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A New Challenger in Greeka Kouzina

A New Challenger in Greeka Kouzina

Let’s get this out of the way: there’s no really good Greek food here in Manila.  But what we have is, at the very least, some decent ones.  Although it’s not really been a popular cuisine, it’s been gaining some traction lately.  It’s been the Cafe Med and Cyma that’s been our incumbent Greek contenders, but recently1 a new challenger’s come up the ranks.  Good enough to have opened a second branch in SM Aura — but let’s stick to the original.

Tucked along P. Guevarra, you’d be hard-pressed to find a good parking spot2.   But that’s the thing I kind of like about this place.  I’d rather discover a place like this rather than spotting them inside a mall.  That’s just me.

OK then.

Since I’m not the only one eating, we’ve seen some rabbit food in between visits.  I had a bite of the Fig Roka Salata, which had sweet figs, walnuts, and sundried tomatoes on mixed greens and arugula.  I have to admit that I didn’t hate this one.

Fig Roka Salata (P360.00 or $8.00)

And because some apparently wanted to fuck with me, we got another salad.  They did me a favor, I guess, by going with the Lamb Salad with Watermelon because whenever there were reviews of Greeka, it’s always involved the word “lamb.”  Multiple times.  But I actually liked this salad.  Lamb had that nice grilled flavor, the feta cheese gave it that salty element, and the watermelon had the refreshing element that complemented the savory.  Doesn’t mean I’m giving into salads anytime soon, though.

Lamb Salad with Watermelon (P420.00 or $9.35)

The dips are also a nice appetizer.  You cannot go wrong with the Spana Aginaro Dip3.  Solid and perfect with the pita.

Spana Aginaro Dip (P290.00 or $6.45)

I also liked the Htipiti4, but in hindsight I could’ve done without this.  They kept it light and simple, but there has to be much more heat to make the dish sing.

Htipiti (P180.00 or $4.00)

I’d skip their juices as well.  The Greeka Lemonade was a tad diluted and the Greeka Iced Tea was… green.  Color’s nice, could use a bit more flavor.

Left: Greeka Lemonade (P45.00 or $1.00); Right: Greeka Iced Tea (P45.00 or $1.00)

Each entree comes with a side dish, which costs P180.00 (or $4.00) on its own.  Not very good, but these babies do fill you up.  I’d stay away from the Watercress Pasta and the Arni Keftedes Pasta5.

Watercress Pasta

The Moussaka6 was turrible and the Yemistes looked good, but tasted off.

Clockwise (from Top Left): Yemistes, Moussaka, Arni Keftedes Pasta, Patates Fournou Lemonates

The Patates Fournou Lemonates and the Greeka Patates Tiganites were pretty solid, though.  One was baked and crispy with a squeeze of lemon, the other was very poutine-y.

Greeka Patates Tiganites

The Greek Pita was awesome, though and it came with a hefty side salad, which used to serve it with arugula.  My last visit consisted of lettuce, which lost that unique kick to their salad.  Perfect with the Beef Souvlaki.

Greek Pita

Their Beef Souvlaki7 is the best in the Metro by far.  Yes, I said it.  Usually, the beef is tough, lacks flavor, packed with shit you don’t necessarily need or want.  Here, the beef chunks are perfectly grilled, tender, cooked well, and seasoned well.  Not exactly rocket science, right?

Beef Souvlaki (P360.00 or $8.00)

The Chicken Gyro was OK, but a bit weird with the feta cheese.  I don’t think that’s really necessary for a good gyro and Cyma‘s a bit better IMHO.

Chicken Gyro (P180.00 or $4.00)

If there’s one really, really boring entree out there, it’s the Krasates or Grilled Pork Chops.  Not bad but Jesus Christ, it’s grilled fucking pork chops!

Krasates (P430.00 or $9.55)

But if you listen around, it’s really all about the lamb here.  The Paidakia is pretty solid.  Grilled lamb cutlets are charred nicely.  You don’t really need anything else.

Paidakia (P520.00 or $11.55)

The highlight of my meals here has been the Arni Lemonato, which is their best seller.  It’s a lamb dish that’s been roasted for 5 hours so it’s really fall-off-the-bone tender.  It’s oily, greasy, very gamey in flavor — all of which I love about lamb.  Forget Greek cuisine for a minute, this is just a very good lamb and value-for-money dish.

Arni Lemonato (P490.00 or $10.90)

Overall, I liked this place enough to have visited it more than a few times.  Is it better than Cyma?  I can’t say, but it’s a good enough alternative.  I do admit that I found myself a tad disappointed during my last visit, but not enough to stop me from visiting again.

address-overlay 285 P. Guevarra St. Little Baguio, San Juan

phone-overlay (02) 624-5974

icon_facebook https://www.facebook.com/GreekaKouzina

et’s get this out of the way: there’s no really good Greek food here in Manila.  But what we have is, at the very least, some decent ones.  Although it’s not really been a popular cuisine, it’s been gaining some traction lately.  It’s been the Cafe Med and Cyma that’s been our incumbent Greek contenders, …

Review Overview

Food
Value for Money
Service

Overall Experience

Summary : Not bad and some value-for-money dishes. Go for the roast lamb and the Beef Souvlaki

70

About Lester

Lester likes red meat, white meat, and is allergic to vegetables. He thinks PETA is for pussies, and his favorite basketball player is Robert Jaworski.

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