I work in the Malate-Ermita area and for all its imperfections, I cannot really complain about the diversity in food. Everything’s just a walk away, whether you want hotel food (Hyatt, & Pan Pacific has a very interesting food court), $1 shawarmas at Shawarma Snack Center, juicy Shanghai dimsum like xiao long bao in Suzhou and those Korean holes-in-the-wall which seem to have overtaken this once-glorious tourist district. Am not even talking about the numerous culinary choices in Robinson’s Midtown yet. What to eat, what to eat….? That is the question.
It was a joy discovering a real Greek taverna in Manila, especially since it did not choose to be mainstream, like being situated in a crowded mall! Too bad, my phone’s memory card went kaput so I was only able to save a few pics from my love affair with Hellas Greek Taverna. I still remember the first thing I ordered, the Kotopoulo Kokinisto – a big plate of tomato-based pasta with flavorful roast chicken. I was about to complain that this meal of P300 was beyond my lunch budget, but I forgot that it can easily serve two persons. Most of the courses are meant for sharing.
This baked fish (psaria) at P400 was also good. Don’t know much about Greek food, but I presume this fillet o’ fish was put the oven with olive oil, capers, herbs, tomatoes and potatoes. Greek cuisine is known to be simple and natural but very healthy.
Tzatziki (P130) is one of the staple appetizers in Greek cookery. It is a divine dip of yoghurt, cucumber and garlic puree. I would also recommend their tirofkateri dip (P155) which is made from ricotta and feta cheeses blended in hot peppers. The pita bread that goes with these are specially made in Hellas’ kitchen.
What’s a Greek meal without sampling their glyka (desserts)? Baklava (P170) is one of the most popular. This is numerous layers of phyllo pastry filled with ground nuts and honey.
Greek coffee! I have to remember that they come in small cups when ordered in a Greek restaurant. One also has to choose between black, semi-sweet and sweet. Legend has it that your fortunes can be told from your coffee cup, or at least as it was practiced in Ancient Greece.
Bright walls, hand-painted chairs, and you also can’t miss the checkered blue tablecloths.
After the defunct Mati, this is now the Greek restaurant to go to in Manila. It should be authentic because the owner is Greek 😀
Unit G Bellagio Square
1658 Jorge Bocobo St.
Tel. No. 524-5860
A Birthday Lunch at Mano’s Green Taverna