It was another Friday night and we didn’t know where to eat. We didn’t have dinner plans, but the lateness of the hour was enough motivation to find some grub. I suggested Café Mediterranean, since it’s been months since I last ate there. It wasn’t difficult to persuade my mom & J, since at that point, they were both in kahit saan (anywhere will do) mode.
While getting them in the restaurant was easy enough, ordering wasn’t. In the end, I ended up selecting the Kebab Platter (P640), figuring that you can’t go wrong with a selection of beef, pork, chicken and kofta kebabs. I was just beginning to order a sampler platter of my favorite appetizers when the server politely cut me short. Apparently, the kebab platter already had the appetizers I wanted to order. He also informed me that it came with 6 pieces of pita, more than enough for the three of us, so we simply got the platter and some drinks. It’s supposed to serve 4, I told my companions, so I guess not getting anything extra would be all right.
Still, despite the descriptions on the menu, and a fair idea of what Café Med food is like, nothing quite prepared me for the meal that was. We were served a large platter of the abovementioned kebabs, thankfully removed from their skewers for hassle-free sharing. The large serving dish was also laden with generous mounds of hummus, tzatziki, baba ghanoush, and tabbouleh, a large dish of what we guess to be a thick curry sauce, and a couple of grilled tomatoes and onions. Honestly, I was expecting token amounts of the appetizers, but the dollops on the serving dish were more than adequate.
And the flavors! The beef was grilled to perfection, just a little over medium. The meat was slightly pink on the inside. It was juicy, tender and flavorful. The chicken was good as well. Generous cuts of chicken white meat, seasoned and grilled to a tender, moistness. The kofta was as good as it gets. A medley of smokey flavors and distinct spices I just can’t put my finger on. But the star of the platter was definitely the pork. Well-seasoned and bursting with flavor, it was tender to the bite with just a hint of spiciness.
Of course, the side dishes could barely be considered extras. The hummus was smooth and perfect as always (if I could only make hummus as good as theirs), spreading a nutty-smooth texture on the warm pita bread. The tabbouleh was cooling; the lemon offering a nice bite against the refreshing mint. The tzatziki was nice and creamy, a rich, thick yet smooth mix of slithered cucumbers and yoghurt. The baba ghanoush was likewise, rich and smooth, with a hearty eggplant taste. Faced with all four, I could hardly decide where to begin.
It was one meal that definitely brought a smile to my face. I had nothing to complain about; everything was perfect and the platter had everything I liked best about Café Mediterranean. In fact, I kidded J that if this were a happy meal, it should be labeled Kaoko’s Happy Meal. True enough, it’s wrong to say that the Kebab Platter offers a happy ending. Because it’s a happy event, from start to end.
Alabang Town Center
Paseo de Roxas cor. Legaspi St.
Ayala Center, Makati City
Greenhills Shopping Complex
Power Plant Mall
Rockwell Drive cor. Estrella St.
4th Level, Movie World
EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave.
SM Mall of Asia
1st Level, Entertainment Mall
Bay Blvd., Bay City, Pasay City
1st Level, 18 ADB Ave.
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City