If plates could talk, The Café Mediterranean’s ‘Peace Plates’ introduces us to a wealth of flavors from a region otherwise marred by violence and unrest. Each delicate and delicious dish, carefully selected for the unique character they bring to the table, is a silent yet powerful reminder that where there is conflict, there too may we find harmony, captured with every sensual bite.
Egyptian Chickpea Salad
The Café Mediterranean first introduced their “Peace Plates” menu in 2009, when conflict raged in Syria and Lebanon. In light of the latest protests and upheavals in Egypt, Libya and Bahrain and the other regions afflicted with injustice, they decided to revive the specials, focusing on the virtues of democracy, justice and dignity with dishes that reflect all that is pure in the world, particularly in these war-torn areas of the Middle East. Food, after all, is the great equalizer, and its universal language blurs the lines as we enjoy the simple pleasures in life. As we hope and pray for solidarity in amidst the unrelenting unrest in the Middle East, let us come together, at the dining table, to celebrate their undying culture and history, and a peace that transcends all conflict.
First off is the Tunisian Potato Salad with Eggs (Patatosalata Me Avga, P165) is a clean and refreshing salad of cucumbers and oregano dressed with red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Not a “mayonnaise-y” laden salad, it is a lovely siding for sandwiches and other light dishes. The Algerian Quinoa Salad (P195) is a great anti-aging dish and offers many health benefits. The quinoa (keen-wah) is the seed of the goosefoot plant, and a grain unlike other grains that is high in protein, fiber, calcium and iron. Aside from all its health benefits, it makes a great salad, combined with olives, cilantro, onions, tomatoes and feta cheese with lemon-apple cider vinaigrette. The Egyptian Chickpea Salad (P175) is a refreshing garbanzo, zucchini and red bell pepper salad with yogurt, lemon juice and mint – a great starter to any of the main dishes or as a peppy snack.
Grilled Ciabatta Pizza with Tomato Pesto
The Grilled Ciabatta Pizza with Tomato Pesto (P165) is a fun open-faced sandwich with tomato-basil pesto, tomatoes and olives, topped with mozzarella cheese – a very light lunch, a snack or a starter to share. Served with pita bread, Chermoula (P255) celebrates the flavors of the Mediterranean and goes wonderfully with fish. This multi-purpose sauce is a staple in Moroccan, Algerian and Tunisian cuisine, made with herbs, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin and garlic. Due to popular demand, the Portobello Burger (P265) returns to the menu, hailed as “the steak of veggie burgers”! You will not miss ground beef after you’ve tasted all of the wonderful flavors that are combined in this delicious vegetarian burger. The Egyptian Spiced Orange and Raisins (P95) is an Egyptian-inspired dessert that makes the perfect ice cream topping and complements the silky Panna Cotta beautifully as well.
This is Café Med’s little way of reminding us all that we share a common ground when it comes to appreciating the richness of Middle Eastern cuisine, and the pacifying wonder of sharing a meal that honors our brothers and sisters. So let’s eat to peace, and celebrate life!
Visit The Café Mediterranean at Rockwell Business Center, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City; Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center; The Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center;
The Podium, Ortigas Center; SM Mall of Asia; Corte de las Palmas, Alabang Town Center. Out-of-town branches are in Station 1, Boracay, Chimes, Davao City and at the Asian Development Bank Complex, ADB Avenue, Pasig City. For inquiries please call Tel: +632 896 8625 or visit www.thecafemediterranean.com