Monday, June 11, 2018

41 Going on 50: MESA Filipino Moderne Opens At Powerplant Mall

The road to Mesa Filipino Moderne's 50th restaurant begins at the new R2 Level of Powerplant Mall...

It's a culinary journey that began nine years ago with its very branch at Greenbelt 5, and since then, Mesa Filipino Moderne has become synonymous with modern Filipino cuisine. Now with 41 branches nationwide, Mesa Filipino Moderne is well on its way of reaching the goal of 50 restaurants by the end of the year.

At the opening of the 41st branch at the new R2 Level of Powerplant Mall, the familiar earth tones of rattan accents and wooden tables recreate the homey warmth and comforting vibe of the classic Filipino home updated with a sleek modern industrial feel with its unique lighting fixtures.

Inside Mesa Filipino Moderne, the warm amber glow of its cozy and calming interior lighting lets you ease in almost immediately. Have a refreshing beverage like the Cantaloupe Cooler (P 85), or why not try something different... the Kamias Cooler (P 85) with just a hint of sourness to temper the sweetness. To be honest, I was never a fan of fresh kamias, also called bilimbi, but Mesa Filipino Moderne's soothing version was definitely different. The balanced sweet and tart fresh notes cleanses the palate with every sip, perfect with the signature Crispchon.

Indulge in some of Mesa Filipino Moderne's signature starters, like the elegantly plated Tofu Salad (P 255) with soft bean curd, century egg and succulent shrimps with its contrasting textures and subtle yet refreshing flavorful notes...

...or go with Mesa Filipino Moderne's best-selling Baby Squid in Olive Oil (P 310) combining the briny sweetness of tender baby squid with the nutty hints of rich olive oil and garlic. Perfect with an ice-cold beer. Or some garlic fried rice.

Mesa Filipino Moderne's Baked Scallops with Garlic Butter (P 225) is another favorite, with plump scallops draped in rich butter and topped with loads of crunchy garlic bits. And if you end up with the most number of empty scallop shells on your plate, don't be surprised.

Don't forget your veggies. Pair your mains with tasty vegetable sides like the Asparagus Tips (P 195) with fermented sauce and topped with crispy garlic and the Sigarillas (P 195), winged beans tossed in creamy coconut milk and briny shrimps fired up with local chili for some soothing heat.

Then, it was time for a grand Filipino feast. Mesa Filipino Moderne's Crispchon, available whole or in One-Half and One-Fourth cuts, was the main attraction during the soft-opening dinner at the new R2 Level Powerplant branch. Served Two Ways, wrapped in a soft malunggay crepe and tossed in chili garlic, Mesa Filipino Moderne's Crispchon is an absolute must-try.

Mesa Filipino Moderne's head chef then skillfully carved up the weeks old whole piglet, starting on the side to lift the crispy layer of skin crackling revealing the moist and juicy pork. The audible sound of crunchy crackling and fragrant aroma of pork sends your appetite into overdrive...

...and after a few minutes, the signature Crispchon is ready to serve.

Tender slices of juicy pork along with strips of crackling are served, and it's time to make some bite-sized wraps. Grab a soft malunggay crepe and top it with a fork-tender piece of pork and crispy crackling, add some fresh cucumbers, spring onions and cilantro, and finish it off with a dab of one of three signature sauces. Perfect.

And that's just the Crispchon done one way. For the second way, the Crispchon is brought back to the kitchen, deep-fried and tossed in chili and garlic. The pork remains tender, with its delicate notes kicked up by the nutty garlic and soothing heat from the chili. The Crispchon, served two ways, just can't get better than that.

But Mesa filipino Moderne has much more to offer, like the Tinapa Roll Wrapped With Lettuce (P 155), tasty bites with the subtle smoky flavors of smoked fish...

...and the hearty and comforting Sinigang na Salmon Head (P 260) with premium salmon simmered in a rich and tart tamarind broth with vegetables, served on individual bowls by the staff. The creamy and buttery notes of the salmon are perfectly tempered by the mildly sour hints of the sinigang broth for balanced flavors. You'll want a second bowl. Trust me.

Patotim. You read that right. It's Mesa Filipino Moderne's inventive version of Pata Tim using duck instead of pork. The Patotim (P 665) is one of Mesa Filipino Moderne's inventive takes on traditional Filipino cuisine, taking the familiar notes of the Chinese-inspired pork dish and transforming it with the distinct notes of duck. And it works. Pata Tim? Try the Pato Tim for a refreshing new flavor experience at Mesa Filipino Moderne.

My Filipino feast at Mesa Filipino Moderne was capped by my all-time favorite, the Kare-Kare with Beef and Tripe (P 305), also available with traditional Ox-Tail (P 405) served with bagoong or fermented shrimp paste, perfect with steamed white rice. You'll want some extra rice with this one. It's a classic feast you can enjoy in all of Mesa Filipino Moderne's 41 branches nationwide. "The opening of another key location of Mesa in the metro is fueled by the desire of our group to continue to share with the public the unique modern Filipino dining service that Mesa provides to each of its guests. With this, we want Mesa to be seen as a brand that provides accessible, affordable, and luxurious overall experience to our diners," said Mr. Eric Dee, Managing Director of Mesa Philippines.

You can also enjoy the day's fresh catch at Mesa Filipino Moderne, like these succulent crabs (P 150/100 g) prepared and cooked just the way you like it. Stir-fried, Salted and Spicy...

...or draped in flavorful Chili Sauce? Your call. Other tasty options include Sauteed with Olive Oil and Garlic, cooked with Aligue or crab fat, and Salted Egg Sauce. As the whole country celebrates Independence Day, Mesa Filipino Moderne offers its Heritage Meal Bundles good for 5 persons for the whole month of June. Your favorite dishes like the Spanish-inspired Pochero to Shrimp Tofu Salad and Inihaw Sampler are just some of the popular sets for the country's Heritage Month. Traditional Filipino cuisine served with a modern and inventive spin, it's what Mesa Filipino Moderne does best for over nine years. And it's well on its way to that impressive fiftieth branch this year...

Mesa Filipino Moderne is located at the R2 Level of Powerplant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. You can also check out their FB Page here at for more information and updates.

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