Many of our friends have eaten at La Mesa, and most (if not all) of them have given positive comments about the food and their experience. The only thing they don’t like is the restaurant’s policy of no slippers which I personally think is reasonable considering it’s in a 5 star hotel.
So to celebrate Hubby’s birthday last night, our family trooped to Asiana Hotel to try the Dhs79 per person buffet dinner at La Mesa. (There was no charge for Caila because she was a toddler) I had made the reservation the day before, and yesterday afternoon someone from the restaurant called to inform me about their dress code and that they would be holding our reservation for 20 minutes only. We weren’t worried though because (1) we knew we wouldn’t be late, and (2) it was a weeknight and we doubted the restaurant would be packed enough for us to lose our table if we were late.
As I expected, we arrived at the hotel a few minutes before 7pm. We had to enter a door at the side (just beside the revolving door to the lobby) to ride the elevator that would take us to the 5th floor where La Mesa was located. Upon stepping out of the elevator, we saw a Christmas tree and a life-size singing Santa Claus doll at our right; to our left was the hostess who directed us to our table. As soon as we were comfortably seated, a waitress approached us and, pointing out that the beverages were not included in the buffet, she asked us what we wanted to drink. There was no menu of the available drinks (or maybe she just didn't give it to us so we wouldn't see the prices), so we had to ask her what they offered. Blindly trusting her recommendations, we decided to try their homemade iced tea (for hubby) and pink melon shake (for me). That done, we stood up to get our food.
I may be wrong here but isn’t La Mesa supposed to be a Filipino restaurant? As I looked at their dishes, I noticed plates of sushi and maki and other food that were obviously not typically Pinoy. Not that I’m complaining (because I love Japanese food!), I was just surprised. Anyway, maybe I’m mistaken and the restaurant actually serves Asian cuisine, but most of it is Filipino. Not a biggie, but that was just something I noticed. I was a bit disappointed though that I didn’t see the ultimate Pinoy foods like adobo, sinigang na baboy, and fish like bangus, tilapia and lapu-lapu. Hubby told me that maybe it just so happened that these were not included in that night’s menu, and that they were offered during other nights. Well, he has a point. Sana nga tama sya. Anyway, on to the food...
Honestly, mixed yung judgements namin sa pagkain kagabi. Unang-una, yung beef kare-kare. Masarap naman sya pero ang sangkap lang nya ay pechay, sitaw at tuwalya...eh hindi ako kumakain ng tuwalya! Bakit wala silang sinamang laman? Ang nangyari tuloy, gulay lang yung kinuha ko, at nagbuhos ako ng konting sarsa sa kanin. Buti na lang meron silang bagoong. Yung chicken sisig naman, sabi ng asawa ko, masyadong durog na parang giniling. Tapos, yung croutons para sa fresh salad, crunchy naman sya, kaya lang masyadong lasang buttery, eh di ba dapat plain lang yun? Yung lechon kawali, in fairness, masarap sya talaga. Napaka-crunchy! Naka-ilang balik ata yung asawa ko sa counter para kumuha nun. Nadisappoint lang sya kasi walang pinakurat; (Mang Tomas?) lechon sauce lang yung meron. Spaghetti carbonara yung pinaluto namin sa chef para kay Caila. Nung tinikman ko, ok naman yung lasa nya, pero sabi ng asawa ko parang walang keso. Yung tinolang tahong (yun lang yung pinaka-soup nila sa menu), nagustuhan ng asawa ko; balak nya ata gumawa nun one of these days.
For the dessert, feeling ko ang konti at napaka-ordinary ng selection. Yung buko pandan at leche flan na kinuha ko ay parehong ubod ng tamis. Sobrang tamis, actually. Pumili naman ng isang maliit na slice na parang cake si Caila. Ang tagal nya kainin! Yung cream lang ata yung nagustuhan nya.
As for our drinks, ok naman yung pink melon shake, kaya lang medyo nasobrahan sya ng tamis kaya di ko masyadong nalasahan yung melon. Nung tinikman ko naman yung homemade iced tea, parang may halong mango taste. Kinda weird, pero ok lang. Mahal lang yung presyo ng mga inumin: Dhs10 for 1 big bottle of Arwa water, and at least Dhs20 each for our drinks.
Now, on to the entertainment. In fairness, na-entertain kami...pero sorry to say, ito ay dahil natawa kami sa female singer. Hindi natural yung dating ng pagsasalita nya kasi masyadong pilit yung pagpa-slang nya, to the point na mahirap intindihin yung sinasabi nya. Panay “ano daw?!” at “huh?!” ang binubulong namin ng asawa ko sa isa’t isa. Ok naman yung boses nya pag kumakanta, nasa tono naman, pero mali-mali yung lyrics! Nung una, hindi ko napansin kasi mas inintindi ko yung pagkain at hindi ko naman kabisado yung mga kinakanta nya, pero nung kinanta nya yung “Lost in Your Eyes” ni Debbie Gibson, naloka ako! Mali talaga! Walang sense tuloy yung kanta. Nakakapagtaka kasi di ba meron naman syang kopya ng lyrics sa stand sa harap nya, bakit mali pa rin? Haaay!
I know it’s supposed to be considered a high-end Pinoy restaurant, pero aside from the prices, di ko masyadong feel. Parang Barrio Fiesta sya na pinaganda lang dahil nasa 5 star hotel sya. Ewan ko lang pero baka I’m the only Filipino na hindi nagbigay ng magandang review sa La Mesa. Maybe masyadong mataas ang expectations ko after hearing our friends’ feedback. Malamang maraming magagalit sa akin (lalo na yung singer). Sorry, pero yun ang experience ko eh. Bow!
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