A Kamayan Dinner: Hand to Mouth – A totally unique dining experience at Lamesa

Take a culinary adventure to the Philippines with a traditional Kamayan (pronounced Kah-my-ahn) feast. When I was invited to this special media tasting, I really didn’t know what to expect but I’m always up for something new.

Lamesa Filipino KitchenKamayan, is a traditional Filipino dining style, passed down through many generations where food is presented on green banana leaves and eaten with your hands. As proud Filipinos with fond memories of their family dinners, Les Salibano, co-owner of Lamesa Filipino Kitchen, along with chefs Rudy Boquila and Joash Dy are excited to introduce their modern take on a Kamayan feast to Toronto diners looking for something unique. They want their customers to get a full Filipino cultural experience.

It was truly a theatre of food as the chefs, in a well choreographed routine, laid out the mouthwatering dishes featuring regional and seasonal ingredients. Each dish was presented with a description and then artistically positioned on the banana leaves. It was a full sensory experience that engaged not only my taste buds but was also visually stunning and the delicious smells that emanated from the food was captivating. The final presentation can only be described as a collage of flavours, aromas and textures.

Well, I couldn’t wait to dig in with both hands!

Lamesa Filipino KitchenThe menu consisted of:


  • Bagoong caramel – fermented shrimp paste
  • Soy garlic puree
  • Housemade hot sauce – roasted red pepper, chilies, vinegar, sugar
  • Sawsawan gel – soy, vinegar, garlic


  • Green mango salad – sour mango, heirloom carrots, arugula, radish, sweet mango chutney, garlic corn nuts


  • Sisig lettuce cup – chicken, pork, beef with chilli, garlic and onions
  • Kare Kare oxtail – braised oxtail in a peanut garlic sauce
  • Smoked boneless bangus – marinated milkfish
  • Crispy chicken adobo wings – soy and vinegar reduction
  • Clams and mussels ginataan – coconut milk, ginger and garlic


  • Garlic fried rice with crispy garlic bits
  • Grilled corn
  • Grilled baby bok choy
  • Ube cornbread – sweet purple yam
  • Chicken tinola broth – chicken, chayote, ginger


  • Kale chips
  • Fresh calamansi
  • Sweet pea shoots

Eating with my hands really heightened my other senses as I was tasting each item on the Kamayan menu…I marveled at the crunchy texture of the adobo wings and bangus, the coconut aroma of the clams and mussels and the melt- in-your-mouth oxtail. It was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had in Toronto. Run, don’t walk to Lamesa to try this feast!!

Lamesa Filipino Kitchen

699 Queen Street West

Kamayan Dinners available every Sunday starting at 5 pm

(substitutions can be made for people with dietary restrictions or allergies)

$40 per person


About our Guest Restaurant Reviewer Elaine

Based in Toronto, Elaine  is a PR professional by day with 20+ years of experience in retail, fashion, entertainment and sports. With a passion for food, fashion, travel and arts and culture, she enjoys having friends try her culinary creations or just joining her on the next dining adventure here in Canada or abroad.  Follow her on Twitter @quanner and Instagram @quanner922



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