Cebu is blessed to have a variety of restaurants to choose from; there are Italian, Japanese and even Greek restaurants. One of the places that caught my interest is this little bistro style restaurant located in the Ayala Terraces. Their dining experience takes the concept of traditional Filipino cuisine to an all new level. The dishes offered here are nothing new, but, using modern techniques developed by the rest of the culinary world, Mesa has converted old boring Filipino dishes to something that not only appeals to the local palette but also to many foreign visitors as well.
Strategically located in the Ayala Terraces, Mesa has a noticeable and elegant interior. Emphasized by its traditional Filipino architecture and woodwork, I can certainly say that it is by far one of the best restaurants in the Terraces. What drew me to them was the introduction and presentation of traditional Filipino dishes with a moderne twist.
The thing is, most Cebuanos know how to make the dishes offered, but, what they lack in originality, they compensate more in variety and technique. Think of it as a modern culinary twist on dishes that were introduced at a time when our blood brothers knew nothing of the important role spices play in the artistry of food and dining.
The menu offers familiar dishes such as sisig, pinatayong manok, and laing. A noteworthy dish is the Baby Squid in Olive Oil. It offers that sweet and tangy feel of squid while at the same time catering less saltiness than what most Filipinos prefer. Normally, we like our squid salty, doused with soy sauce and soup. This is in check with the modern twist introducing an alternative to the prevailing food preference which is always good for the development of different cooking styles.
Their Garlic Butter Scallops is also different from what other restaurants offer. This is because the chef has meticulously increased the amount of garlic and salt content in the serving, which gives the dish that exotic tang we Filipinos oh so love. Worth noting is the thin scallop shells which captured my eye for keen details. Perhaps, this was the chef’s way of availing presentation points that food enthusiasts here appreciate. Truly, food is never simple. It is always a blend of aesthetic design and taste, a factor which Mesa has successfully accomplished.
Mesa offers an immersive experience in traditional Filipino cuisine. It has a past and present feel. You enjoy the traditional Filipino dishes that we all love and yet experience an all new flavor added to it. Mesa is uniquely Filipino with a moderne twist.