Even after trying different cuisines here and abroad, nothing still compares to Filipino food. The colors, the unusual combination of flavors, and the unique ingredients all work together to come up with something different, and it’s one I keep coming back to.
When it comes to Filipino food, one of the leading names in the restaurant industry is MESA, which started in 2006 as a cook-on-your-table called Lamesa Grill at SM Mall of Asia. Now, the diner has come full circle as MESA opens its 43rd store at SM MOA!
I got to visit the new store and was blown away, first by the interiors. The restaurant has a homey vibe, with rattan accents, wood-finished tables, great lighting fixtures, and other details that will remind you of old Filipino homes. There are enough seats for 110 people in a dining area and an alfresco area.
Of course, the star of MESA is the food and I got to try them. Here’s what I thought:
Crab in Salted Egg (P180 for 100g / Bagoong Rice for P175)
The imposing Crab in Salted Egg comes with a generous serving of salted egg sauce, which perfectly accompanies a hot bed of steaming rice. You can choose from Salted Egg, Olive Oil and Garlic, Aligue (crabfat), Stirfried, or Chili Sauce.
Inihaw Sampler (P795)
The Inihaw Sampler is perfect for groups who don’t know what to order. This dish is a mix of grilled chicken leg quarter, squid, liempo, bangus belly, mussels, shrimps, and pork barbecue. It’s a great introduction to MESA’s menu!
Salt-Crusted Agahap (P110 for 100g)
The salt-crusted agahap (seabass) is a sight to behold. You’re presented with a seabass covered in salt that looks like diamonds, and the server opens it up in front of you. The fish is baked in salt to preserve moisture in the fish, thus locking in the flavors.
Swahe on the Rocks (P300)
Another theatrical performance at MESA is the swahe (shrimp) on the rocks. Here, the server presents you with a plate of raw shrimps and a bowl filled with lava rocks. The server will place them inside, which is piping hot, and the shrimps are cooked within seconds.
Crispchon (P1,100 for 1/6, P1,500 for 1/4, P2,500 for 1/2, and P4,995 for 1 whole cut)
MESA’s famous Crispchon (suckling pig) is served two ways: wrapped in a malunggay crepe and dipped in Rikki’s choice, garlic mayo, sweet chilli, spicy pork liver, wansuy-infused, curry mustard, and hoisin sauce; or you can try it tossed in chili-garlic. Either way, they’re addictive!
If ever you’re in the Mall of Asia area and you’re craving for good Filipino seafood, try MESA!
This story is in partnership with MESA. MESA’s SM Mall of Asia store is located at the Ground Floor, North Wing Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. For more information, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.