In 1994, two siblings, Gonzalo and Giovanna Mabanta, along with Gonzalo’s then sister-in-law Marla Moran, put their heart, their soul, and their passion for good food and cooking into a restaurant idea that, in those heady days of the 1990s, was still unknown in Manila: a kitchen dedicated to the distinctive cuisines of the sunny Mediterranean.
Taking the name, The Cafe Mediterranean from a long defunct early 1960’s beatnik hangout in Berkeley California, they opened their doors to their first restaurant in Greenbelt Mall, within the Makati CBD. It was an instant hit amongst the corporate crowd with its emphasis on fresh, light, yet flavorful, slightly unusual menu offerings. The traditional cooking of the 14 or so countries located within the Mediterranean allowed the team tremendous flexibility in terms of developing an interesting menu, while at the same time keeping certain key ingredients – olive oil, garlic, and tomato – as unifying elements.
Hundreds of thousands of customers later, The Cafe Mediterranean, now grown to a number of locations, is going stronger than ever. The warm, friendly, funky atmosphere at the restaurants, the unique blend of dishes from the Eastern, Western, and Southern Mediterranean, the continuously evolving menu – from kebabs and couscous, to unique Mediterranean pizzas, falafel, and soupe au pistou, and finally the impeccable service standards, have been our source of pride for over 15 years. We believe this formula is what makes people come back – and they come back often.
The Cafe Mediterranean’s staff has become our extended family, as some of our loyal customers. There is a sincerity and a concern present, and we believe it is this sense of the family tradition that is the secret to the restaurant’s success and popularity. We present the food with genuine pleasure, from our family to yours.