that the Muang Thai version was still her favorite.
We had to order some vegetable dish, and my brother chose Mixed Vegetables. It consisted of slices of button mushrooms, young corn, asparagus, Baguio pechay and carrot slices, sprinkled with toasted garlic bits. It wasn’t anything special and the sauce was sweet, so my Dad couldn’t eat it. We probably won’t be ordering this again.
The last one to arrive on our table was the Crispy Boneless Tilapia served with four kinds of sauces (shrimp paste, sweet chili sauce, the “special” sauce, and spicy vinegar). I really liked dipping the fried fish meat into the spicy vinegar the most, but the “special” sauce wasn’t all that bad either.
Overall, I think that Mesa’s food isn’t really something I’d refer to as really, really good Filipino cuisine, but it was still okay compared to the other places we’ve visited before. The best part was definitely the the level of service, which was really nice; definitely one of the best we’ve experienced as of late.
If there was any problem with the place, it’s just that it feels pretty cramped inside because of the high back sofas. It was probably designed that way to promote a sense of privacy when the customers are eating with their own groups, but it also made it difficult for the cool air to circulate well and it got a little too warm for comfort inside the booths. I guess I’d still ask the family to go back and visit Mesa again one of these days, so that I could try their Duck Basil Fried Rice and their crispchon (Crispy Lechon/ suckling pig).