Restaurant Review: Mesa Filipino Moderne at SM Aura Premier
Published on September 28, 2014
One Friday afternoon, I went to SM Aura with my office mates to buy presents for our team’s birthday celebrators. We were just supposed to eat at the mall’s food court before checking out the stores, but one of my teammates suggested that we go to one of the restaurants at Sky Park. Some of us hesitated thinking that our lunch for that day will shoot beyond our budget, but she promised that the prices are very reasonable.
I loved the cozy, warm and very welcoming interior of Mesa. The restaurant offers Filipino dishes so I really appreciate that even the small details shout of the Filipino culture. Take for example this quirky design of their glasses. I was informed that it is actually inspired from the look of a bamboo.
To warm our tummies, everybody agreed to have a bowl of the chicken binakol. For those who are not familiar with this dish, it is somehow similar with tinola. What sets it apart is the use of coconut which gives the dish a hint of sweetness.
With tinapa, salted egg and tomatoes, this appetizer reminds me so much of a rainy afternoon at home. You’ll get all the goodness in every bite. It was like having a symphony of flavors inside my mouth.
I saw laing on the menu so I asked the group if we could get one. Served 2 ways, one is dry while the other has a thick sauce. I am actually accustomed to the second one as my mom cooks laing this way. It was actually my first time to try the dry version of laing. My Bicolana teammate told me that the difference between the two lies in the timing of putting the coconut milk in the cooking process. Who would have thought that eating is learning, too?! =)
Laing is one my favorite dishes because I love spicy food. But this dry version of the laing is to die for! The flavors from the chili, coconut, pork and shrimps somehow permeated through every leaf. Plus, the adobo flakes topping put this dish a notch higher than the usual laing. Have you noticed the serving spoon of the laing? Doesn’t it look like a bamboo, too?! =)
Okay, so my photos can’t even give justice to what I am about to say regarding the next two dishes. Apologies for the really horrible photos, but I do hope you will still believe me. Haha! Anyway, I don’t know who Kaka is, but I want to shake his hand and thank him for his binagoongang baboy!
This next dish turns out to be a revelation. I mean, fried tilapia is a very usual Filipino dish. I eat it at home at least once a month, so what is there to love about Mesa’s version? There's nothing extraordinary with fried tilapia. Ha! I was proven wrong!
You’ll get that crispy crust and that moist meat of the tilapia at every bite. It comes with four sauces – vinegar, sweet chili sauce, bagoong and what seems to me is a soy sauce-vinegar mixture. All dips match the tilapia well, but my favorite among the four is the sweet chili sauce!
Mesa serves good food with reasonable prices. We were actually so surprised when the bill was handed to us. We checked it so many times to see why we were just paying that amount. It’s already a steal considering that we spend more when we eat out on Fridays. Plus, service is really fast and very efficient, too! So in case you find yourself craving for Filipino food when you’re at SM Aura, make sure to check Mesa out! =)
Mesa Filipino Moderne
Level 5 SM Aura Premier
McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City,