We started the meal with an interesting take on sisig, that highly savory concoction made of pork cheeks, ears, and a bit of liver. Sisig is normally served sizzling on a hotplate with a couple of halved kalamansi for squeezing on the side. Mesa, however, swanks up this classic bit of bar chow via Sisig in a Pouch (P 180.00): generous helpings of sisig wrapped in rice paper and deep fried. The resulting dumplings have a delectable crunch balanced by the chewiness of the pork bits within. The pouches were, strangely enough, not very greasy despite having been deep fried. The pork inside was well-seasoned, making the small dish of spiced vinegar that came with the dish almost unnecessary. The only thing I didn’t like about this dish was the fact that the wrapper was rather salty. Hmm…
Still, the soup whetted our appetites for the glorious bounty of grilled goodies that came next: Mesa’s Sama-samang Inihaw Platter (P 390.00). As its name suggests, it is a combination of various grilled meats and seafood. In this case, it consisted of pork barbecue, grilled pork belly, prawns, a quarter of chicken (the thigh-and-leg-part, thank goodness!), a section of bangus [milkfish] belly], and even more mussels.
The pork barbecue was the stuff foodie dreams are made of: exquisitely tender pork grilled to smoky perfection, each bite almost melting in one’s mouth. The prawns were equally good: they practically dripped with buttery goodness with a good kalamansi tang to keep them from being cloying; plus, they had a bit of crunch when bitten into – always a good sign for a prawn junkie like me. 😀 The pork belly was rather tough though it did taste wonderful.
Alas, I wasn’t able to sample the chicken (my brother had dibs on that), the milkfish belly (Dad never stopped almost the second he tasted it), and, of course, the mussels.
To say that the plates were all empty at the end of the meal would be a gross understatement. It was like the platters had all been licked clean! My sister declared she was definitely more than a little stuffed. Well, so she said till I asked if anyone wanted dessert. But that, dear SybDive readers, is a story for tomorrow… 😉