CYMA Celebrates 10th Year With New Menu
Very few restaurant brands in the country can boast of having crossed the 10 year mark. With all the new establishments that keep popping up and quickly fading out after just a year or so, it takes something truly special to survive the cutthroat restaurant industry. When it comes to Greek cuisine, Cyma Greek Taverna remains a favorite among food enthusiasts and diners looking for a unique gastronomic adventure. Now, after more than 10 years of delivering that one-of-a-kind OPA! moment to delighted guests, Cyma is taking the Greek food experience a notch higher with new dishes, better-quality homegrown ingredients, and flexible serving options.
Cyma Greek Taverna takes 3,500 years of Greek culinary excellence and fine-tunes it for the Filipino audience. Cyma has come a long way from its first branch in Boracay and its entry into Metro Manila. The brand is recognized as having opened the doors for Greek cuisine in the country and now it is taking it to the next level. The Hungry Kat was invited to the media launch of their new menu and I really felt that I had come full circle since Cyma was one of the very first restaurant reviews I did when I started my blog three years ago.
I have to admit that I am not that familiar with Greek cuisine, but Cyma has made these exotic dishes accessible to the Filipino palate. Chef Robby Goco, who fell in love with Greek cuisine over a decade ago, can be credited for introducing the wonderful country of Greece to the Philippines through Cyma Greek Taverna.
The media launch for Cyma’s revitalized new menu was held at its Greenbelt branch earlier this month. The menu will include new exciting items together with old favorites that we have grown to love at Cyma. Chef Goco introduced each of the new dishes that was presented to the guests and his inspiration for creating these new flavor combinations.
In the same way that Cyma introduced the Filipino diner to Greek cuisine, the restaurant is bringing an all-new set of offerings guaranteed to enthrall food lovers everywhere. Lemonade and white wine were served as beverages before we began with our first of several courses.
We started with Dips with Homemade Pita (P695-Sampler of Five) – a combination of five different dips including classic tzatziki, pine nut melitzanosalata, htipiti, taramosalata, and Kalamata hummus. Their pita is made fresh daily in-store so you can be sure to have the freshest and highest quality bread. You can also order each dip individually (P210-P270) or as a Sampler of Three (P550).
The next appetizers presented were the Krii Vegetarian Mezedes which included Roasted Peppers (P170) in red wine vinegar, Watermelon and Feta (P120) with pine nuts and olive oil, Creatan style Roasted Beets Skordalia (P140) and Dolmadakia (P150), rice-stuffed grapevine leaves served with tzatziki and olive oil.
Another vegetarian appetizer is the Marinated Olives and Feta (P210) which has kalamata, green olives and feta cheese marinated the Greek way and served with extra virgin olive oil bread. Cyma’s new menu offers flexibility based on guests’ preferences whether they want vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, low-carb or high-protein options. They also offer customizable samplers so you can get these Krii Vegetarian Mezedes as a Sampler of Three (P385) or All Five (P650).
Greek cuisine is said to be one of the healthiest cuisines in the world so you can be sure to encounter plenty of greens and salads like the Watercress Salad (P495). This has fresh watercress, blue cheese, sweet pears, walnuts, and romaine in summer herb vinaigrette.
I’m not really that much into salads, so the Mezedes Tis Oras Sampler (P900-Sampler of Five) was much more to my liking. These are freshly grilled seafood items which include Pacific Baby Scallops (P250), Calamari (P230), Octopus (P270), Shrimp (P270) and Clams in Garlic (P200). All are served with herb extra virgin olive oil, lemon and Greek oregano with toast. The grilled Octopus was amazing and this is one dish I can have all for myself.
They also presented the Dakos (P120) which is a traditional appetizer with Cretan rusk, tomato, feta, capers, oregano and extra virgin olive oil.
I always remeber my OPA! moment at Cyma Greek Taverna so I was happy to see that they still serve their unique flaming cheese dish that really goes up in flames.
But aside from the original Flaming Cheese Saganaki (P220) that I used to order, they now also serve the Saganaki with Figs (P350) which is fried kefalotiri cheese topped with peppered fig jam and served with extra virgin olive oil toast. The fig jam gives the oozing cheese a sweeter flavor and I think this is definitely an upgrade over the standard version.
Cyma also offers “progressive Greek” dishes, house originals fusing Greek flavors and cooking styles with Filipino tastes and preferences. An example is the Fried Calamari and Black Rice Salad which has tomato, cucumber, parsley, sultanas, and walnuts in red onion pomegranate dressing.
I can’t believe all those were just appetizers and we are just about to start with the main dishes! It was great to finally meet my fellow food blogger and Lupus Warrior during the event, Mrs. Seanta Reyes, also known as My Tummy Craves. We had only communicated online before and she also gives me helpful advice concerning our common Lupus concerns. I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of each other on our next foodie events.
It’s now time for the main attraction and the dish I am really excited to feast on. The Roasted Alaskan King Crab Legs (P1300/300 grams) is usually seen only in very expensive restaurants or events, but Cyma makes this exquisite seafood accessible to everyone. The crab legs are simply prepared the Greek way with lemon, garlic, pepper, and herb butter served with cashew garlic pasta.
It is a bit tough to open the crab legs even with their provided scissors but if you really want something special then you have to work for it. These crab legs are just so sweet and succulent. Cyma gets these imported Alaskan King Crabs from their own supplier to keep their prices reasonable so everyone can get a taste of this magnificent dish.
Another healthy seafood item is the Whole Saranggani Sea Bass (P700) which is a local fish prepared with a Greek twist. This is charcoal grilled in smoked salt, cracked pepper, Greek oregano, extra virgin olive oil, ladolemono and grilled lemon.
The Moussaka (P420) is Greece’s national dish so you can be sure to find it in their menu. This is made with layered seasoned pork and beef, roasted Japanese eggplant and Greek bechamel sauce.
I really enjoyed this unique eggplant dish before and I still like it now. The cheesey exterior blends well with the juicy and meaty eggplant combination and I do understand why they call this their national dish.
We also tried the Lamb Yiouvetsi (P850) which is Greece’s version of the paella. This yiouvetsi is made with baked lamb and orzo pasta served with grated kefalotiri, parsley and olive oil. Orzo pasta seems to be getting popular these days and I am encoutering a lot of rice dishes which are served with orzo instead. The lamb is very tender and not gamey at all which is how Filipinos prefer their lamb to taste.
Finally, just when I thought all the main dishes had been served, they brought out the Kreatika meat platter (P1500 Good for 2 / Add P250 for prawns) which had lamb keftedes, pork chop, beef rib finger kalamaki, lamb shoulders and caper butter prawns served with lemon, Greek chimichurri, tzatziki, parsley salad and homemade pita.
I’m not sure how this big plate of meat is good for only two persons, but they should probably be very hungry. I especially liked the beef rib finger which was so unbelievably tender that it almost melts in your mouth. Cyma celebrates perfect simplicity and natural flavors in its dishes so everything is healthier and better.
For our desserts, we tried the Ekmek which had shredded phyllo, lemon syrup, pastry cream and whipped cream. A more colorful item is the Olive Oil Cake made with extra vigrin olive oil and Grand Marnier then served with fruit spoon sweets. Cyma Greek Taverna changed the restaurant landscape with its unique and previously unencountered dishes ten years ago. Now, with the highly evolving tastes and sophistication of its diners, it is set to evolve right along with them by providing even more exciting and excellent items in the years ahead.
CYMA GREEK TAVERNA
Branches: Shangri-la Mall, Eastwood Mall, Trinoma, Greenbelt 2, Robinsons Magnolia, Robinsons Place Manila, Ayala Mall Cebu, Boracay
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