Indecision is a terrible thing. Unlike being unable to pick a card in three-card monte or decide whether or not to get a muffin with your morning cup of coffee, not being able to decide what you want for dinner can lead to a fridge overflowing with left-overs or having to visit eight different restaurants and order a different meal at each. Rather than buy shares in the company that makes takeout boxes, enjoy the variety of a meze platter, a pita bread and two glasses of ‘The High Road’ red wine or two soft drinks at Marika’s Restaurant for R84.
Ordering takeout and having a quick munch-session on the couch at home can be a good way to take a night off, but there’s just something satisfying about being able to wine and dine in style. Cocooned in the chic ambience of Marika’s Restaurant in Gardens, it’s easy to see why first dates are usually a meal at a restaurant rather than a rousing game of paintball.
Picking a certain flavour and eating an entire plateful of it can be more boring than waiting in line for a trip to the oral hygienist. The Meze Platter, however, is more like going to an amusement park. Aside from creating a party vibe with its finger-food appearance, the platter is more like grazing than anything, providing an entire Swing Era jazz-band of flavours on one dish. Along with having awesome, nearly unpronounceable names, the dishes are mostly well-known Greek dishes; the largely Mediterranean and Greek home-cooking menu provides not only the well-known, but some dishes sourced from weird and wonderful places.
Create your own platter with any five choices from the meze menu. Add dolmades, beef-mince filled cabbage or vine rolls in lemon and butter and maybe Midia, fried peppers in vinegar. Considering you can choose five dishes, there’s no need to worry about having to settle for just one flavour.
The cosy restaurant provides the perfect setting for a romantic dinner, and even telling your platter it looked stunning and asking if it’s lost weight wouldn’t be as good a compliment as the two glasses of The High Road wine. Even if you’re not a fan of sulphides, you won’t go thirsty; top your meal off with two soft drinks.
However you construct your platter, enjoy it inside the cosy ambience of the restaurant proper or take it al fresco in the small garden area; provided the Cape Town weather agrees.
Mediterranean Fact: Greek food is a highly prized commodity in some areas of the world. For instance, workers at a cat-toy factory in Alaska are paid in Keftedes, or Greek meatballs instead of cash.