Food Diary : Halal Kabab ExpressMonday, April 03, 2017
Aside from Japanese food, which every one knows I'm obsessed with, I also have a mild infatuation with Persian food. I don't get to post about it often because it's quite difficult to look for a Persian restaurant that's well within my budget. I've tried a few which are very affordable but compromises the taste and quality of the food. I have a couple of favorites--Mr Kebab and Adbul the Cool. Aside from the two, I have a couple more that I frequent but not something I'd really recommend to friends.
One time while driving along Katipunan, we saw this small, homey joint that was flocked by a lot of students. I was curious because I haven't tried any new Persian restaurant for the past few months. While looking at the menu, we didn't expect much because the food was cheap and they don't always look like the ones in the photos. But this restaurant though, you'll be surprised. Let me take you in on the food that we got ourselves!
The place is not right out the streets of Katipunan. You have to enter a small alley and you'll see the place. It has ample parking, and I was surprised because the street also has CCTV. No need to worry about your belongings in the car. The joint also has a CCTV of its own. Looking from the outside, the place may seem a little small--but there are several seats inside once you enter. It is also quite spacious inside with a wide view of the kitchen so you can actually see how you food is being prepared.
For starters, we had the Chelo Jujeh Kabab (P179.00), Chicken Barbecue with Saffron, Grilled Tomato and Persian rice. The chicken is grilled to perfection, and isn’t tough or dry at all (which is usually my problem when it comes to Persian food). The rice on its own also speaks wonders! My usual Persian rice is just plain Basmati rice topped with butter; but their rice, on the other hand, beams with different flavors and spices. I was trying to identify each one, but eventually gave up because I just wanted to enjoy the food.
Our second course was the Kabab Kubideh Wrap (P99). After having rice, we wanted something a bit lighter, so we could ease into rice again, lol. It’s made of Beef Kabab, Tomato and Onion. Our last meal was the Chelo Kabab Kubideh (P179.00), or Beef Kabab with Grilled tomato and Persian rice. I made sure I tried this last because I’m very fond of Chelo Kabab. The Chef mentions that if you eat Chelo Kabab with pure beef, though, you have to make sure you eat it as soon as it’s served because it gets drier the longer you let the meat sit.
To complement our meal, we had Lassi P70 , a Yogurt Drink in Plain and Rose Water. I’ve had a couple of favorite yogurt drinks in the past, but their plain yogurt drink is a revelation. It is sweet, tangy and refreshing. The Rose Water Yogurt, on the other hand, gave me butterflies on my tongue (is there such thing?). I hadn’t had any rose water-flavored drink before and I was surprised that it tasted so invigorating.
While dining, we also had the chance to meet the owners of the place, Violet and Chef Manoj de Silva. Chef Manoj was very chatty and told us a lot of things about herbs and spices. Through our short 15-20 minute conversation, I learned a lot about food preparation, import and export, and a few things about the food service industry! It was an interesting dinner to say the least. Will we come back? Definitely! I’ve yet to try the rest of their menu which I assume will be as wonderful as the ones we’ve already tried. Next time you around the area, don’t forget to drop by and see the humungous serving sizes yourself!
Halal Kabab Express
Budget – P100 – 150 / person
12NN – 12AM
The Yard at Xavierville, 83 Xavierville Avenue, Loyola Heights, Quezon City