Fast food — that is, quick and easily accessible food — gets a bad rap. It’s usually associated with greasy burgers or carb-heavy, rice-based meals, but a new restaurant in Bonifacio Global City (BGC) is rolling out on-the-go meals that show that “fast food” can be convenient, light, and satisfying.
Medley is like the love child of a family-style Mediterranean eatery and a modern salad bar. It’s what foodies would call fast “slow food,” the type of restaurant busy yuppies can go to for a quick bite of nutritiously wholesome, restaurant-quality dishes. But unlike salad bars, Medley’s food tastes far more indulgent than its calorie count would imply.
Their menu consists of typical lunch fare like sandwiches, salads, rice bowls, and pizza — below are some that stood out to our Coconuts Manila crew when we tried out Medley’s offerings at its recent media launch.
First, something hearty. The Beef Kofte sandwich (In pita, PHP209/US$3.96; in laffa bread, PHP279/US$5.29) is the most satisfying on the menu, both in terms of flavor and portions.
Made with lightly seasoned beef kofte balls, mixed greens, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, sumac onion, and garlic sauce, it could very well take the place of a fast-food burger.
The flavor of the kofte balls is not overpowering and lingers just enough for diners to enjoy it and want another bite. The combination of vegetables gives it a contrasting mix of textures and flavors, too. The onion is sweet, slightly acidic, and provides a bit of crunch; the baba ganoush is smoky and tender, while the tabbouleh is minty and grainy.
Another thing Medley has going for it: The menu has clearly labeled options for both vegetarians and vegans. We liked what they call the Guilt-free Greek (PHP200/US$3.79) — Israeli salad topped with feta cheese, marinated mixed olives, chickpea salad, sumac onions, and chimichurri sauce.
Even without meat, the salad is savory because of the different dimensions of saltiness the olives and cheese provide. It doesn’t skimp on the feta, which is a good thing because that’s the best part (isn’t it?), and is actually quite filling — especially with the side of pita.
Vegans can opt for the Falafel Crunch bowl that can be served with either hummus and pita (PHP329/US$6.24) or rice (PHP249/US$4.72).
Because the hummus is quite light and very smooth, it serves more as a dressing than a dip. This is good for those who prefer their hummus creamy but members of Team Chunky might be disappointed.
Still, the bowl itself is really satisfying, mostly because of the savory falafels that are sized just right. Taking it to the next level are the vegetables like the zesty corn salad that’s a bit similar to a Mexican corn salsa.
It also comes with tabbouleh, fried eggplant, beet salad, and tahini sauce.
Something to share with co-workers: Medley’s 9-inch pizzas. We liked The Big Cheese (PHP289/US$5.48), another vegetarian option made with basil pesto, mozzarella, feta parmesan, and cheddar.
The crust is thin and not greasy so it can satisfy pizza cravings without leaving people bloated.
The feta is the highlight of the dish because they’re chunky and generously sprinkled all over the pie.
All of Medley’s menu items are customizable, meaning customers can replace default toppings with whatever they prefer instead. Sauces can also be changed depending on preference. Choices include basil vinaigrette, creamy garlic, chimichurri, lemon tahini, mamba (ripe manga and spicy amba), and zhug (chili herbs).
Medley is located in the Fully Booked building in Bonifacio High Street. It’s got a grab-and-go counter that can serve food in less than 15 minutes, even though they’re prepared fresh daily.
The restaurant also has outdoor seating good for 12 people.
It opens tomorrow, Jan. 26.