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Sept 2013

No. 4

Childhood Fluff! Maple’s new kind of Nirvana

Beer Match

Brotzeit satisfies Manila’s craving for all things German

Sweet Spot

Morelli’s welcome kind of sugar rush

Table Manners

Moving forward with Mesa’s Filipino cuisine


Let’s Eat Issue 4

WHAT'S INSIDE

Sept 2013

p.9

CHILDHOOD FLUFF! Maple’s new kind of Nirvana

Moving forward with Mesa’s p.18 Filipino Cuisine TABLE MANNERS

p.16 BEER MATCH Brotzeit satisfies Manila’s craving for all things German

p.20 SWEET SPOT Morelli’s welcome kind of sugar rush

p.21 COUPONS


Friday faves It’s Friday, and all you need is a relaxing hang-out place to cap off a long week of beating deadlines at work. We know you love the famous trio of appetizers — loaded potato skins, fried mozzarella and spicy buffalo wings; the tender chicken fingers dipped in delectable honeymustard sauce; and the special Jack Daniel menu selection — from the scrumptious baby back ribs, chicken and seafood up to the ultimate seven-ounce burger with juicy beef, lip-smacking bacon strips and impressive sauce… that you religiously order these tried-and-tested items each time you visit TGI Friday’s. But hey, Friday means adventure, escapade, excitement. And now, there are a lot more to your beloved dishes as your favorite classic American bar-restaurant offers new tasty

By May Serrano Photos by Walter Bollozos

choices that would make you feel like every day is a Friday. To convince you with other trustworthy choices, we explored the new offerings of TGI Friday’s, which are now available in all 14 branches nationwide. For appetizers, there’s the set of thick, warm pretzels with beer queso — a creamy craft beer-cheese dipping sauce — and the new tostada nachos. Followers of JD burger would love the irresistible two bleu burger while pasta lovers would adore the new Texmex mac and cheese topped with tortilla strips and tomatoes. For health buffs, there’s tortilla-crusted fish tacos. These and more new must-try’s would definitely match up your appetite’s standards.

Two bleu burger

Friday's tostada nachos

Tortilla crusted fish tacos

Mouthwatering, succulent and satisfying. A thick, juicy beef patty is fire-grilled to perfection and enveloped between delicately soft sesame buns. The “big-thickburger” is then layered with fresh lettuce, tomatoes and a double dose of true bleu goodness — oozing bleu cheese dressing sprinkled with crumbs of bleu cheese — and finally finished with crispy bacon and fries. Eating is believing!

The favorite appetizer just got even better with Friday’s divine tostada nachos. Now loaded with seasoned ground beef and melted cheese, the crispy tortillas look like slices of a brick-oven panizza that’s already delicious on its own. Simply top it with salsa, sour cream and guacamole and don’t forget the spicy jalapeños for a little kick.

Light yet zesty, these healthy fish tacos are perfect for health-conscious foodies. Flour tortillas are filled with tasty white fish fillets made crispy by nacho crust. The warm tacos are garnished with fresh, shredded lettuce, corn salsa and creamy lemon dill remoulade sauce. On the side are tortilla chips and salsa that make the generous serving straight up fabulous.


On the cover: Blueberry and Cream Cheese Pancake Tower from Maple Cover Photo by GABBY CANTERO

Photo by GABBY CANTERO

AN APPETIZER This month, the Let’s Eat team heads on to Ortigas to discover some new places to dine and enjoy good food. Tucked away from the bustle of Megamall’s busy walkways, Mesa can appear as a ‘hidden’ destination of sorts but with a well-known reputation for its excellent take on Filipino cuisine, its corner location is still something customers seek every time they crave for something homegrown. Shangri-La Plaza Mall’s newly minted East Wing also has a couple of new places that offer exciting choices. There’s Maple, Pancake House’s more ‘mature’ cousin, and Morelli’s, a sweet spot that’s also the first to be featured in our new desserts section, Let’s Eat Sweets. And right across the East Wing is Brotzeit, a Bier Bar that sucessfully filled the void left by the other German restaurants that closed a few years back.

Kain na!

FERNANDO MIGUEL BELMONTE Publisher DON JAUCIAN Managing Editor THYSZ ESTRADA Editorial Associate SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ Contributing Writer GABBY CANTERO Contributing Photographer LUCIEN DY TIOCO Head of Sales & Marketing ALLAN PALOR Visualizer ANNALYN DELGADO Editorial Assistant

Golden Letter Publishing, 1497 E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City For inquiries, call 5277901 local 132 or email letseat062013@gmail.com


childhood fluff Reach a new kind of Nirvana at Maple

By SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ Photos by GABBY CANTERO

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emember all those movie posters which used to line the walls of the Pancake House restaurants? I grew up geeking out on those indelible images from classic films, from Hitchcock’s Vertigo to Lucas’ Star Wars. During those Betamax days, the young film buff that I was would look forward with glee to every visit to the early Pancake Houses, for the absolutely cinematic experience of dining in their bright orange interiors, highlighted by losing myself in their glorious golden pancakes. I would always order the same thing: Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Peanut Butter on the side please! I’ve grown up, and I’m glad that Pancake House has too: their new concept, Maple, is the more mature version of the beloved childhood favorite. The restaurant’s first two branches at the San Antonio Plaza in Forbes Park and in the new East Wing of the Shangri La Mall have become instant hits; proof positive that while our childhood tastes inevitably will become more adult, and our preferences will broaden, there will always be a special room in our hearts, and sufficient space in our stomachs, for the flavors we all grew up with! Maple has an all new menu, and no items overlap with Pancake House; but don’t worry Pan Chicken and Taco fans, there are more than enough new dishes for you to fall in love with. Primus inter pares is Maple’s Prime Rib Tapa. Is it a steak or is it tapa? It’s both. Is it breakfast

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10 LET’S EAT SEPT 2013

or lunch or is it dinner? It’s perfect any time of the day! The restaurant’s bestseller is the greatest tapsilog in the history of the world, as far as I’m concerned. It’s a full size slab of tender prime rib, marinated in Maple’s secret spices so that it tastes exactly like a classic sweet-spicy tapa. The premium beef is served with a bountiful serving of fragrant garlic rice and two fried eggs, cooked to the diner’s preference. Loyalists have been known to brave Metro Manila’s traffic for hours just to savor this dish; which is why the third Maple restaurant that will open on Commerce Avenue in Alabang is such great news for those who live down south. I’m positive that just the thought of the Prime Rib Tapa in their part of town is already making many mouths water while impatiently counting the days until December. And speaking of Southern, Chef Patrick Corpuz, the young mastermind behind Maple’s vast menu, sharpened his culinary skills in Texas, and that experience shines through with the Huevos Rancheros; his take on the classic Mexican breakfast is surprisingly light, yet quite filling: tortillas, refried beans, a sunny side up egg, and grilled chicken, the whole platter redolent with the aromas of cumin and other exotic spices from south of the border. For dessert, I recommend the Chef’s magnificently tart and creamy Key Lime Pie. It’s a treat that I’ve always loved, and I’m very happy that it’s found its way into Maple’s menu, and

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HEALTHY OPTIONS Salmon catch (P550, with fresh corn, not from the can) Fish tacos (P450)

boy oh boy, how sweet it is: tangy Key Lime custard sorbet in a graham cracker crust, embraced by a French meringue topping, then sprinkled with walnuts, and drizzled with a caramel sauce. But I’m sure most foodies would like to know this, first and foremost: exactly how good are Maple’s pancakes and waffles? Well, rest assured that a state of nirvana will be reached with the Blueberry and Cream Cheese Tower, a soaring stack of six fluffy pancakes, each layer alternately sandwiching blueberry preserves and the thickest cream cheese. All that’s missing is a syrup worthy to pour over this pile of happiness, and of course, a restaurant called Maple has authentic imported maple syrup to complete a heavenly pancake experience! Maple set out to be a more sophisticated version of a kiddie classic; the restaurant’s succeeded in this, that’s for sure. But in doing so, it’s also inadvertently accomplished something even better. It’s allowed adults to flash back to their first, and most cherished childhood restaurant memories at Pancake House!

PRICE RANGES Drinks – from P80 (Soda pop) to P965 (House wines red/white) All day breakfast – from P270 (French toast) to P540 (Big Maple Breakfast) Pasta – from P330 (Pasta Legerro) to P390 (Spaetzele Jambalaya) Entrees – P420 (fish and chips) to P1680 (Rib eye Steak) Dessert – P175 (Sundae fun day) to P280 (New York cheesecake and Chocolate cake a la mode)

TIPS 1. Recommended dishes have maple leaf icons beside the dish name. 2. The food is generally served in big portions so better go to Maple in a group or if you’re really hungry. 3. Maple can accommodate requests when it comes to their food so just ask the wait staff about it.

Maple is located at L/G East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, EDSA cor. Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong City. Call (02) 477 8027 or email maple@pancakehouse.com.ph

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Spaetzele Jambalaya Huevos rancheros Prime rib tapa Key lime pie

MapleRestaurantPH

MaplePH

LET’S EAT SEPT 2013 11


Fancy feast at Shangri -La PLAZA

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rom casual restaurants to slick dining terraces, you’ll feel a world away from the typical mall while enjoying a delightful lunch or dinner at Shangri-La Plaza. Now teeming with a variety of food choices and specialty restaurants, ShangriLa Plaza’s list of dining outlets still keeps growing. From its homegrown restaurants to the more popular restaurant chains in the country, it has consistently provided customers with a delightful dining experience. As the Filipino dining culture has continued evolving throughout these years, Shangri-La Plaza has also spiced up the mall dining experience in the country. The mall has continuously upgraded their zones and in 2006, the mall introduced The Ledge—a casual dining strip at the Level 6 of the mall’s Main Wing. Over time, it has become a foodie destination offering a wide array of dining options. Most of the restaurants at The Ledge opened their first stores at the Shang. It is where today’s leading casual restaurant chains in the country started namely SumoSam, Cyma, C2, and Claw Daddy, among others. “It was Shangri-La Plaza that started the casual dining concept. If you could remember before 2006, brands that came out were all fast-food, if not, in the middle of the casual and fast-food category. So when we launched The Ledge, we offered the first community of casual dining restaurants in the country,” says Meg Palma, Shangri-La Plaza’s manager for tenant management. She continues, “Because they were firsttime brands back then, they were new in

By Camille Bersola

From pubs to cafés, the Streetscape has the younger mall goers, yuppies, and residents from nearby condos and hotels hanging out for a hearty meal.


the market and we put them together and gave them an area where they can offer their products. Up until today, they are still with us, an indication of how successful that row is.” As Shangri-La Plaza’s customers continue to embrace these new dining concepts, more entrepreneurs also wanted a space to open new restaurants here. To accommodate them, The Ledge was extended to Level 5 of the Main Wing, which now houses popular international brands as well as locally owned ones including California Pizza Kitchen, Cravings, Secret Recipe, and Recipes by Café Metro.

From its homegrown restaurants to the more popular restaurant chains in the country, Shang has consistently provided customers with a delightful dining experience.

Even its food court was also given a new look in 2008. Located at the lower ground floor of the Main Wing, the Garden Court boasts of a line-up of popular casual restaurants, clustered together for more convenience of customers. Palma shares, “We again pioneered the mall food court renovation in the sense that the food stalls were limited.” Perennial favorites such as Pepper Lunch, Kimono Ken, Bon Chon, and Max’s Restaurant among others are located at the Garden Court, which offer more “fast-casual but very dine-in” type of eateries. The list of dining options doesn’t stop there. At the Streetscape, restaurants here drip with foodie cred. From pubs to cafes, this al fresco strip at the Main Wing attracts the younger mall guests, yuppies, and residents from nearby condos and hotels hanging out for a hearty lunch, dinner or snack, drinking during happy hour or after work, or even for a business meeting. Palma says, “Here,

we brought in more entertainment concept. It used to have live bands, especially when show bands were still in. But eventually, when the club scene came in and more of the international beer concepts and pubs became the new trend, we decided to incorporate a younger vibe here at Streetscape.” That is a manifestation of Shang’s ability to evolve with the times. Streetscape features international gourmet restaurants such as Brotzeit, which is a German-themed restaurant from Singapore offering Bavarian dishes and imported beers, a perfect spot for expats and the beerdrinking crowd. Along the strip are other new restaurant concepts including Pages Deli, whose menu is inspired by famous novels; the Wine Story, a winophiles haven; Dome; Via Mare; The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, among others. The newly opened East Wing of Shangri-la Plaza also houses both mainstream and oneof-a-kind restaurants. From the lower ground to the higher levels, there are still more dining places to choose from. The lower ground, which has an entrance across Edsa ShangriLa Hotel, highlights specialty food stores like Krispy Kreme, Bread Talk, Jamba Juice, Gelatissimo, and all day dining concepts such as Maple and Wee Nam Kee. It also has a great mix of specialty shops related to food like Vom Fass, D&K Kitchen Essentials and Kitchen Works. “Level 2 of the East Wing houses international brands, so our F&B shops complement these brands as well,” says Palma. This is why East Wing now cultivates a cosmopolitan vibe with more shoppers indulging not only in retail therapy, but also in international gourmet fare from TWG Tea, P.F. Chang’s, Gyukaku and Morelli’s Gelato. With the high street brands that sprawl on East Wing’s Level 4, the dining concept


The East Wing now cultivates a cosmopolitan vibe with more shoppers indulging not only in retail therapy, but also in international gourmet fare.

The Ledge, located at the 5th and 6th floors of the Main Wing, houses well-loved international and local casual-dining restaurants.

The Garden Court is a sanctuary for fast-food-seeking diners.

here also complements the idea of this part of the mall. Here, foodies can enjoy the chefinspired restaurants that offer different types of signature specialties including Balboa by Chef Marvin Agustin, Green Pastures by Chef Robbie Goco, Corazon by Chef Florabel Co, and Lombardi’s by Chef Davide Lombardi. Palma also reveals, “We collaborate with chefs in creating new concepts for the mall and as such, offer pioneering and novel cuisines.” Going up on Level 5 in the East Wing is the extension of The Ledge from the Main Wing. This features more causal dining restaurants such as Akira, Ganso Shabuway, 26th St. Bistro by Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Zao Vietnamese Bistro, The Strip Hollywood Steakhouse, Spätzle Euro Market Café and Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen. To complete the gastronomic tour in Shangri La Plaza, guests can go to the Level 6 of the East Wing, which more popular F&B brands were put up, and these are more of the interactive kind of restaurants such as Johnny Rockets, Texas Roadhouse Grill, Woo Galbi, Zarzuela, and Arya Persian Restaurant. It also has the first full menu format of Serenitea where lunch goers can have their fill. The impressive line-up of dining places at Shangri-La Plaza continues to grow, thanks to the more sophisticated and more adventurous taste of Filipinos today. With that, Shang continues to come up with more exciting concepts to introduce to the market. “We are the destination for a unique dining experience with our selection of varied cuisines for every palate. A lot of our restaurant concepts were created for Shangri-La Plaza, many of them grew successfully to what they are today,” says Palma.


Dining Destinations at Shangri-La Plaza Restaurants & Bars Main Wing

Brotzeit German Bier Bar & Restaurant C2 Café Provencal California Pizza Kitchen Cibo Nuovo Claw Daddy Cravings Crustasia Thai Shrimp House Cyma Greek Taverna Dome Café Green Tomato Healthy Shabu-Shabu Kimono Ken Lemongrass Max’s Mongkok Pages Deli Pho Hoa Pepper Lunch Recipes by Café Metro Secret Recipe Sentosa Tender Bob’s Titania Tratoria Gourmet SumoSam Via Mare Wine Story

Gourmet Food & Cafes Level 1 Level 6 Level 2 Level 5 Level 2 Level 6 Level 5 Level 6 Level 6 Level 1 Level 6 Level 1 Lower Ground Level Level 1 Lower Ground Level Level 6 Level 1 Level 6 Lower Ground Level Level 5 Level 5 Level 6 Level 6 Level 1 Level 5 Level 6 Level 1 Level 1

Quick Serve Main Wing

Bon Chon Jollibee KFC Quiznos Wendy’s Wham! Burger

north wing

Master Siomai Swirls Ice Cream Waffle Time

east wing

Main Wing

Akira Arya Persian Restaurant Balboa Corazon Hispano Filipino Ganso-Shabuway Green Pastures Ikkoryu Fukuoka Ramen Johnny Rockets Lombardi’s Maple Spätzle Euro Market Café Texas Roadhouse Grill The Strip Hollywood Steak House Wee Nam Kee Woo Galbi Zao Zarzuela

Level 5 Level 6 Level 4 Level 4 Level 5 Level 4 Level 5 Level 6 Level 4 Lower Ground Level Level 5 Level 6 Level 5 Lower Ground Level Level 6 Level 5 Level 6

NORTH wing CB Bar & Restaurant

Level 1

Level 1 Level 1 Level 1

Main Wing

Bagnet Boy Cebu Fiesta Davao Tuna Grill Goto King Greenwich Honey’s Kimchi McDonald’s Pares Hauz Reyes Barbecue Sisig Hooray Sizzling Seafoods

Jamba Juice TWG Tea 26th St. Bistro by CBTL

Lower Ground Level Mid-Level 2/3 Level 5

NORTH wing

UCC Park Café

Level 1

Specialty Food Main Wing

Baker’s Fresh Golden Spoon Mrs. Fields Cookies & Ice Cream Quiznos The White Hat Yo Swirls BreadTalk Gelatissimo Krispy Kreme Morelli’s Gelato Serenitea

Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level

Level 1 Level 3 Level 2 Level 1 Levels 1 and 6 Level 5

east wing

east wing

FOOD STALL Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Level 5

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Figaro Illy Café Le Coeur De France Starbucks The Coffee Beanery

Level 5 Level 1 Level 1 Lower Ground Level Level 1 Level 5 Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Lower Ground Level Level 2 Level 6

For inquiries, call 370-2500 local 597 or visit www. shangrila-plaza.com. Add Shangri-La Plaza on Facebook: shangrilaplazaofficialfanpage.


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BEER MATCH

Brotzeit satisfies Manila’s craving for all things German

By SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ Photos by GABBY CANTERO

emories of Munich, Part One, 1999: wearing Lederhosen (Germany’s traditional men’s attire: juvenile-looking leather breeches that look like board shorts attached to suspenders) and made to dance a fast, complicated jig at a Bier Haus during Oktoberfest. I failed miserably, but provided massive laughs for the beer-buzzed German crowd. Memories of Munich, Part Two, 2013: after the Palm Sunday mass, visiting Brotzeit at the Shangri La Mall for the first time, and falling head over heels in love with their freshly pulled ice-cold Paulaner Lagers, imported in barrels, flown in direct from Munich. Earlier this year, I was one of the most excited people in the country when I found out that Brotzeit would be opening its first restaurant in the Philippines. The Bier Bar chain has become very popular in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Vietnam, and it was high time that its first branch opened here. There’s been a vacuum of sorts, a palpable absence of a destination for authentic Bavarian and German dishes (and beers!) in our country. It’s been a long time since Schwarzwalder closed its doors in Greenbelt. I’ve been sorely missing their various Wursts, their Spätzle, and most of all, their charming servers dressed in sexy Dirndls, those traditional German women’s frocks. Which is exactly why I showed up in Brotzeit just a few days after it opened its doors. And I’ve been back many times since. How could I not? Bracing, crisp artisanal beer perfection. Robust platters of pork magnificence. Cold Lagers and Hot Sausages.­—there are only very few other food and drink combinations that mesh together delectably with this level of Germanic efficiency. The sausages, made in house, make a sharp “snap” when cut; a sure sign that the casing is all natural; in this case, from sheep intestines, a fact that Brotzeit’s executive chef, Ivan Maminta is proud of. His massive platters of sausages are the restaurant’s bestsellers, and I always order the small bratwurst links known as Nürnberger along with the steamed Weisswurst, plump white sausages filled with finely chopped veal. But if there’s one item on the menu that really steals the show at Brotzeit, it’s the Schweinshaxn. A hefty hunk of pork knuckle, the crisp skin as addictive as the crackling on our native Crispy Pata, the savory meat within, succulent and tender. Chef Ivan always carefully points out that he uses considerably less salt in seasoning his pork, and since this specialty of the house is not deep fried, but rather, oven roasted, it’s actually much healthier, but still as decadent as the Filipino favorite it’s often compared to.


HEALTHY OPTIONS 02

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I expect that Brotzeit will be the top venue for the Oktoberfest celebrations, which begin in just a few days time. A limited edition craft beer will be flown in for the month long festival, and a special menu item, Creamed Mussels cooked in beer, will be introduced as well. I’m already getting ready. That humongous 3-liter glass that is proudly displayed by the bar is like an alluring, bright beacon always drawing this beer lover to this most Bavarian of restaurants. Sometime this Oktober, I fully intend to take on the challenge of finishing all of its sparkling, golden contents in less than one hour. It will be my way of thanking Brotzeit for bringing a beloved German tradition back to the Philippines. Prost!

01 Pork knuckles (Schweinsshaxn) 02 Broiled beef 03 Apple strudel

Chicken breast (P550) Salmon filet (P650) Vegetarian Pizza (P490) Their entire salads selection (P295-580)

PRICE RANGES Draft Beers – P165 to P445 (before 6pm) and P200-540 (after 6pm) Bottled German Purity Low beers – P240-340 Beer Mixes – P175 (0.3 ltr) to P265 (0.5 ltr) Wines – P275 (Lindermans Premiere Selection Semillion Chardonay) to P3,065 (Kim Crawfod Marlborough Dry Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc) Schnapps and Liqueur – P140 (Schnapps and Jagermeister) Coffee and Tea – P80 (Twinings teas) - P100 (Espresso) Soups – P220 (soup of the day) - P270 (onion soup) Appetizers – P90 (Bavarian pretzel) – P490 (breaded camembert with cranberry sauce) Salads – P220 (small garden salad) - P580 (regular seafood salad) Pizza – P490 (vegetarian pizza) - P600 (salami pizza) Sausages – P430 (pork curry sausage) – P640 (pork and veal sausage) Platters P690 (fried platter) to P2500 (Brotzeit platter) Main Course - P490 (Bavarian potato dumpling and spinach) to P1280 (pork knuckle) Side dishes – P160 (sautéed mixed vegetables) – P190 (Homemade buttered Spatzle, Spicy potato wedges, roasted potatoes, fries, napkin dumplings and potato salad) Desserts – P180 (Bavarian ice coffee served with akmonds) - P350 (Emperor’s cake)

TIPS 1. 20 percent off on tap beers from 3 to 6pm during Happy Hour.

2. The chalk walls at the right side of the restaurant can have greetings according to whatever you’re celebrating. 3. The Brotzeit platter is good for up to six people and it’s to better have it carved than chopped. Brotzeit is located at 112 Streetscape, Shangri-la Plaza Mall, EDSA cor. Shaw, Mandaluyong City. Open from 11am-12am (M-Thu, Sun), 11am-2am (F-Sat). (02) 631 1489 reservations@brotzeitphil.com brotzeit.co

Brotzeit-Philippines

LET’S EAT SEPT 2013 17


I

TABLE MANNERS Moving forward with Mesa’s Filipino cuisine

By SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ Photos by GABBY CANTERO

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’m glad that Mesa is among the growing number of restaurants that are leading the way in unabashedly promoting Filipino food during this era of culinary globalization. With so many flavors from so many countries available in so many establishments all over Metro Manila, our native favorites run the risk of being marginalized, specially among the younger generation, many of whom were raised on fastfood fare, and who now consider convenience stores as sources of quick, over-fried meals. The late Nora Daza would not have approved of that kind of unhealthy diet.. The lady who taught generations of Filipinos how to cook passed away a couple of weeks ago, and she will certainly be missed. She was “The Last Culinary Titan”, as Chef Claude Tayag called her, an icon who “literally brought joy to countless Filipino dining tables”.In many ways, it’s restaurants like Mesa who will keep her spirit alive by offering interesting new takes on Filipino Classics, thus allowing more people, young and old, to discover and rediscover how good our native fare really is, and how our cuisine can stand tall, side by side, with the other great cuisines of the world. The first wave of famous Filipino restaurants were led by Barrio Fiesta, where crispy pata was “invented” back in the 1950s by Rod, the son of the founder, Mama Chit Ongpauco. Back then, the prescribed look for Pinoy restos was “rustic”, their ambiance reminiscent of a provincial celebration. These days, restaurants like Mesa still have an indigenous Filipino look, but now, the interiors have a decidedly Cobonpue influence. Sleek and modern, but definitely still very native. Same goes with the food. Mesa’s version of pata is still very crispy, but now, sleek and boneless. Their updates on our cuisine always feel organic and never gimmicky. Mesa’s Pomelo Salad is a refreshing beginning, made unique with sprinklings of llatik. Their take on diwal, a difficult-to-source clam from the Visayas, is phenomenal, thanks to an abundance of butter and garlic toppings. Tawilis from Taal Lake, that rare, tiny sardine endemic to the Philippines, is served on Chinese soup spoons, the savory fried fish teased with slivers of sweet yellow mangoes. And the sisig is served in a pouch made of lumpia wrap and fried until crunchy, thus giving the grilled tender pork bits an added layer of texture, not to mention a spectacular presentation. Mesa gained instant fame right from the time when its very first branch opened as the “Lamesa Grill” at the Mall of Asia in June of 2006. The reason? Crispchon! Small Lechons served Peking duck style—with pandan crepes as wrappers, and wansuy leaves, cucumber slices, and leeks as garnishes—accented by a selection of six savory sauces. The genius? The Crispchons can be ordered as whole roasted pigs, or as 1/2, 1/4, or even as small as 1/6 of the crispy lechon! Perfect for everyone,


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HEALTHY OPTIONS Pomelo salad with Latik (P285) Shrimp century egg and chilled tofu salad (P255) Tilapia steamed in soya sauce (P340)

PRICE RANGES

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from large parties to dating couples. Perfect for every kind of dining budget as well. No surprise that there are now 16 branches in the Mesa chain, with locations all over the Philippines, from SM Aura to Boracay to Cebu to Davao, with three more slated to open before the end of this year. Mesa, as it opens in more and more locations nationwide, is just like Nora Daza’s seminal cookbook, literally bringing joy to countless dining tables. 01 02 03 04 05

Sisig in a pouch Elephant clams in garlic and butter Shrimp with century eggs and chilled tofu salad Tawilis in mangga Pomelo salad with latik

Appetizers – from P145 (Tawilis with mangga on spoon) to P395 (Crispy tawilis, shrimp, calamaners and adobo flakes) Sisig – P140 (tofu sisig) to P190 (sisig with egg) Soup – from P260 (Sinigang na Salmon head) to P290 (Sinigang na baboy in guava and pineapple) Salads – from P80 (talong salad) to P285 (Pomelo salad with latik) Meat – from P165 (Chicken BBQ in Honey Patis) to P665 (Duck adobo) Crispichon – From P1,050 (1/6) to P4500 (whole) Fresh catch from P95 (apahap per 100g) to P375 (prawns sautéed with salted eggs) Vegetables from P130 (Steamed okra) to P205 (pinakbet with bangus belly) Noodles – from P145 (Palabok) to P175 (seafood pasta, bam-I, pasta kaldereta) Rice – from P40 (plain) to P205 (duck basil fried rice) Desserts – from P50 leche flan to P85 (Cassava cake)

TIPS

1. Recommended dishes have a ‘must try’ label next to the names. 2. The special Mesa iced tea goes well with pretty much every dish. 3. The portions of the dishes are also good so go to Mesa for dates or group dinners/lunches.

Mesa Filipino Moderne is at 2/F SM Megamall Atrium, Julia Vargas Ave. cor EDSA, Mandaluyong. (02) 470 4660

MesaFilipinoModern

LET’S EAT SEPT 2013 19


LET’S EAT TREATS

sweet spot Morelli’s welcome kind of sugar rush By SPANKY HIZON ENRIQUEZ Photo by GABBY CANTERO

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point of extreme pride : Morelli’s is the Gelato served in the Ice Cream Parlour of Harrod’s of London. That very same posh experience—and sundae specials fit for royalty-—can now be enjoyed in the East Wing of the Shangri-La Mall. From a single bicycle cart in Italy in 1907 to a global phenomenon a century later, with branches from Monaco to Manila. A colorful assortment of Gelatos are made fresh daily, each with all-imported ingredients. I fell in love with the Coconut Sri Lanka flavor, but Morelli’s Piccolinos, mini ice cream cones enrobed with thick and rich Callebaut chocolate coatings, really rekindled my passion for this Italian dessert.

LET’S EAT SEPT 2013 20



Let's eat September Issue