Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mesa: The common table?

Mesa is not a Tagalog word, it's definitely Spanish. The Tagalog term for "dining table" is "hapag kainan." 

But since, the Filipino Language is made up of many different foreign languages and local dialects (not just Tagalog), it is already inducted to our vocabulary. 

To name a restaurant as "Mesa" is a clever marketing strategy - it's common, short, easy to remember, and provides a very good insight on the products and services it offers.

A quick look at the restaurant's branding. Now let's eat something...

Again, we thank God for another bountiful meal. It's quite difficult to distinguish each dish at this angle, so why don't we just take them one at a time...

First up, some appetizers - a classic one from the sage - Mangga Salad. 

I really don't eat this one so, let me show you my appetizer...

Baked Tahong w/ Cheese! My goodness! This is definitely a history - the day a dozen baked Mussel is served on our table, two of w/c was tried by my partner. Hehe. Yum, yum yum!

But wait - don't judge a food by it's serving plate (in this case, a long narrow white ceramic plate, almost like a custom built one for a dozen tahong). I must say that some of the mussels don't taste as fresh as the others. It's not actually spoiled, but it's "MALANSA" (I cannot translate that word properly.) It's either not cooked properly or it's on its early stages of being spoiled, that's why the slightly foul taste. Well, my stomach's still fine afterwards so I think I was able to tolerate it. Hehe.

My verdict is that I've tasted better Baked Mussels in other places before, and this one does not even come at par w/ what I expected. I said before that you can't go wrong w/ seafoods, but sorry, this baked tahong is a thumbs down here...

Ok, on to the next one. We have more seafoods around (and shredded meat) - fried stuffs this time around. This is the sampler for this resto - A LITTLE BIT OF...  like I said, fried stuffs? From bottom left diagonally up to the upper right, we have some Adobo Flakes, Crispy Tawilis, Calamares, and Crispy Shrimp. Another day in history when this much seafood is on the table. Attack! hehe.

I'm not really a fan of adobo flakes - I haven't really tasted one that would make me wanna try it again - this one included. It's too bland, and tough (when it should be crispy). It's a good thing it's just a sampler.

For the Tawilis, it's quite meaty for its size. Has some crunch on it, but not that much. That yellow strip on top of it is actually ripe mango and gives that sweet taste similar to a sushi. The tail is crispy enough to be eaten too.

I'm not really sure what those rounded fried things too when it got on our table. When I tasted it, I knew, it's calamares. Not really inviting for their looks, and tastes just the standard ones (the one sold on the street tastes better actually.) My first reaction actually after tasting it is "This is better w/ spicy vinegar." True enough, the taste improved once dipped/soaked in some spicy vinegar. That's bad actually because a good food shouldn't rely on confectioners to taste better. Again, this is good, but it's something I can even cook better.

Same goes w/ the crispy shrimp, nothing so special about it. You need the garlic mayo or vinegar to fully enjoy it.

The best thing about this meal is the variety of tastes. Other than that, they're just standard fried seafoods mostly.

On to our main course:

Beef 2 ways. 

Ok, that's quite literal. You've got beef curry on the left and some fried crispy beef on the right. 

The option of mashing down that single Siling Labuyo on the beef curry to make it spicy is left to the customers - I wish it was already inculcated in the cooking process (because we forgot to mash ours.) It lacked that kick of spicy food - our mistake partly.

And that crispy beef seems to be not too crispy at all - it looks like your dry version of adobo. I was hoping it would somehow taste like one, but it's not. It's really just some tenderized chunks of beef which is then fried. Nothing special really.

This combo dish gimmick did not worked well for me. The crispy beef is not crispy and too bland, and the beef curry tastes like your common carinderia curry (w/c is sometimes even better...) I wish I just combined the two on a single serving tay and mashed the Siling labuyo (or just half of it) to improve the taste.


For our drinks, I had Lemonade and iced tea for cy. For a meal that I didn't enjoy much, it's good that we go bottomsless for these.

Some condiments - perfect for the fried foods. The one on the ceramic mini bowl is some siomai sauce (soysauce+chili paste.) And don't be deceived by the vinegars - the one on the left is more spicy than the one on the right. (How come?)

Some unique cutlery here - the handle resembles a bamboo.

My final judgement: give my money back. I did not get what I paid for. It simply lacks that "X-factor".

Perhaps, my stomach was somehow already filled in with something before dining here, or the food was served too late that I've already had a glass of lemonade before eating, or this resto is simply the mediocre type. Maybe they have better food in their menu that we might want to give a chance of, but for me, what I had did not really give a good and lasting impression on me.

Thanks for reading! :)

(...sorry for the negative review)


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