Though a lot of restaurants remain open on Sundays, not many focus on Sunday dinner.
There are exceptions, of course: The Old Mill has a Sunday Family Dinner buffet, The Queen and Beaver does a Feasting Menu, and Barque celebrates with a Family Night Menu every Sunday night with large BBQ platters for sharing, But really, it’s just a handful of restaurants that dedicate a special menu to the evening.
So when I learned of Lamesa’s Kamayan (pron. Kah-my-ahn) style dining available on Sunday evenings, I couldn’t wait to give it a go.
This traditional meal has been making the scene in NYC and San Francisco and now we are fortunate to get to experience this very intimate way of eating – using your hands instead of fork and knife – with food spread across fresh green banana leaves, splayed on the table.
Chefs Rudy Boquila and Joash Dy and co-owner Les Sabilano introduce their tradition of eating with your hands that they grew up with in their families, with the addition of their modern twist to the menu.
Their piece of home menu includes:
Green Mango Salad with heirloom carrots and bagoong caramel
Tinola Broth (a chicken broth with fortifiedginger meant as a palate cleanser between dishes)
Housemade Pandesal (salt bread)
Sisig Lettuce Wraps (filled with ground chicken and pork with onion, garlic, ginger and chili)
Fried Chicken Adobo
Fried Boneless Bangus (milkfish)
Sarsi-glazed Ribs (Sarsi is a Filopino root beer)
Clams and Mussels in Coconut Milk
Soy and Confit Garlic Puree
Housemade Hot Sauce
What you need to see is the performance of the building of dinner before you. A long swath of shrimp paste is brushed onto the leaf, then a mixture of soy, confit garlic and curry. A generous scoop of garlic scented rice is nestled next to a pickled egg. A plump piece of friend chicken is placed in front of you. Then the mussels, and so on, for about 10 minutes. Check out the entire experience from beginning to end on our Facebook page.
And you need to experience it. Because no matter how descriptive my words, the feeling of pinching rice between your fingers and bringing it to your mouth, with a bounty of sweet, salty, crispy, tender, foods in front of you, and friends or family at your side, is something you’ll never forget.
And want to replicate as soon as possible.
Lamesa's Kamayan Dinner is available only on Sunday evenings - $40/pp.