The world is shrinking. Migration flows have brought cultures together in a way unforeseen a few centuries back. What would the great colonizers of yore think if they could see the way things are now? Would they have been able to imagine the blending we encounter on a daily basis? Would the cities of today seem like Babel of biblical times? Or more like Sodom and Gomorrah?
One great change is having access in this semi-backwater of Asia to a variety of cuisine. All of our overseas contract workers not only go forth to save our economy on a daily basis, but they marry, have kids, bring their spouses and mixed breed offspring back, not to mention lots and lots of balikbayan boxes. While we haven't seen too many interesting Nigerian or Ethiopian restaurants open up (and we still haven't set up a really amazing Moroccan or Afghan restaurant), there are more italian restaurants and greek restaurants, most of them byproducts of the OFW economic development.
In other better, greater blogs, there have been reviews of other greek restaurants like Mati and Minos (or is it Mynos?). I've had good meals at both, usually eating lamb, yogurt, and seeking dolmades that don't taste like they've been pickled in brine. A couple of months ago I saw a sign that heralded a new mall based Greek restaurant, Cyma in the Shangri-la Plaza. Till today I haven't had a chance to try it. As I was eating solo, I had a limited taste of the menu and will reserve my opinion till I can go with other diners as more mouths means more dishes to try out.
One gimmick that Cyma has going for it, (and what Manila based restaurant doesn't need a gimmick?) is flambed cheese. In greek cuisine, this may be a sheep cheese or feta, doused in some ouzo, allowed to burn blue and bright and then sprinkled with lemon and parsley. Cyma has the pyrokinetics and the waiters are required to say Oopa! when they light the dish up. The two occasions I heard them go through this made me wonder if they knew what they were getting themselves into. For it was noticeable to me at least, that the waiters sounded either frightened for their lives (maybe they've singed more than a few eyebrows by now) or they were worried someone was going to ask them what Oopa meant. And they wouldn't be able to say anything. Is this going to be a trend? Will Gumbo's shouting waiters and Cyma's charred ones be the new wave in customer service?