Address: 669 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E3
Phone: (647) 346-2377
Another Summerlicious 2015 experience at Lamesa Filopino Kitchen with my badminton peers after an intense session at Trinity Bellwoods Community Center. The walking distance was supposedly not that far, roughly ten minutes, but we were exhausted from the game and the heavy workout bags carried along extended our travel time to twenty minutes.
The restaurant is in a convenient location, where TTC street cars and buses can access. Within the entertainment, fashion and design district, this eclectic or fusion restaurant benefits from the multicultural neighbourhood.
This long narrow restaurant has limited sitting area. I like the white, beige tones making the space feel airy and comfortable. Big windows at the front gave a lot of natural light. The wall art looked authentic, showed pride and gratitude to the ethnic group. Philippines is an island country; Lamesa gave me the vision that I was sitting along the shore having dinner under the gazebo, enjoying the ocean breeze. The other vision was sitting in a wooded hut in the village having a meal. Overall, I wanted to comment how the interior decor followed the Filipino theme.
Our problem was, we had no idea what the food was because it was practically written in the native Filipino language. The girl server with very awesome Afro-like hair had to explain each item on the menu patiently. For $25 per person, this summerlicious menu had a lot of offer, from vegetarian to fish to different types of meats and different cooking styles.
Ensaladang Talong is charred eggplant, topped with adobong caponata, salted egg, andcreme fraiche. The moment the appetizer came to the table, my friend stuffed it down her stomach because clearly badminton burns energy and fat. Meaning, we were not able to try it.
Sisig is stir fried pig’s head and chicken gizzard, topped with fried egg, and rice on the side. The chicken gizzard and pork stir fry was crispy and crunchy. It had similar texture and flavours to the Chinese roasted pig’s skin and fat to me. If they substituted the rice with roti or something along that line, it would have been more enjoyable and less filling.
Vegetable Pancit is mung bean noodle stir fried with corn, peas, fava, chili, and mint. This was a refreshing appetizer, as the mint and chili added a zing to the noodles. It was healthy and crispy with the amount of vegetables in it. Texture was similar to the rice noodles or glass noodles from Korean restaurants. Except, this noodle was made from beans which has less carbohydrates than the Korean potato based glass noodles.
Grilled Chicken Adobo is topped with chimichurri, soy garlic puree, jus, and mustard greens, then served with rice. It was fresh and juicy; flavours were good. But, there is only so much you can do with chicken. There was nothing spectacular about this entree, quite standard.
One more thing, RICE again! Two full bowls of rice, was more than the amount I would eat on a regular basis. The rice was extremely filling. Overall, the proportion of rice to the entree and appetizer was incorrect.
Fried Bangus Fish is topped with tamarind, romesco, potato, radicchio, and leek. This was a grilled whole deboned fish. There were a couple of remaining bones here and there, but it was not enough to choke anyone. I personally think it was an amazing task the chef did. The fish was flavourful, charred and salty. The meat was juicy and the skin was crispy. I really liked the red sweet and spicy sauce because it added depth to the overall entree. This was an extremely healthy dish; got my proteins and vegetables!
Langka Cake is like an angel food cake served with rhubarb, coconut whip, and white chocolate. The cake was fluffy and airy; felt like an angel food cake or vanilla pound cake. But I did like the sweet and sour rhubarb sauce or jam because it added a dash of interest to the dessert. Meanwhile, the coconut whip did not taste very coconut-ish. It was like regular whipped cream to me, except lighter. When you mix all the sauces and cake together, it was a miraculous amazing pairing. It was neither sweet nor sour. But it added dimension to our palette.
Ube Leche Flan is a pudding topped with apple tapioca, and rice crispies like pinipig. Tapioca did not taste apple like at all. It was really flavourless. Saying that, I did enjoy this pudding more than the cake. The pudding tasted a bit like black sesame and with the tapioca pinipig, it gave the flan extra texture; crunchiness and gummy.
Overall, Lamesa is worth trying because their Filipino cuisine is fusion style of Spanish, East Asian, Mediterranean cuisines. Their multicultural clientele and atmosphere was an interesting mixture and brings curiosity amongst one another. Many stories could be observed and understood in a short visit.