Saturday, February 9, 2008

Cyma Estiatorio




Cyma Estiatorio
Location : Trinoma, Quezon City
Cuisine : Greek / Mediterranean
Menu Price Range :
Php 100.00 - Php 800.00
Service Charge: 10%
Rating :
A





It's very difficult to find good Mediterranean food here in the Philippines. Somehow, this cuisine has somehow been pigeon-holed into stalls or side-street eateries that offer nothing more than a bastardized version of the Gyro. There are, of course, casual dining establishments like Cafe Mediterranean, but these places are few and far between.

You can imagine my disbelief then when I was told there was a great Mediterranean restaurant that offered authentic Greek cuisine in a fine dining setting. I've managed to catch a glimpse of their branch at Greenbelt 3 once in a while, but often found it packed with people. Several acquaintances have also praised the establishment, claiming that their authentic Greek cuisine is nothing less than Olympian.

Fortunately, there definitely is something to all the hype. Cyma has a very charming and classic simplicity to it, echoing the cuisine contained within. The interior resembles a Greek taverna complete with simulated period lamps and furnishings, but with a modern twist. Cyma goes to great lengths to assure a great dining experience from the friendly staff to the authentic cuisine. Of course, great Mediterranean cuisine doesn't come cheap, but, in this case, it's well-worth your money.


Pikilia Mezedes Combination
Price: Php 420.00
Rating: A -


Fans of dips and spreads will find this sampler a treat. You get to sample all of their available dips, the Tzatziki (cucumber, garlic and Greek yoghurt), Melitzanosalata (roasted eggplant, garlic, tomatoes lemon and evoo (short for extra virgin olive oil)), Htipiti (creamed feta cheese, roasted peppers and evoo), Taramosalata (greek caviar, salted fish roe) and the more familiar Hummous (chickpea, tahini and garlic).

Each dip had its unique taste and texture. The Tzatziki reminded me of the Filipino dish called Ensalada which has similar ingredients minus the overpowering onion flavor. The Htipiti had a mildly spicy aftertaste while the Tzatziki and Taramosalata were somewhat tart. Served with warm pita bread, this appetizer is best when eating with a large group (four or more). I personally felt the serving of the pita bread was inadequate - a good portion of the dips remained even after we finished our bread. Additional pita bread can be ordered, however, for Php. 40.00.


Roka Salata
Price: Php 295.00 (solo), Php 390 (to share), Php 580.00 (family)
Rating: A


This monster of a salad was composed of fresh roka (arugula), lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and parmesan tossed in traditional Greek vinaigrette. The explosion of various flavors all in one salad was simply amazing - the sweetness of the candied walnuts, the sourness of the vinaigrette, the salty taste of the cheese, and the peppery-mustard flavor of arugula - all in very generous servings. I thought the waiter had mistaken that I asked for family, but I confirmed that this really was their "to share" size. I highly recommend this salad.


Baby Clams Angel Hair
CYMA Original
Price: Php. 260.00 (solo), Php. 390.00 (to share), Php. 520.00 (family)
Rating: B

Another light dish, this pasta had a hefty serving of pacific baby clams over pasta bathed in wine, lemon, garlic evoo, parsley and parmesan cheese. The very light sauce complimented the taste of the clams. As an option, you may squeeze lemon onto it to add more flavor. Anyone who is used to strong flavors in their pasta might find this dish quite plain-tasting. Again, their very generous "to share" serving may well serve up to four people.


Paidakia Lamb Chops
Price: Php 550.00
Rating: B -


Recommended by the server, this Cyma specialty of char-grilled lamb ribs was served with pepper stuffed with rice (or you can change it to Greek roasted potatoes) and a slice of lemon. In addition, they served a warm washing bowl since the dish is meant to be eaten using your hands. Though the lamb is tender, some had tendons that make them harder for the meat to be bitten and chewed. The rice inside the bell pepper was boiled with tomatoes and spices and tasted sweet. It was on separate plate that had a lot of oil which makes a person think twice about finishing the siding.




Pistachio Pagoto (Ice Cream)
Other Available Flavors: Cyma's Cheese cake Sorbet and Mint Chocolate Dip
Price: Php 145.00
Rating: C


The ice cream was a refreshing dessert to finish your Mediterranean meal. Served with a sprinkle of various nuts, it complimented the light but tasty ice cream. I was informed it was only a scoop, but it was a big scoop that may be shared by two. Still, for a scoop of ice cream, it was pretty expensive.



CONCLUSION:

Food: Cyma epitomizes authentic Greek cuisine by serving foods fresh and light. Though we might have ordered too much for four people, we didn't feel bloated afterwards. Unlike most cuisines that cover their ingredients with too much sauce or breading, the natural flavor of the food shines in every dish, simply complimented by lemon, cheese or extra virgin olive oil.

Ambiance: Like the cuisine, the place was simple yet elegant. Most tables had comfy chairs and there were a few couches tucked up in the restaurant's corner. The place was predominantly in calming white and blue. Though most its branches of are notably full with patrons, this new branch was comparatively silent and cozy. Visiting the establishment also during lunchtime might be a reason for the difference.

Value: Cyma is a place to eat with friends and groups. Though close to the Php. 500.00 range, their bigger servings are good enough to feed three people or more. Their appetizers and salads were a very good value. The drink and the desserts were a bit pricey.

Service: The servers were very knowledgeable with the food and were quick to make suggestions from their popular and original dishes. The service was excellent. Upon learning it was my companion's birthday, they surprised us with a complimentary, candle-lit vanilla ice cream and sang to the celebrant. They even shouted their signature "Opa!" (an exclamatory Greek word for jubilation / celebration) as the celebrant blew out her candle.

Overall: If you are tired of other cuisines and want to try something different and healthy, Greek cuisine at Cyma is definitely a must try. With their unique dishes and huge servings, it is an ideal place to eat out with friends. Greek food names should not discourage you from trying them out with the help of friendly servers. Reconsider ordering desserts though, for they are a bit pricey.

© 2008 Tanya Obedoza
Edited by Pablo Bairan
02-09-2008

7 comments:

Ligaya said...

Ang layo, sa Trinoma pa kayo kumain? @_@

Glad to know you enjoyed your Cyma experience (again)! ♥

Ace Maverick said...

Not that we went of our way to eat there, it was a get together for a relative's birthday.

Have yet to eat in their Shangri-la Branch, but I've already dined in 3 of their branches (Greenbelt 3, Trinoma, and Bora ^^)

Shannon said...

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Editorial Assistant, Foodbuzz.com
shannon@foodbuzz.com

canDIshhh said...

I love love love it here! Their Roka Salata is my ultimate favorite!!

I keep coming back!!

Will link you up if you don't mind..

Cheers! :)

Sakai said...

raring to try the lamb ribs.. hopefully soon

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