Location: Queen West
Address: 669 Queen St W
Price Range: $15~
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very Good 5: Excellent
* Filipino dishes with modern twist
* Takes reservation
What exactly is Filipino food? I still don't know and can't answer the question even after my visit to Lamesa. As I try to remember.. why I never really had strong desire to try Filipino food to this day, my mind goes blank.
I dropped by with a friend on a week day- thinking it was going to be super busy, just like every other restaurant in downtown. We went prepared too, made reservation for 7:30 that day only to find the restaurant half full.
We decided to go with the $35 tasting menu which seemed like a popular choice among many who previously visited the restaurant. With the $35 prix fix menu, you can choose 1 appetizer, 1 main and 1 dessert- I say that's a pretty good deal.
We were started off with Chef's amuse, sour mango skewers with fermented shrimp paste. This was interesting in terms of flavor. Mango piece was quite sour but with the fermented shrimp paste, it added a bit of saltiness.
Ordered: Chicken SiSig & Rice 4/5
* Chopped up chicken pieces with chilies, garlic and onions topped with a fried egg
* This appetizer was recommended by many when I said I was going to Lamesa for dinner.
* The waitress said this is best eaten with rice, which definitely was the case when I broke the egg yolk and mixed everything together.
* This dish reminds me of chicken fried rice, with somewhat of familiar flavors together.
* Although I did really enjoyed this, I was a little confused on how this was suppose to be considered an appetizer.
Ordered: Mussels 3.5/5
* This was yet another enjoyable appetizer, with mussels in a very creamy coconut broth.
* Mussels were on the tiny side but the broth had this rich coconut taste which I really enjoyed
* I almost wished I had some bread to soap up all the goodness!
Ordered: Lamb Kare Kare 2/5
* Braised lamb shank, beans, eggplant and bok choy with peanut garlic sauce and a bagoong caramel.
* When the main dishes arrived, I was surprised how big the portions were.
* Lamb was cooked so tender it was falling off the bone
* Personally the meat was too soft for my liking, it was almost a little too mushy
* Also, I didn't really enjoy the peanut garlic sauce
* The sauce lacked flavor and was bland- it didn't taste like anything.
Ordered: Pritong Manok 3/5
* Crispy battered chicken with market greens and an adobo gastrique
* Chicken had very crispy batter which I enjoyed
* I found the batter to be a little sweet which was kind of odd
* Because of the crispy batter + sweetness, this dish reminded me of funnel cake
* I personally like my food savoury unless it's dessert
* It was good fried chicken but I just found the sweet batter really odd
Chef's Pre Dessert came with the tasting menu and it was Pear & Ginger Cheesecake. This was simple, creamy and delicious!
Ordered: Leche Flan 4/5
* Filipino style creme caramel
* This reminded me of Japanese pudding but much more dense and firm
* It was very creamy almost like a cream mousse
* I enjoyed this a lot
Ordered: Ginataan 3/5
* Housemade sweet potato gnocchi, taro chips, jackfruit coconut milk and saging
* This was a dessert my friend ordered
* I am not too familar with everything that's in this dessert
* But it did remind me of those vietnamese drinks I used to get with all the jelly and beans at night market
Summary: Our waitress was so nice and helpful, bringing out each dishes and explaining them to us. She was pleasant the entire evening without invading our space and I really enjoyed the service. I still can't quite put my finger on this restaurant/food. I did enjoy the appetizers, but not so much the main dishes. Is is because I am not used to Filipino food? or is it because I just didn't like the food? It is definitely hard to compare and summarize my thoughts when you have nothing to compare with. Nonetheless, I am glad I gave Filipino food a try, although I don't think I am in a hurry to go back.