Filipinos love to eat!  That’s an undeniable fact.  I remember hearing on the news that Pinoys are also one of the happiest people in the world so it’s not a coincidence that we like to celebrate a lot.  We whisk our balikbayans from the airport straight to a Pinoy restaurant,  order lechon to make birthdays extra special and  enjoy eating  with family  and friends  no matter how trivial the occasion may be.
MESA has been and continues to be a favorite choice of Pinoy revelers.  Seven years ago , the restaurant (LA MESA)  started with grilled food as its specialty.  Now,  the menu has been revamped and is aptly called Filipino Moderne.   “The food is decidedly Filipino but served with a twist.  It’s familiar, it’s comfort food but at the same time, it’s novel,”  says  Alexis Tan.  “It’s not only the locals who patronize the restaurant. We have a lot of foreigners who are  also regular customers of MESA.”
I asked Alexis what their bestsellers are and she reveals that the following are fastmovers : LAING (taro leaves with pork, shrimp paste cooked in coconut cream topped with adobo flakes),  CRISPCHON and CRISPY BONELESS PATA.  Hearing her name the top three made my mouth water already!


TINAPA ROLL WRAPPED WITH LETTUCE (P155) -made of flakes smoked fish with tomato, onion and salted egg. Meant as an appetizer but perfect as meal for those on a diet too. Tasty and filling!


BAKED SCALLOPS WITH GARLIC BUTTER (P225) – MUST TRY! The butter compound makes this starter dish a winner!


Something COLD perhaps? Try the TOFU SALAD (P255) made of soft bean curd topped with century egg and shrimp.


DO TRY the SINIGANG NA SALMON HEAD (P260), It is salmon head simmered in tamarind broth and fresh local vegetables. SIGARILLAS (P195) – Winged beans tossed in coconut milk with shrimp. Truthfully, i had only SANG this vegetable (Bahay Kubo) but I’ve never tasted it. Glad to say I liked it. Crisp and served with a creamy sauce…perfect!


FAMILIAR AND FLAVORFUL! BAM-I (P175)- a combination of egg and rice noodles done right!


MEAL-IN-A-RICE . Even the rice is reinvented to capture Pinoy flavors. TINAPA RICE (P170) – Stir fried rice tossed with smoke fish flakes and topped with tomatoes and red salted egg.


MY FAVORITE! BANGUS BELLY BISTEK STYLE (P310) – braised in soya and calamansi. This hefty serving of fish belly will certainly make you order an extra cup of rice! I especially like the savory , tangy sauce.


BABY SQUID IN OLIVE OIL (P310) – Squid sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with garlic and laurel. Just one of the many ootions at MESA. They also serve baby squid CRISPY or ADOBO IN ITS OWN INK.


GARLIC CHICKEN (P220) – Chicken tossed in honey and garlic glazed. Crunchy and sweet on the outside , tender on the inside.

What diet?!!! When the lechon calls, we answer “YES!”

CRISPCHON (1/4 P1,400) may be served in TWO WAYS – wrapped in pandan crepe or tossed n chili garlic sauce. Either way —GRABE, ANG SARAP!


CRISPCHON CARVING 101 – After the skin is carved, it is mixed with lechon meat, leeks, cucumber and wansuy then wrapped in pandan crepe. You can choose three sauces to accompany this dish.  We chose RikKi’s choice, Garlic Mayo and Spicy Pork Liver. You can always hit the gym afterwards. In the meantime, sit back, relax and devour!!!


I love  native desserts. I ate spoonfuls of this BIKO WITH LATIK!


My son ate this like there was no tomorrow. Bite and leche flan will ooze from the crispy lumpia wrapper. ONE MORE ORDER PLEASE!!!

1. What featured dish would you like to try and why?
That particular Friday night, MESA was full of people dining and celebrating.  On at least two instances, I heard the “Happy Birthday” song being sung .Everybody was in a jovial mood.  Great food really does bring people together. As for us, it’s an understatement to say that we came out of the restaurant feeling full.  Regret does come in the end but ours was an ecstatic kind of regret — the kind that is coupled with a resolve to do it all over again! 🙂  SEE YOU ALL AT MESA!

MESA has 10 outlets in Metro Manila. We visited MESA at the SM AURA SKYPARK. Shown in the pic is my daughter enjoying a slice of crispchon, the MESA crew, and the happy diners .

Happy Dining!
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  1. Of course I want to try the Crispchon! Who can say no to Crispy skin and delicious lechon meat? The Bangus Belly looks good too.

  2. The fried leche flan! When I saw the picture in your blog…I heard bells! I said to myself…”Oh my gosh, I gotta try those… and will eat it with the tofu salad, tinapa roll, baked scallop and bangus belly bistek style!” Gotta go there. Thanks, Paulyne for sharing your Mesa experience!

  3. Bangus Belly bistek, Crispchon, Fried leche flan, I want !! 🙂 Thank you, BQP!! Your readers now will rush and get these!! 🙂

  4. I love the Crispchon, and the sinigang na salmon head! Hehe Looks mouthwatering ever! Thanks for sharing another foodtrip to enjoy! :> Will recommend it to my sis hehehee

  5. I would love to try that Tofu Salad. As a meat eater, I think this is a best alternative since this is heavy on the stomach plus you get the protein from the Tofu and the Shrimp.

  6. I want to try the Tofu Salad. As an active boxing and gym enthusiast this is a good source of protein specially there is egg, bean and shrimp to fuel the muscle without having a heavy stomach and less cholesterol.

  7. I want to try the CRISPCHON, it looks good. Also the Bangus Belliy Bistek, bangus is one of my favorite fish 🙂

  8. I’d like to try the fried leche flan?…It’s my first time to hear that menu. So I would really want to taste it!!!

  9. I would love to try the fried leche flan. It looks enticing and delicious and its the first time that i see this sweet delectable dessert. hope you’ll pick me.. 🙂

  10. 1. What featured dish would you like to try and why?
    I Really LOVE to try the CRISPCHON because it looks Delicious and im craving now! 🙂

  11. they all Looks yummy!! I would like to try Squid in Olive Oil, Baked Scallop with Garlic Butter and obcourse the CRISPCHON

  12. i like to try the FRIED LECHE FLAN nakkatakam name plang mag iisip kn panu kya nprito un leche flan…hehehee dun plng nkktakam na.tpos gusto ko rin itry un bangus belly bistek style cgurdo ko mgugustuhan yan ng bunsong anak ko.mahilig ksi sya s belly part ng bangus.

  13. To start with I would like to try the Baked scallops with Garlic Butter. I often hear about scallops on those TV cooking shows and still wonder up to now how they taste like. Then there’s the Bangus Belly Bistek. If you tagged it as your favorite I need to know why. Of course I need to taste that Squid in Olive Oil. Your posted photo of it has me craving already. Finally I must certainly taste the Crispchon. Either of the two ways that Mesa serves it. I am sure I will be asking for an extra order of rice. After all that I don’t think I will have any room for desert, but it would be a sin not to have at least one of those Fried Leche Flan rolls.

  14. Baby Squid in Olive Oil, Tinapa Rice, Bangus Bistek and Cassava Cake are just few of my favorite dishes from Mesa 🙂

  15. I wanna try all the dishes you have featured but most specially the CRiSPCHON!!!
    Thanks BQP for helping us find good places to dine and enjoy with our families. More power to you!

  16. I would love to try the FRIED LECHE FLAN . Just like how your son ate them like there’s no tomorrow, what if your son is right and tomorrow won’t come ? how can I get my chance to taste it? So given the opportunity , I would love to experience life like your son’s. Appreciating things like there’s no tomorrow.

  17. You know that I always look forward to your features. Introduced a lot of new places to try and dine in to your followers. Truly, I appreciated it. I discovered something in one of your features that’s why almost everyday I stopped and have my breakfast there 🙂 Thank You BQP for sharing a lot of new and exciting things.
    MESA is famous because of its Filipino Dish with a twist. They’ve several branches and the one I saw was in Morato. Always full pack specially at night. Anyways, to answer your question…I’ve three choices. First is the Baked Scallop with Garlic Butter. I love dishes if it’s sauteed with butter. It has a delicate taste and sure thing, It’s a winner because the butter will add spice to the food. Second, my all time favorite the Garlic Chicken 🙂 I can eat this everyday without “sawa” 🙂 I don’t want to miss of trying and how they serve it from other restaurant. Lastly, I want a dessert and definitely I’ll choose Fried Leche Flan. My favorite also it was just wrapped in lumpia wrappers. I’m now hungry 🙂

  18. I can’t! I just can’t say no to Crispchon! Crispy lechon skin is my weakness, I must admit. Plus the color of the pandan crepe is soooo inviting! 🙂

  19. I’ve been to Mesa several times but I haven’t tried their CRISPCHON… so maybe that should by my target next visit.
    But so far my all time fave is their baby squid in olive oil.

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