If you think Katipunan traffic is horrendous, the newly sprouted UP Town Center just made it a haven for emergency lights and texting breaks. The stillness of the avenue is quite dramatic, but being there is a harsh bladder test which my dad would miserably fail. UTI sufferers, beware.
The parking can be a bit tricky, and do not get lured into tailgating a blinking vehicle or you’ll be cursing for a good 30 minutes or until yaya suddenly appears with boxes of Dulcelin or Cotton On paperbags. If you are not a driver, get the hell out of the driveway and find the moonlit gravel—yes, that’s what you call parking lot.
Pay P20 on the spot, unless you’re a miser like me, who keeps her wallet at the bottom of an abysmal bag. Took me a couple of minutes to fish out a bill—what, you afraid I’d run off the gravel with my P20?
UP Town Center has 2 floors; you will have to be extremely curious or adventurous to find the stairs. So if you get there all stressed, tired and hungry—when you find something you want to eat at, EAT THERE! Don’t bother reading (and following) silly blogs and reviews from bloggers with questionable taste—follow your nose, companions or wallet! Just decide and make it quick. The places fill up like an hourglass and I have no idea where the people come from!
I made the mistake of over reading reviews, and we ended up having dinner at Kos Greek Ouzeri (cough, cough Hades). I say, if you have qualms about what you eat, charge it to good sales people and bad instinct.
So yes, we ended up at Kos Ouzeri because it was an empty Greek tavern with free bread. The things restaurants do to prey on poor people like us—free bread! How very primitive—but effective!
Kos serves complimentary bread (wait for it… un-li-mi-ted!) but you have to order the dip (there’s a page full of these in the menu) unless you want to curse the rest of your meal with bland chewing, and a serving averages about P150. If you react the same way as I do (gasp, choke, faint), welcome to my stingy club! Seriously now, with Christmas approaching, #stingy is the new #selfie.
We nearly went for raita or tzatziki, but I decided to differ and choose cheese so we ordered Tyrokafteri, supposedly made up of feta cheese and chili. Tempting, right? Truth is, for half the price I can get a large jar of Cheez Whiz Pimiento and have enough left for my sandwiches at home—because that’s how it tastes like. Reminds me of grade school and my grandma, cold bread and cheese with no hint of “hot” whatsoever!
Being the salad blogger, albeit self-proclaimed, and a fan of the Cyma version, I just had to order Tono Salata. For P350 it was supposed to feed 2-3 people. When it arrived, my initial reaction was I can eat this serving size, in threefold. The sales girl has really underestimated my appetite and size, because that salad was a puny piece of rock salt. Let me explain.
SOME Tono Salata components were present: seared tuna, beans, tomato, cucumber. There was no feta cheese or egg, but fine, I understood the economy during these hard times. The anchovy was evident in the bite, in fact all of them! Seems like the dressing was made up sea salt and I felt no trace of the vinegary aspect. After the 3rd bite, I was taking sips of water in between. It was like Poseidon threw up on my salad.
I am not over reacting; my brother felt the same way and for someone who adores arugula in all its mighty forms, he gave up on this salad despite appetizing call of the chunky seared tuna. Salty salad, tono salt-ata! Ton of salt. Get it?
The person in white (seems like the supervisor, looks like a credit card salesperson; does not speak Greek) asked how the meal went and we blatantly complained about the salt wave on the salad. She was like, “OK thanks, noted.” (What is this, a corporate memo?) I don’t think she even took note of my COMPLAINT. Should I have said blogger? Maybe she would have listened more closely. I had a lot to say so I’m writing about it instead.
Oh wait, I forgot about the Gyro. What’s Greek food without that notorious gee-row? My brother went for a chicken gyrothat came with fries on the side. Poseidon, not satisfied my salad, also chose to throw up on the fries because they were one heck of a salty siding! The gyro was one wee roll and I felt sad for my companion with a hefty appetite. I badly wanted to taste it, but since it looked like a hotdog roll, decided to be a charitable host. He claims that it was good, and that the sauce was awesome, but looking at the size, it was just, hmm-kay. I could probably eat 2 of those, sans the fries salt fest.
All in all, the experience at Kos Greek Ouzeri was a strange one. We badly wanted to like it because it seemed to be a cheaper (?) alternative to Cyma, but having a letdown for a salad, I might go for pizza the next time we visit UP Town Center.
The free bread does not make up for the hunger pains that ensue and with other more lively competitors in the vicinity—it is easy to get lured by everything else! Just be-kos.
Lack of wit, charge to hunger.