There’s been some heavy buzz about new Spanish restaurant Mesa 15 on Hollywood Road which opened where the previous Sassy headquarters used to be in the old Starbucks. The concept is Modern Spanish, and the chef, Alejandro Sanchez has a Michelin Star at home in Spain. My in-laws are in town at the moment, so last night we thought we’d go along to check it out even though generally I prefer to give new restaurants a bit of a grace period to iron out inevitable kinks.
The interior of the restaurant is dark and a little clinical, with tiled walls and bright spotlights shining on marble tabletops. Most of the tables are high counters or high tops, but there are a few lower tables and banquettes towards the back of the room. There were plenty of staff buzzing about to give us a warm welcome and we sat down to look over the menu. The first thing that struck us was the reasonableness of the price point. Wine by the glass starts at HK55 which is almost unheard of for a restaurant in this area, and the tapas dishes start at HK39. The menu is divided into Tapas, Platos (main dishes) and Pica-Pica dishes which are designed for sharing. We began with some tapas, but were a little disappointed to learn that the Croquetas were off the menu for the night. Instead we had Las Bravas (Crispy potatoes with spicy mayonnaise) and Mini Hamburgers de costilla which were little baby-rib burgers with red pepper jam and a blue cheese dressing. The Las Bravas were totally delicious: perfectly crispy on the outside but delightfully fluffy in the middle, but for me the baby-rib burgers while meltingly tender were a little bland, with no sign of the promised blue cheese dressing.
From the Pica-Pica menu we ordered the Huevos de Corral Escalfados con Setas de Temporada, which were poached free range eggs with seasonal mushrooms. This was definitely the star dish of the evening for us as the combination of warm, runny egg yolks and earthy mushrooms was the perfect comfort food for a cold, grey evening. We also chose a Warm Scallop Salad with Bacon, but this was a little marred for me by the fact that is was absolutely riddled with capers, my food nemesis (which weren’t mentioned in the menu description)! Of the main courses we ordered, the consensus was that the Cochinillo Confitado (24 hours cooked crispy suckling pig) was super-yummy, if a little on the salty side.
We finished with classic Tiramisu and Galletas con Chocolate (biscuits with chocolate) which were both rich and satisfying. We would have loved to have found out what the “surprise” of the dessert they call “Dracula” is, but the waiter wasn’t giving anything away and our curiosity was not quite piqued enough to order it!
There were a few natural snafus which I would expect from such a new restaurant. Some of our dishes came at different times, and we had to send back a coffee for arriving stone cold, but other than that (and my caper issue) it was very smooth sailing. I’d definitely return to Mesa 15 to give it another try, and considering the area and the quality of the dishes I think the prices are very reasonable. For a weeknight date this is the perfect low-key but sophisticated venue with enough of interest on the menu to create conversation!
Mesa 15, 15 Hollywood Road, Central. 2530 1890