With just a few days left on our vacation, my high school friends and I decided to have lunch together at Mesa, a Filipino restaurant partly owned by Kiko Pangilinan.
Now, prior to visiting the place, my friend who recommended it was all praises, and lots of food blogs out there were also raving about it so I was quite excited to eat there.
First disappointment though, came in that they didn’t have ALL the things I wanted – no baked tahong and no dalandan juice, even though these two were prominently displayed on their huge menu and are staples in any self-respecting Pinoy resto.
Since my initial orders were not available, I just let Lei order all the food for our group. We had the Sinigang na Salmon Head (Php 180 good for five), Boneless Tilapya (Php 290), Crispy Duck (Php 390), Laing Two Ways (Php 120) and Duck Basil Fried Rice (Php 180 good for 2-3).
Now, I have very high standards on Filipino food – I grew up with a grandma for a cook, a chef for an aunt, and parents who cook nice delicious food (except on days when my mom gets health issues anxiety and decides to forego ALL seasoning), so I am very particular about the dishes and the usage of each kind of spice and seasoning.
As for the laing, it doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned. I tasted better laings – from my officemate’s homemade Laing to our neighborhood carinderia to my own mom’s laing. The dry version was tasteless while the “wet” version had no spice to it, even though I spied a chili on top of it.