Friday, April 3, 2009

Dining with KC at Mesa Restaurant - Greenbelt 5 Makati


AFTER TAKING my friend out to watch Nicolas Cage in Alex Proyas’ apocalyptic mind-bender, “Knowing” – my third time, so I was about to barf, to be honest – we decided to skim through the other restaurants at the posh Greenbelt 5 area in the city of Makati, Manila’s financial district. Though I have been there several times recently (to process a visa for a trip within the week), I needed to seriously check out the “new” restaurant scene. There has to be more than the snail-paced service of Fely J (a waiter took 20 minutes to see us – and they only had 1 other occupied table that time) or the ubiquitous Cibo. Chateau is there but you don’t always relish on delicious, but decidedly overpriced gastronomic delight. Expensive restaurants are perfect for milestone celebrations, not habitual day-outs with friends.

Mesa, the fine-dine branch of the La Mesa Grill group of restaurants, was having their soft opening! It was perfect since I was craving for some Filipino food. We were ushered inside to a simple but elegant table. Huge orange sofa chairs and tastefully cloistered bamboo walls with sophisticated lacquer gloss, medium sized hanging lamps, and glistening wooden tables all make for a cozy place perfect for a laidback atmosphere with friends or family to hang out with!

You have to admit, Greenbelt hardly counts as a major spot where mums and dads can take their family to. Mesa conveniently covers this crowd. This isn’t saying that a hip hopping crowd can’t hang out here. Another delectable come-on is its rates that, on average, range from PhP150 ($3.15) to P300 ($6.30)! Compared to similar restaurants in the area, MESA is a very affordable fine-dine option! Finally, there's food that is actually cheaper than Greenbelt's movie ticket (PhP170).

How was the food: except for a slightly careless dangling serving utensils as food was being served (this restaurant after all prides itself as “fine dine” – the waitress said so), every bit of what we ordered was delicious, we wanted more! It was too late when I realized I should have ordered their CrispChon (lechon – or roast pig). A one-sixth order only costs PhP799 (one whole – P3999; one half – P1999; one fourth – P1099). For the veggie crazed urbanite, there’s the steamed okra (P100), mix vegetables (P120), laing (P120), sigarilias (P180), asparagus tips (P180), pinakbet with bangus belly (P180).

It was too bad that their elephant clams (“diwal”) – lusciously photographed on their coffee-table style menu – wasn't available. It doesn't stand quite right to have some unavailable items on a menu – not on a soft opening, at least! Waiting service was impeccable, except that my companion’s brewed coffee took 35 minutes to arrive – and after 3 follow ups! They've forgotten 3x! But then these are birthing pains!

Giant squid stuffed with meat and vegetables - PhP300 ($6.30). This squid was huge!


Well into our late lunch, there was a commotion! Kiko – the soft-spoken senator, Francis Pangilinan, made an entrance. And people were scurrying around like adrenalinized ants. The popular senator took his seat. Not a second later, a star literally descended from the heavens ! KC Concepcion - with her manager Shirley Kwan - sat at the table next to her stepdad! I tried not to look, but Chiqui was obviously impressed. She gushed, “KC is really beautiful!” I turned directly to my right, where KC was seated. And I just couldn’t help but admire! I sighed then vigorously sliced through my salivatory caramelized garlic pork. I relished on such fantastic atmosphere with a dear friend, a luminous movie star in my midst, and more importantly, delicious food that allowed me to shop elsewhere afterwards.

Funny! I was just at the La Mesa Grill-Trinoma, several days ago (their adobo flakes is to-die for). Senator Kiko is part owner of the La Mesa Grill group of restaurants. Interested parties for special occasions should call this Greenbelt branch at (02)7280886.

Brewed coffee was PhP45; coke in can - PhP55; 12% VAT! Tipping isnt necessary coz the whole hulabaloo comes with a service charge - mine was just PhP44. Regardless, I left a change of more than PhP50. For what i am used to paying for dining in Greenbelt, I was pleased with my bill - and what I was left with!

Caramelized garlic pork - tacky presentation, but delectable, down to the last slice - PhP190 ($3.90).

Baked tahong (mussels) topped with cheese, 12 pieces - PhP150 ($3.10).

Tinapa rice - rice peppered with smoked fish flakes with stir fried rice, topped with tomato and salted egg - PhP190 ($3.90).

Beautiful beyond food - KC Concepcion! Late lunch with stepdad Kiko.

There were more than a dozen waiters even at a dead hour of 4PM.

Greenbelt 5

After our sumptuous meal at Mesa, we hurried to Greenbelt 5's Classic Confections (near Fely J, 2nd floor), another great pastry shop with the most unbelievably tasty cakes at very affordable prices. These are home-baked cakes that range between PhP150-190. Can you believe it?

This chocolate cake is just P195!

Easter eggs being sold already at Classic Confections!

This is the Eye in the Sky.


Zumi said...

Wow! How I wish to experience dining in, in that luxurious and delicious restaurant soon with my love one. Thank you for sharing this with us.

eye in the sky said...

Hi Zumi,

You will. Mesa is spreading its wings. They even have a branch in Cebu already. Who knows, they might have one in SM Premier Lanang in Davao City. I'm sure it's gonna be an easy ride from Koronadal. Cheers! :)

Dimple Santiago said...

I am craving for those foods especially on that giant squid. I want to visit that restaurant in greenbelt and dine-in with my friends. The price is very affordable also. Hope it will happen soon.

eye in the sky said...

@ Kirstz:

The stuffed squid is delectable. :)

Lovely said...

I love their stuffed squid. Nice review! thanks for sharing