Filipinos being exposed to different kinds of cuisine certainly have its perks. Some of which are acquiring various gastronomy experiences and learning a slice of culture with each spoon. Those are nice and all. However, it comes at the expense of sometimes forgetting that Philippine cuisine is also regarded as one of the most diverse and delicious at the world’s center stage.
A lot of Philippine restaurants offer then a unique but delicious take on Filipino food to recapture those whose fondness of Filipino food is slipping away. Not to be outdone, Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant continuously offers delicious Filipino food with enough twists to keep it exciting for everyone.
Mesa Filipino Moderne restaurant’s 30th branch is located in Ayala Malls the 30th. That is good news for us who work at the heart of Ortigas business district. Below are my reasons.
- A quick lunch with our balikbayan family members or friends when they want to visit us on a workday is possible.
- We can confidently introduce Philippine cuisine to our foreign colleagues who are on a business trip.
- All-day meetings can be held at one of two private rooms. Set menus are highly recommended to be ordered.
TINAPA ROLL WRAPPED WITH LETTUCE, PHP 155 (or USD 3)
We started with this a spring roll filled with tinapa or smoked fish placed on a sheet of lettuce complete with some spicy vinegar on the side. This is one of the instances where Mesa tries to reinvent some of Filipino’s beloved dishes.
Tinapa is traditionally a breakfast dish eaten with a cup of garlic rice. I never imagined that turning it into a spring roll works well. Tinapa is naturally salty so wrapping it with a fresh lettuce and/or dipping it into the vinegar cuts the saltiness of it. This leaves a well balanced tasty appetizer.
LAING 2 WAYS, PHP 170 (or USD 3.34)
Besides spring rolls, they also have some vegetable offerings in this form. It is named as such because they offer two versions of this beloved coconut milk based side dish. The first one is supposedly a crisp version but I found it drenched with coconut oil.
Meanwhile, the second one with the chili is the original version which I still prefer. It is no secret that I love coconut milk but, to be honest, for the latter I can taste the taro leaves better. Plus, I find it more flavorful.
KARE KARE BEEF AND TRIPE, PHP 305 (or USD 6)
Kare Kare is a mainstay in Filipino restaurant. At times, Filipinos gauge the greatness of a Filipino restaurant depending on how well the Kare Kare being offered is. Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant made sure that its essence is as faithful as it can be.
Their peanut sauce is thick and creamy with ample serving of beef and tripe. It tastes better when paired with their bagoong.
CRISPY BONELESS TILAPIA, PHP 340 (or USD 6.68)
Although their Kare Kare is enough reason to visit Mesa Filipino Moderne restaurant, I personally think that this should be part of the consideration too. Manageable portions of the fish were breaded and deep-fried until it is crispy. It is served with four different kinds of sauces majority of which are variants of vinegar.
I love how crunchy the fish is on the outside but soft at its core. Mesa made it enjoyable to eat as it saves us the hassle of deboning it,
BONELESS PATATIM, PHP 515 (or USD 10.12)
This deep fried pork leg is a delight so long as you keep your blood pressure in check. From the name itself, they already removed the bones for the customer to just dig right in. One good thing I like is the fact that despite that it is deep fried the grease it has is minimal. If you are wondering about the sauce that complements it, it is savory without being too sweet.
SWAHE (RIVER SHRIMP) ON THE ROCKS, PHP 295 (or USD 5.8)
This is one of the dishes whereby they will actually cook it in front of you. They will show the fresh uncooked swahe before cooking it over hot stones. If you’re wondering what this tastes like, it is essentially similar to eating a grilled shrimp. So I think what you’re really paying here for is the freshness of the shrimp and its presentation. May I suggest you to tell your server not to rush in cooking it as it has the tendency to be undercooked with this way of cooking.
BAGOONG RICE, PHP 165 (or USD3.24)
No Filipino experience is complete without some rice because we’re big rice lovers. Instead of a simple plain rice, it is also great to go for their famous bagoong rice. This is essentially rice mixed with fermented shrimp/ fish that gives it flavor at the expense of being salty. To counter this, sour green mango slices to top it to neutralize what ever salty taste it may have. If you are on a diet physically and/or financially, you can actually eat this on its own.
In some cases, Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant goes above and beyond in delivering what a Filipino dish is supposed to be. Some dishes that are tedious to eat have been served in a convenient way.
Mesa is also not afraid to try new things which eventually became their path to successfully staying in the hearts of the Filipinos. More importantly, their dishes offer a solid value for money when it comes to Philippine cuisine.
Mesa Filipino Moderne Restaurant
Ground Floor, Ayala Malls The 30th, Meralco Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City.
Operating Hours: 11 AM to 9 PM, Sun. to Thurs. and 11 AM to 10 PM, Fri. to Sat.