One of the things I miss from my Vancouver days is Greek cuisine.
In Canada, I frequented a place called Kisamos to eat almost the same dishes every time.
I would start off with a Saganaki—grilled, sticky and crunchy Greek cheese, toasted and served with bread on the side. Delicious! I would sometimes buy from a deli and replicate the appetizer at home.
My main course would always be baked lamb with yellow Basmati rice and grilled potatoes on the side. Every time I visit Vancouver, my sister Stella treats me here.
In New York as a student, I would frequent a Greek sandwich place along Broadway and pig out on its unforgettable Gyro sandwich.
We had just come from watching the movie “Quezon Games” (very beautiful and very educational) at the Edsa Shangri-La Plaza when Maricris broached the idea of dinner. I was hoping the group would suggest Cyma for I was craving for Greek food that night, and it turned out the rest of the company was in the mood for the same.
Maricris took the lead. It was a cold mezedes five-dip sampler composed of the usual classic Tzatziki, pine nut Melitzanolalata, Ittipih, Taramosalata and Kalamata Hummus. With bread on the side, this starter really transformed the mood to Mediterranean.
Then we had the Greek version of the French bouillabaisse. It was an Aegean soup of fish stew. You could taste and smell the aroma of saffron. Good!
We ordered the best-selling salad, Roka Salata or arugula salad. It was sweet, salty, healthy and over all fantastic.
We also had the thick grilled pork chop flavored with fennel. Apparently, this, too, was a favorite in the place—I saw a man, alone, holding the chop and treating the bone like a harmonica; he was happily munching away.
We had a delicious fresh whole sea bass which was grilled and simply seasoned with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. With some drippings of lemon, it turned out heavenly.
Then we had barbecued beef fingers which were very tender and savory. Then we had the octopus, char-grilled, and seasoned with salt and extra virgin olive oil, and drizzled with lemon. Outstanding!
Most Greek dishes have simple seasoning but nonetheless come out tasty. The key really is the freshness of the ingredients.
That evening was fun and complete. “Quezon Games” was an eye-opener of a movie: It made me proud to be a Filipino. And the dinner rounded off the pleasurable experience that night.
Check Cyma out. It has branches all over the country, including Boracay.