Lamesa Filipino Kitchen: Filipino cooking with a contemporary flair

Get to know Kultura 2012’s Adobo Masters Cook-Off competitor, Lamesa Filipino Kitchen.

By Christine Cervania

On Toronto’s Queen Street West, Lamesa Filipino Kitchen brings a modern twist to Filipino cuisine—while definitely still upholding familiar flavours and shining Filipino hospitality. Lamesa aims to push Filipino food to the mainstream and give it more recognition to thrive amongst the palates of Torontonians. As a new restaurant established this year, Lamesa is already getting a lot of buzz and Kapisanan sought out to learn more--about modern Filipino food and how Lamesa  plans to stand out in Toronto.

How would you describe Filipino food at Lamesa? Filipino food at Lamesa is a natural fusion of different cultures—a combination of Chinese, Spanish, American, and Malay— all mixed with our Toronto-Canadian heritage.

“Fast food/Cafeteria-style” Filipino restaurants still seem to be more prominent in Toronto compared to “cooked to order”restaurants like Lamesa, why do you think that is? I think it could be a lack of experience with full service Filipino restaurants in Toronto. Maybe it takes a generation of people to get used to “cooked to order” Filipino restaurants, and see more restaurants like Lamesa pop up. It’s also a bit easier to set up a cafeteria-style restaurant. There seems to be more demand for grocery/take out places that Filipinos need—possibly a new generation can discover something more.

Do you think that there is still a preference towards “traditional Filipino food” rather than contemporary or fusion Filipino food? Perhaps people are still hesitant towards something more contemporary because it is different than traditional Filipino food. Whenever something is different, there’s a sense of hesitancy.  However, sometimes there’s a segment of the market that’s looking for something more innovative.

How would you describe Lamesa’s signature adobo dish? I would describe our signature adobo dish as, lechon kawale meets traditional adobo. We deconstructed our pork belly adobo to highlight the components. Each component is created with a lot of care. The pork belly is confited for twelve hours and cured for another twelve. It takes almost two days to prepare. The idea is to create the best product possible, so we take as much time as necessary.

If you were to choose one dish for first time Lamesa visitors to try, which dish would it be? Adobo, along with the kaldereta. They seem to sell neck in neck as our top sellers.

This year’s Kultura for the first time has an Adobo cook-off, what is your game plan to win? It’s great that Kapisanan is organizing Kultura and bringing people together. From our point of view, we just want to show that Lamesa does things differently than your average restaurant.

Visit Lamesa at: 669 Queen Street West Toronto, Ontario M6J 1E6 Tel: 647-346-2377 Lamesa Filipino Kitchen is on Facebook and Twitter Enter for your chance to win a $25 gift certificate to Lamesa Filipino Kitchen!

Use your Twitter account and give us the correct answer to this trivia: True or False, Lamesa’s Chef’s Tasting Menu includes unlimited white rice? Send your answer to @kapisanan using the hashtag #lamesa. Or leave your answer in the comments section below. Or drop us a line on our Facebook page and add the hashtag #lamesa.

Good luck!

Note: Deadline to enter is Sunday, August 26 at 6 p.m. Winner will be chosen at random.