Food for the demigods

28 12 2010

Iron Man at Cyma

“WHAT ARE you wearing…  and what color?”

Under usual circumstances, I would’ve cut this phone conversation short, as the question was sounding to be of adult persuasion.  I was not about to engage in one.  Fortunately, the person on the other end of the line happened to be one really good friend.  And so the conversation went on.

“What are you wearing…  and what color?”

“Polo shirt.  Light blue.”

“How many are you there at your table?  Just Iron Man with you?  Where are you seated?”

“Just two.  Yes, it’s only Iron Man who’s with me.  We’re at a corner table, by the wine selection.”

“Who’s your server?  Can you get the name of the manager?”

“Angel.  The manager’s name is Ryan.”

“Oh, he’s new.  Ok, just stay put.  I’ll call you back.”

Stay put.  As if there was anywhere else to go when faced with arguably one of the best – if not the best – renditions of the delicious cuisine of Greece here in the Philippines!

Cyma is one of those few restaurants that prompted me to incessantly bug my friends to make them try, as if spreading the gospel about a gastronomic heaven.  I’m quite proud to say that I was the one who introduced Batman and Superman to Cyma.

And in keeping with a seeming tradition, I initiated yet another superhero to the food for the gods.  Quite fitting, when I look at it on hindsight.

Iron Man had been having quite a toxic couple of weeks at work.  I was working closely with him on some of the issues and all I could tell myself was that it wasn’t feeling like Christmas or the year-end.  So when we finally had the chance to rise to the surface and breathe, I let out my signature line, “Farfalle Alla Genovese?”  Only this time, we moved farther to the right – crossing the Mediterranean Sea – to Greece.

As this was intended to be a treat for Iron Man, I took charge of the ordering and asked for my usuals – Roka Salata, Kakavia Entreé, Steak Souvlaki, and Solomos Angel Hair.  This is my own Fantastic Four that I deal like a hand of cards when I want to make a good impression.  Suffice it to say, I was hanging by every word that the demigod before me would utter right after getting first bites of each dish.

Roka Salata

I would describe Roka Salata as a salad of fresh arugula and delicate hearts of romaine lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, and candied walnuts topped with shaved parmesan cheese in a special, original Greek vinaigrette.  Sans my embellished description, the salad actually instantaneously won Iron Man’s approval.  I remember him making a particular comment about the dressing.  I took his word and approving nods as cue, so I went on – smiling, I have to say – to translate “roka salata” in English.  Picking on each component on my plate, I introduced him to arugula, hearts of romaine, sun-dried tomatoes, and candied walnuts.  In an attempt to sound authoritative, my oft-used description of “peppery” (for the taste of arugula) rolled off my tongue.  He just smiled.  Almost mockingly, I may add.  Hahaha!

Iron Man's first serving of Kakavia.


Serving number two

I hastened to introduce Kakavia as some glorified congee – not in an effort to demean this hearty fisherman’s soup, but with the desire to speed up its acquaintance with Iron Man by the mention of the familiar.  We asked for the entreé serving size, a testament to how much I believe this dish to be capable of becoming anyone’s instant favorite.  I helped Iron Man to his first serving, making sure that he got all the fresh seafood swimming in the saffron-infused broth.  I absolutely love the dill – or is it fennel frond? – that flavors this soup so I scooped that too into the demigod’s bowl.  He absolutely loved it.  I would’ve forgiven him if he slurped.

Steak Souvlaki


The grilled vegetables were succulent and sweet!


Solomos Angel Hair

For our mains, we feasted on the steak souvlaki – tender chunks of beef, grilled to perfect medium doneness, and served with warm pita bread and garlic yogurt sauce – and the pasta – strands of angel hair pasta completely coated in a tomato-cream sauce, studded with chunks of salmon and crumbled feta cheese.

Halfway through dinner, the manager approached us.  I thought it was just the obligatory chit chat with the customer.

“Hi, Sir.  How’s your dinner?  By the way, I’m Ryan, the manager.  We’re fixing a dessert platter for you courtesy of Ms. Friend-of-your-Good-Friend.”

So that was what the seeming 1-800-IMakeYouHappy call was about.  Soon enough, we got served with an artistically presented slice of baklava and a huge scoop of ice cream.

I love Cyma.  Iron Man now does too!



Ice Cream


This chandelier looks so much better in person!


Cyma Menu

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.

New kid in Town

5 11 2009
Cyma at Town 00

Now this is really really good news!

I GOT this text message last week and have been meaning to make a post about it here.  I stumbled upon it once again as I clean up 3175 messages in my inbox – 700 in this phone and 2475 in the other.  Without a doubt, the sender knows just how much I love love L-O-V-E Cyma.  One of my most memorable nights out with Superheroes was a dinner at this restaurant’s Greenbelt 2 branch.

eNTeNG with superheroes

Memorable Cyma dinner at the Greenbelt 2 branch

Town is getting more and more exciting.  Pepper Lunch.  Cyma.  What’s not to love?


Copyright © 2009 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MuchTime™©.  All rights reserved.


A day’s catch and a harvest of greens to satiate two superheroes

22 10 2009

ONE WOULD usually need a searchlight with a bat-shaped insignia over the lens to shine into the night sky the “Bat signal,” so that The Dark Knight will know he is needed.  And sometimes, one would usually have to shriek like a damsel in distress so that this bespectacled newspaperman will step into a phone booth to change into The Man of Steel.  Lucky for me, all I have to do is send a text message and they will show up – superhero costumes not required.  Though I will have to admit that the stars need to be aligned for both of them to be available at the same time.

eNTeNG with superheroes

Dinner with the (almost) Justice League – eNTeNG with Batman and Superman!

It was a starlit September night not too looong ago when both Batman and Superman arrived divine – an homage to their demigod-like provenance.  As I was the mere mortal in the triumvirate, I took it upon myself to choose where to dine.  Superheroes have far bigger cares than I do so I thought it was too much already to busy their minds with the perrenial question that has plagued mankind – “Where do we eat?”

For superheroes tasked to save this world, I’ve often wondered how anything will be enough to fuel Batman and Superman – if at all they need it.  They’re not exactly in want of sustenance.  Though I can attest to their fine tastes.  As I traipsed through the stretches of restaurant options in all the Greenbelt annexes – as I traipsed while they glided more than strutted – it suddenly occurred to me to treat these two to the cuisine of the gods and goddesses.  How fitting!

Cyma Estiatorio at Greenbelt 2 – now that’s Greek to me.  Opah!

If I had saved my dear superheroes precious neural traffic from having to choose the restaurant, I might as well extend it all the way to ordering.  Fortunately, they would always let me have my way.  We had a full table that night.  We asked for the Steak (Beef Tenderloin) Souvlaki, which is the traditional kabob, skewered with fresh vegetables and grilled to perfection.  In deference to the evening’s company, I told the kitchen to make ours medium-well.  I would’ve wanted medium-rare, really pink in the center of the humongous meat chunks.  The kabob came with warm pita bread and garlic yogurt sauce.  I tore the pita piece by piece as I went on munching them.  I totally ignored the yogurt sauce.  But that’s just me.

With protein taken care of, I veered to asking for carbohydrates.  At Cyma, it could only be Solomos Angel Hair for me.  And judging from the response I got from Batman and Superman – usually light eaters themselves – it was a runaway hit.  Anybody offering me pasta can stop at the mere mention of “angel hair.”  Angel hair?  I’m there!  But the Solomos Angel Hair warrants a full accounting of all the scrumptious ingredients that go into the dish.  Writing them down now, I had to glance at my expanded girth as culling them (the ingredients) from memory – one by one – seems to be adding pounds!  Each strand of pasta was generously coated with the tomato-cream sauce, then topped with the best crumbled feta cheese.  It was a wickedly perfect mound on a pristine white serving platter.  It was so good it felt like a sin loving it too much.

It may seem that satiation came to us by way of those two dishes.  Not.  Just.  Yet.  It really did come by way of an unassuming but arguably the best soup and the best salad I’ve ever had here at home.

The Roka Salata is a salad of fresh arugula and delicate hearts of romaine lettuce, sun-dried tomatoes, and candied walnuts topped with shaved parmesan cheese in a special, original Greek vinaigrette.  I’ve taken great pride in my considerable success in reproducing restaurant-created salads – most notable my version of the Café Breton seafood salad with mangoes in a honey mustard dressing.  But I haven’t had success with Cyma’s yet.  I take it as a testament to the restaurant’s genius.  And oh yes, a testament to my failure as well.  Hahaha!

Cyma - Roka Salata 00

Roka Salata on a superhero's plate!

The ultimate in soups will have to be the Kakavia, or Greek Fisherman’s Soup.  Usually, this soup is made by fishermen from the day’s catch.  So imagine how all the more excellent this would have tasted if it were made a mere minutes from when the fish and the seafood had been caught.  After all, the best fish and seafood are the freshest fish and seafood.  Start with those and you can never go wrong.  Cyma’s kakavia was chockful with the freshest seafood, in a saffron broth infused with fresh herbs – I got the dill right away (I’m thinking it could be dill though most recipes call for thyme).  The thread-like foliage of the dill, together with the saffron, gave the soup its aromatic quality.  Each spoonful was a medley of chunks of vegetables and bites of fish, mussels and clams.  And with each (quiet!) slurp came the faint saltiness reminiscent of the seas, tempered perfectly by the natural sweetness from the juices of the shellfish and the fragrance from the herbs.

Cyma - Kakavia 00

Kakavia – arguably the best soup I've ever had in a restaurant.

Cyma Estiatorio at Greenbelt 2 – now that’s REALLY Greek to me.  And with a couple of demigods around, I couldn’t help but say, Opah!

eNTeNG with superheroes 01

The representatives of the Justice League and I moved to Classic Confections for dessert.