CHECK IT OUT: Sultan Mediterranean Grill at Valero, Makati
Hail the king of Mediterranean fare!
Sultan Mediterranean Grill
Valero Plaza, San Agustin, Makati City
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Sometimes the worst situation can turn on its head and surprise you with something great. Had it not been for the bumper-to-bumper traffic on Valero Street that day (a day for which we will always be grateful), we never would have noticed Sultan Mediterranean Grill. Its white subway-tile walls and vibrant Mediterranean-inspired tiled counter sticks out amid dull-looking buildings and drab storefronts. It was a small space, but visually stunning enough to catch our attention. It became a viable solution for waiting out the road jam.
An all-new look
It turns out Sultan Mediterranean Grill has been around for a while—since 2010, to be exact. What used to be an easy-to-miss hole-in-the-wall transformed into a restaurant stunner only several months ago, and as much as we hate to think it: sometimes, looks do matter.
Serious Studios went for a clean approach, but still definitive of the cuisine's culture.
The pretty interiors attract attention (a face-lift courtesy of Serious Studios, which has lately been turning restaurants into the loveliest venues), but the food is what gets you going. At Sultan Mediterranean Grill, you’ll find your traditional Mediterranean fare, but you'll need more than one visit. The entire menu feels worth exploring.
For a starter, the Combination of Three Dips (P210) gives us the best of everything in one go. Piping hot pita bread carefully tucked under some cloth is just waiting to dive into one of the three dips: hummus, baba ghanoush, and tzatziki. It is but an opening act to this show-stopping meal.
Combination of Three Dips
Make room for the Braised Lamb Shanks (P520) which are huge spice-laden things. The lamb chunks are so tender, they fall off the bone without resistance. Position them over the side of buttered rice, and you have your perfect meal. The Souvlaki Platter (P340) knows how to keep up with that gorgeous lamb dish. Here, you get two kebabs (they serve beef by default, but you can get a mix of meats) with a side of fries that surprisingly end up as the star on the plate. Each shows off a gorgeous crispiness that wraps around the soft potatoes. Absolutely addicting.
It would be safe to say that the Regular Kebab Plate sells out quickly. It's made up of chunks of your meat of choice on a bed of rice, a side of salad, and roasted tomatoes to balance out all the carb and protein. Washing it all down with a Fruit Yogurt Shake (P90) is a must, and the drink’s subtle tartness is welcoming after a heavy meal.
A return visit is in order, because the Sizzling Lamb Chops (P320), Shawarma Rice (P190), Ox Tongue (P230), and Beef Kofta (P210) all sound too good to pass up. With great bang for buck too, we’re just going to want to explore that menu all over again. It's like a checklist.