April 9, 2011

Tapas for date night

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While enjoying some tea, sunshine and breeze on a rooftop this afternoon, I received an invitation to join some friends for dinner.  I haven't gotten around to trying out Mesa 15, so I was curious and happy to go take a look.  After all, it has the reputation associated with a chef from a Michelin-starred restaurant back in Spain.

This place is the polar opposite to its neighbor Tapeo just a couple steps away.  At Tapeo, customers sit on bar stools at a long, L-shaped bar counter facing an open kitchen, and are hit with the full force of the smell of food.  You come here because you just want to get down to the business of enjoying the food.  Mesa 15 is much more chic and upscale, where comfortable seating is available and the kitchen is visible to the customers but sealed behind glass.  No fumes.  Nice setting for a date or a social dinner.

I left the ordering to my friends and only requested to have one dish from the menu.  Surprisingly I also didn't touch any alcohol, which was fine with my friend who was trying to spend a few days being sober.

Croqueta de jamón ibérico - lovely crust on the outside, and the filling was surprisingly liquid and gooey.  Pretty good.

Las bravas - these were nicely done.

Gazpacho andaluz con queso de cabra y pistachos - a very lovely gazpacho.  Nice touch with the crunchy breadcrumbs, as they are meant to add more substance to an otherwise liquid soup.  Interesting to find crunchy pistachios and cubes of cheese inside.

Mini hamburguesas de costilla - interesting use of baby pork ribs for the patty.  I noticed an interesting but familiar taste, which turned out to be the blue cheese dressing that kinda covered up the red pepper jam.  Patty was juicy without being too liquid.

Cochilillo confitado con col encurtida - the suckling pig was disappointing.  It looks great, but in the mouth the meat wasn't as succulent as I had come to expect of this type of dish. A second, thinner piece with more fat under the skin did slightly better, but only because of the lower ratio of lean meat in the mouthful.

Tartar de vieras con huevos de pez volador - the general consensus was that the dish failed.  The scallops weren't very fresh and had that "fishy" flavor.  I guess it was good that they didn't use more lemon juice or chives to cover it up...

Calamar 'TAPAO' - didn't really "get" this dish... the cinnamon was a strange pairing.  I much preferred the deep-fried tentacles...

Gambas al ajillo - pretty good with lots of flavor, especially garlic.  The gambas were scored along the back in order to pick up more sauce.  Yum yum...

Lengua de ternera glaseada - this was the dish I asked for.  The ox tongue was reasonably tender, but I've had better.

I think it's time for me to pay Tapeo another visit... if only to get my churros fix!


Anonymous said...

sounds rally good, would very much like to try next time when i'm in hk again!

Unknown said...

Nice Peech.


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