Last December 26, 2008, I went to Tagaytay for a Plurkfiesta. Our first stop was lunch at Manos Greek Taverna where we shocked the staff with our number (there were more then 20 of us).
Among the food our table tried are the following:
Greek Salad/Elliniki Salata
An appetizer which consists of tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce, green pepper, onion, feta cheese, Kalamati olives, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Manos’ version is very fresh and is a delight to the palate. Their feta is tastier than the ones I buy from the grocery and the tomatoes are very fresh and I suspect organic. It’s a perfect appetizer before the Greek main course.
It is another appetizer which is made of rice, onions and Greek herbs all wrapped in grape leaves. Manos serves it with their homemade Tzatziki, a sauce made of yoghurt, garlic and olive oil. Although the dolmades has rice, it’s not very filling so it makes a fine appetizer. Probably if I ate it all by myself I would be full but it’s good enough to be a meal in itself.
Another appetizer made of baked shrimp, feta cheese, bread cubes, tomatoes sauce, and olive oil. Their tomato sauce is very fresh. The feta adds an oomph to the tomato-based dish. This isn’t my favorite appetizer because it’s too sour for me but I still liked it.
It is a main course which is made from olive oil, eggplant, potatoes, zucchini, minced meat, onions, white wine, béchamel sauce, and parmesan cheese. This dish is very flavorful and filling. I am a fan of eggplant and potatoes so the mousaka made my tummy happy. However, I think it would have tasted better if there is some feta in it.
Grilled Lamb Shoulder
Guess what this dish is made of. Hehehe. The lamb was grilled with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and oregano. I loved the lamb a lot because it wasn’t gamey (Thanks, Daryl!). The grilling was done well. It didn’t turn the lamb shoulder tough but just the right tenderness. My gripe about this dish is the fries. I do love potatoes but I prefer that they serve the lamb by itself. Or maybe with mashed potatoes. The serving could do without the rice too.
A dessert made of fillo pastry, roasted hazelnut, walnut, almond, pistachios, cloves and cinnamon. I don’t remember if I liked this dessert or not. I guess it just didn’t stand out so I won’t rate it.
Manos’ dessert yoghurt disappointed me. Although it was served with virgin honey from Ilog Maria, it was still too sour for me. They also have a drink version of the yoghurt and I didn’t like that one either. It was very bland for my taste.
Value For Money
Since we shared all the food, we each paid only PHP 300 plus. If anybody wants to try Manos Greek Taverna after reading my entry, I suggest bringing 2 or 3 companions to share the foods with. Not only will it make the meal easier on the pocket, it will make the outing more fun.
Since the restaurant is not air-conditioned and located along the highway, you can smell the exhaust coming from the passing vehicles. The restaurant itself is low-key with plain wooden foldable tables and monobloc chairs. Ventilation is good though because of the large windows and numerous electric fans.
Manos is owned by the Greek Manos Sapountzakis and his Filipina wife Estrella. They’re open everyday up to 10 PM. They also deliver to hotels and residents in Tagaytay.
Manos Greek Taverna
Brgy. San Jose