Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Souv! by Cyma at Net Park, Bonifacio Global City

Opa!

There are a number of restaurants in Manila that I love for their consistent quality in taste and service. Cibo of Chef Margarita Fores is one and the other is definitely Chef Robby Goco's Cyma. In fact, I wouldn't limit this to only these two restaurants but will consider all the chain of restaurants under their hats. Somehow, both chefs never fail to come out with impressive restaurants that has been making us go back to over and over again. I think one factor is how hands-on they've been on their businesses. Take Chef Robby Goco for example, I've seen him countless of times in Cyma, Green  Pastures, Charlie's Burger, even his Mexican restaurant a couple of years back called Ristras and just recently, we met again at Souv! -- his newest business venture.

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While Cyma is clearly a household name here in the Philippines as it is probably the first restaurant to introduce Greek cuisine to the local market, Souv! is it's hip, younger brother that presents a more modern take in the classic Greek cuisine. It's Chef Robby's answer to how times have changed even in Greece and the dishes in Souv! showcase the demands of today's customers as well. Serving fast, healthy and clean dishes which allows most especially it's lunch clientele to enjoy a good, healthy meal in less than an hour.

Paul and I got to try a number of Souv's specialties so allow me to share them with you too:

Mezze


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Cheese Saganaki (Php. 480)
How can you say no to a piping hot pan of melted fried Kefalotiri cheese drizzled with peppered fig jam, honey sesame and served with freshly baked bread. It was so yummy! I love the sweet-salty marriage of the cheese, jam and honey.



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Strapatsada (Php. 280)
I wasn't too crazy about this dish as it's simply a Greek-version scrambled egg with with cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and bread. I'd still go for the cheesy or creamy starters any day.

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Greek Nachos (Php. 525)
On the contrary, this was my top choice among all the starters that we've tried that day. It has everything that I love when dining at a Greek restaurant -- hummus, tzatziki, feta cheese, olives and lots and lots of pita bread. I went for a second visit with my family and made sure to order this again and it was just as good as the first time we had it.

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Sticky Chicken Wings (Php. 495)
Aside from the nachos, do not miss the Sticky Chicken Wings. Yummy fried chicken wings coated in honey oregano lemon and served with pickled onions and harissa yogurt. You can never go wrong with chicken wings and somehow, Chef Robby has hit the jackpot with this one. I love the sticky sweet coating over the tender and very juicy chicken wings. It's actually one of the house specialties and one bite will instantly tell you why.

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Clams and Spinach Fonduta (Php. 530)
This is very similar to Spinach and Artichoke Fondue that I love at Cyma only Chef Robby has swapped out the artichoke with clams this time. Similarly, it's served with grilled bread but personally, I would order a plate of pita bread to go with this. I just love scooping up every single bit here and Souv's freshly baked pita bread can surely do the job so well.

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Grilled Sous Vide Octopus (Php. 295)
Smokey, meaty and really yummy! This is how I'd describe Souv's Grilled Sous Vide Octopus. It's amazing how the meat was so tender which is normally one of the biggest challenges of eating octopus as it has the tendency to be chewy and tough.

Salads

Any regular patron of Chef Robby's restaurants would know how well his veggie dishes are. I'm talking not only about salads but even his vegetarian friendly dishes are always to tasty and good.

Salata Kinoa (Php. 480 / Php. 680)
We're such big fans of Cyma's Roka Salata and this is his version at Souv. Not to worry though as they also serve Roka Salata here but if you want something different then dig into this bowl of fresh Lollo Verde, quinoa, arugula, walnuts, cheese, raisins and dijon herb dressing. Sadly, I had to skip this but my dining companions all gave their thumbs up sign so I'm taking their word that it must be really good!

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Cranberry Grains Salad (Php. 490 / Php. 690)
Finally, a salad that I CAN eat at the moment! This is a very hearty mix of lentils, parsley, onions, cilantro, capers and cranberry. Think of it like a summer version of my favorite tabbouleh which is so fragrant and tasty. I love how you get a variety of texture all in one spoonful.

Pasta and Grains

I remember how much I love Cyma's Garlic Noodles which, at that time, was an off-the-menu item. At Souv, Chef Robbie has added more noodles variety which goes so well with his mains.

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Greek Tuna Roe (Php. 410/630)
A simple but totally satisfying pasta creation of chickpeas, tomato and tuna roe tossed in al dente spaghetti noodles. To be honest, this is how I love my pasta. Very straightforward, light yet really tasty. I love how the tiny bits of tuna roe adds so much interesting texture to the pasta which also complements the tangy cherry tomatoes and the creamy chickpeas. So yummy!

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Seafood Yiouvetsi (Php. 850)
If you want something more hearty, then I highly recommend the Seafood Yiouvetsi. It's like Greek-style paella only it uses orzo pasta instead of rice and it's cooked in a rich saffron broth with squid, shrimps, clams and mussels. One serving is quite generous and can be shared by 3-4 pax.

Mains

We've sampled quite a lot of dishes at this point and Chef Robbie told us that we haven't tried the mains yet. Thankfully, we still managed to make some more room to try the mains as it would be a big loss not to.

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Meat Platter - 3 Kinds (Php. 950)
I've always been a fan of Cyma's grilled meats and this is also one thing that I was so impressed with at Souv. We had the huge Meat Platter which comes with slices of lamb, chicken and pork. What I love is that the individual flavors of each meat really stood out giving you a good taste of each. This platter came with a bowl of salted boiled potatoes, pickles, Greek coleslaw and more pita bread.

Among the three meats, my favorite was the lamb as it wasn't gamey at all and the flavor was totally spot on. The chicken was a bit on the salty side which I felt was probably marinated in salt prior to cooking while the pork was a bit too fatty for me.

I actually had this again on two separate occasions and if you're a rice lover like me, I recommend that you order the Rice Pilaf to go with this as well.

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Angus Beef Short Rib (Php. 1,050)
For serious beef fans, then you have to try this. It's so huge that it reminded me of one that Fred Flinstone would eat (think: caveman style). It's amazing how Chef Robbie didn't have fancy up this dish as one bite will surely win your meat-loving heart.

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Grilled Whole Fish -- Lavraki (Php. 1,100)
However, readers of this blog know how much I love my seafood and I was totally amazed by our last main dish. Out came one whole sea bass served with clams and EVOO lemon sauce. Noticed how creamy looking the sauce is? Believe it or not, no dairy was added in there. Instead Chef made use of clam juice, evoo and lemon to create this amazing sauce.

Lunch Set

Given that Souv is located in Bonifacio Global City, which is considered to be one of the busiest CBD areas now in Metro Manila, it then makes a lot of sense for Chef Robbie to consider the office lunch crowd when creating his menu. Given that lunch hour only lasts for literally..60 minutes, it's important then to make sure that one can quickly grab a bite and still have ample time to walk back to the office without breaking a sweat.

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Souv has a total of 12 different lunch sets which varies among the four types of fillings -- chicken, pork, lamb or vegetarian. From there, one can choose if he wants it in a wrap, served as a salad or perhaps in a hearty bowl with quinoa, brown rice and spinach. The decision making doesn't stop there. You can have your choice from sides such as the Oregano and Feta Fries, juicy potatoes, spring salad, summer salad, clam saffron avgolemono soup or the lahanosalata. If you think about it, you can manage to eat at Souv multiple times in a week or in a month and order a different type of lunch set each time.

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My personal favorite was the Lamb Bowl served with harissa yogurt, pickled cucumber, pickled radish, red onion and sprouts. It's so light yet hearty at the same time. As for the sides, my vote totally goes to the Oregano and Feta Fries. So good!

Dessert

Of course, you have to end your meal with dessert! Souv has created a variety of homemade Frozen Greek Yogurt (Php. 150) with 5 different flavors -- Bukidnon Wild Flower Honey, Crumbled Baklava and Honey, Fig Jam, Carrot Orange Jam and my favorite, EVOO and Sea Salt.

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These are just sample sizes of the real thing as most of us could hardly take another bite but still want to end our amazing meal with a sweet (and tangy) note. Made fresh daily, I love how the yogurt was so smooth that it gently slid down my throat. The flavors were all very interesting and one that will make you go "I didn't know that would taste so good!"

We surely had a big feast at Souv and I'm happy to share that the quality of the dishes and the service were consistently good during both of my visits.

Reservation is highly recommend. Call Souv at +63-949-4819621.

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