I love mezze as much as I love sauces. I also love spices and exotic flavors and the flavors of the Middle East as well as the Mediterranean. When New World Hotel added Lebanese sous chef Malek Mahmoud Elsafadi to their team, they added a Middle-Eastern Mediterranean section to their daily lunch & dinner buffet at their M2M Cafe. I was excited to try the fare for an exclusive first taste at the Hotel.

Obviously, the highlight of my meal were the mezze, several cold appetizers synonymous with dips and salsas, but with a spicier kick. Here are some of my favorites.

Mutabal

A grilled eggplant, garlic, and tahini dip that is traditionally topped with pomengranate bits. M2M’s version has dried cranberries atop it.

Baba Ghanouj

Another eggplant dip with olive oil, paprika, and other spices. I’m (slightly) allergic to eggplant, so I did not try this.

Labneh with Garlic

Labneh is a strained cheese made from yogurt. I LOVED this mezze because of the strong garlic flavor and smooth consistency. I could eat the entire plate on my own.

Hoummous

The most common type of mezze with chickpeas, tahini and olive oil. Great consistency and a nice smokiness from the paprika..

Hot Lebanese Bread

These are tiny air-puffed pockets of bread which are great for dipping into the mezze. I must have had several of these.

Tabbouleh

A traditional Arabian salad with chopped parsely, mint, tomatoes, onions and some other seasonings. I love this version’s herbaceous flavor and freshness. Normally, Tabbouleh comes with bulgur or some type of grain to make it a bit more substantial, but I like M2M’s light version.

Mixed Meat Fatayer

Small flatbread pies with lamb or beef, and topped with cheese. A traditional Fatayer is a pastry filled with meat and/or cheese, so this is an open-faced version of the fatayer. Normally meat and cheese are not combined in kosher food, but I guess in Halal food it is permitted. I enjoyed the lamb Fatayer.

   Lentil Soup

A very simple, yet substantial soup of lentils cooked in broth and pureed. Good flavors.

Chicken Wings Provencal

The wings were flavorful, moist, and a great hot appetizer. Coriander, parsley and cumin elevate this bar chow into something sumptuous.

Lamb Kebab

Little skewers of grilled ground lamb meat

Chili Chicken Liver

Not so spicy as anticipated, but gamey and cooked with spices. The lemon sprinkle will add wonders in adding acidity to a normally fatty offal.

Fisherman

I didn’t really understand how this was a “fisherman, but apparently the dory fish catches the prawns? my prawns were undercooked, and I didn’t care so much for the fennel cream sauce coz I dislike anything with a licorice flavor.

Chicken Shawarmah

Served with pita bread, it’s a little DIY pita pocket meal.

Lamb Oriental Rice

Chunks of lamb cooked with basmati rice, topped with cashews and pistachios. This is for that want a more substantial meal, too heavy for me since I indulged in the mezze.

Baklava & Um Ali

These tidbits of sweet and flaky pastries are imported to the Hotel for the buffet spread at M2M Cafe. I loved the pistachio baklava. Not pictured is the Um Ali, or a sort of bread pudding.

Turkish Coffee

Those sweet treats are best taken with some bitter turkish coffee sprinkled with some cardamom spice. Even if the items above are just a part of the entire buffet spread at M2M, you can focus on all these items as you wish, and be transported to the exotic region of the Middle Eastern and the Mediterranean at the New World Hotel.

M2M Cafe at the New World Hotel

Esperanza Street cor Makati Avenue,

Makati City, Philippines 3338

+632 811 6888 loc 3338