CHECK IT OUT: Persian Delights at Circles Event Cafe in Makati Shangri-La
Sample some authentic Middle Eastern fare.
Circles Event Café
Lobby Level, Makati Shangri-La, Manila
Ayala Ave. corner Makati Ave.,
Tel. No. 840-0884
Open from 6 a.m. to 12 midnight, (Sunday to Thursday); 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. (Friday and Saturday)
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(SPOT.ph) Ask anyone in Manila about their idea of Middle Eastern food and chances are, they'd mention shawarma-the pita sandwich, with its filling combination of chopped tomatoes and cucumber with strips of chicken or beef, along with a very distinctive garlic sauce, is probably the most street-friendly among the dishes in this particular cuisine, and therefore the easiest to adapt to the Filipino palate.
It's a good thing, then, that the shawarma at the newly launched Persian Delights at Circles, Makati Shangri-La doesn't disappoint. Delicately held in a small china bowl, the wrap-prepared in front of you, naturally-is a delectable mix of freshly grilled chicken, crunchy cucumber, and creamy garlic, its intense flavor belied by its almost dainty appearance.
Also featured in the buffet are other Persian staples, though some dishes were infused with other Middle Eastern influences, says Executive Sous Chef Hamed Ghayedi. Expect to find favorites like hummus and tabouleh, as well as a Moroccan lamb stew featuring tomato sauce and chickpeas that's reminiscent of a comforting caldereta. The Zreshk Polow with Chicken, a rice dish garnished with barberries (a berry commonly used in Persian cooking) complements the stew with its surprising bursts of tartness. While some of the more traditional offerings-a yoghurt drink that leans a little on the salty side, for example-might be considered an acquired taste, they'll certainly round out this new gustatory experience.
Persian Delights is available at Circles Event Café's buffet every Monday evening.