Cyma (Upper Ground Level, Robinsons Magnolia)

PhotoGrid_1390292805640Date visited: September 2013 (UPDATE: We came back to this restaurant and I edited the review because unfortunately, our latest experience was not good this time around. Hopefully, this is applicable to this branch only. On our latest visit, we only ordered the Gyro and Paidakia)

 

What we ordered:

Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni), Mixed Meat Gyro, Paidakia (Char-grilled Lamb Ribs) and Baklava

 

Taste = 5/5

–          A lot of people would probably say that this is the best Greek restaurant in Manila. In terms of the taste and quality of their food, they have a very strong case. The baked macaroni tasted great! The sauce was perfect for the Filipino taste. It was on the sweet side and it was very meaty and creamy. The Meat Gyro was equally well prepared. The meat was a combination of generous pieces of delicious beef and pork and veggies wrapped in very soft but thick pita bread. Lyn said what made it special were the honey-mustard sauce and the red spicy sauce, which made the gyro exceptionally delectable. The Lamb ribs were lip-smackingly scrumptious. The menu said it was their most popular and rightfully so. Just looking at it made me think that it would have been improper to eat it with utensils so I proceeded to give proper homage and I ate them with my hands. The lamb meat had just the right amount of gaminess and the salt on the crust of the lamb was just perfect – no need for sauces. The Baklava was the only average-tasting dish that we ate but the gyro and lamb were just too good that they compensated for the too flaky and leathery dessert.

 

Service = 2.5/5

–          When we visited the restaurant the first time, the servers were mostly welcoming but one of them was probably on their bad day. On our subsequent visit, I came close to walking out of the restaurant because of the very poor service. Just trying to order involved too much effort on our part and I felt our waiter had a condescending tone.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The restaurant looked very vibrant and it felt like a place where you’d want to eat for an extended time if not for the poor service. Everything looked nice and bright.

 

Value for money = 3/5

–          Even though they served really good food, I think the prices were a little too steep. Also, based on our latest experience in this branch, we would probably not go back to this branch.

Click here for their website.

Greeka Kouzina (285 Units 4 & 5 P. Guevarra St. , San Juan)

PhotoGrid_1388589170165

Date visited: August 2013 (UPDATE: We came back to this restaurant just in time before this was posted. However, they ran out of arugula that day so the pasta in the photo didn’t have any)

What we ordered:

Beef Gyros, Arni Lemonato (Roast Lamb) with Roka Garides Pasta (Shrimp Pasta with Roka) and Baklava

 

Taste = 5/5

–          Finally, we had the pleasure of eating at this restaurant that we pass by almost twice a week. Indeed, a pleasure it was. It was as if fate wanted us to eat that night: an available parking near the door, first on the wait list and just a 10 minute wait for our table to be ready. If you ask around, this was almost unheard of during weekends at dinner time. The Beef Gyros was the best that Lyn had. The meat was done medium well, very tender and the serving was generous. The best part was the sauce – it wasn’t garlicky at all and was distinctly different from shawarma sauce. It tasted like sour cream but much better and really complimented the Gyros very well. We also tried their specialty which the menu stated as “Greeka’s bestseller! 5 hour roast lamb that falls off the bone.” Well, they weren’t kidding. I barely needed a fork to take the meat off the bone. The best part was the taste. The meat tasted very clean with almost no gamey or lamb-y flavour to it. The gamey taste was on the semi-crispy fatty crust on the surface of the meat. When combined with both the white and brown sauces that came with it, wow, just wow. It was so good that when (not if) we come back here, I don’t know if I would order anything other than this dish. The dish also came with a choice of sides from about 14 options. I thought it was going to be a tiny serving but it was almost like a regular serving size. We chose the shrimp pasta and the combination of flavours was very good. The taste was like shrimps bathing in rich tomato paste with the nutty flavour of arugula. Yummy. The Baklava was delicious. The flaky pastry layers had chewy chopped pistachio, walnuts and cashews in between and we decided to top it off with ice cream instead of yogurt. We would probably try the yogurt next time because the baklava was very sweet already.

 

Service = 4/5

–          They were full when we came there but there were enough servers to service all of the customers. The food came relatively fast as well. The problem was, it was quite hard to call the servers’ attention even if they were just standing around, at times.

 

Ambience = 4.5/5

–          The restaurant looked like a place that served good food just by looking in the dining area. We couldn’t explain it but it just felt very comfortable even if there were a lot of people around and quite hard to move around.

 

Value for money = 4.5/5

–          The serving sizes were above average and the quality and taste of their food was at a different level. Still, I think some of the items were priced a bit too much. But this is definitely a place worth coming back to.

Click here for their Facebook page.