Thursday, March 1, 2012
Some foodies have been raving about Mesa 15 on Hollywood Road and I finally got a chance to try it when Chef Alejandro Sanchez was recently in town to unveil the new menu. While this is his first restaurant outside of Spain, Sanchez is no stranger to amazing food -- he was awarded one star in the Michelin Guide 2012 (Spain-Portugal edition) for Restaurante Alejandro and Mesa 15 got a recommendation in the Michelin Guide 2012 (Hong Kong-Macau edition). Sanchez hails from Almeria in southern Spain and the dishes he presented reflect the sun and sea.
We sat at a high long table we shared with another party in the centre of the first floor, while the smaller tables surrounding us were filled up. It happened that evening that Charmaine Zeman and her daughter Marisa were at the bar having some down time together drinking cocktails and wine with some tapas.
In any event, we had to prepare ourselves for eight courses... it was a struggle, but in the name of research, your humble correspondent managed to eat her way through the dishes...
First up was sea urchin and aubergine scramble [sic] egg. What was presented was a small bowl and mostly filled with a raw egg topped with pungent sea urchin. There was chopped eggplant underneath. We were encouraged to break the yolk and mix it up before eating. While it was meant to be refreshing, there wasn't much taste in the dish, if any it was very subtle.
But we can all have false starts and thankfully from there onwards things got markedly better.
The sweet white prawns in Iberian broth with Chinese "choy sum" had a slight kick to it, but again it seemed strange having raw prawns there when a quick stirfry to make them crunchy would have been even better. However the broth was the saving grace, delicious and savoury.
Another winner was the 18-hour cooked Wagyu beef cheek with beetroot puree. By this point we were pretty much full so we were thankful to get a small portion of this melt-in-your-mouth meat that had a lot of flavour in each bite. It was well complemented with the beetroot sauce.
It's interesting to see Sanchez's creativity through his dishes, not afraid to experiment and see what reactions he gets. I intend to come back especially when the weather warms up again and sample his gazpacho, which I hear is the best in town.
15 Hollywood Road