Monday, July 20, 2009

PERSIA GRILL - SM MegaMall Branch -off my general topic

Every so often, Benj and I try to venture out from our normal staples when dining in Ortigas. He wanted to go back to the Kebab Factory inside mega mall, while I saw this big tarpaulin at the Mega A entrance and thought, why not give this restaurant a shot. The prices are more affordable than the Kebab Factory's but for what Benj and I ordered, the price is the only 1 up over the Kebab Factory.

The place itself is nicely decorated, I love their washroom. The lighting is great and the ambience was quiet and nice. And see they have tables outside for the people of the smoking persuasion. The fact that we were the first customers to arrive made me notice the slightly noisy and unprofessional cashier and uber eager or overly caffeinated waiter.

He ordered the lamb chop with the spicy rice inside a bell pepper while I ordered my usual which is the lamb kebab with Kuboz. Unfortunately, they didn't know what kuboz is so fine, I called it pita bread (oh Hossein where are you?). Kuboz, is that bread Jesus broke in half and half some more and gave to his disciples, gets? So while hot, Kuboz is like an envelope that you can fill with your kebab, yogurt dip, roasted tomatoes, egg plant paste or what ever.

The rice that came with Benj's lamb chop was fantastic, nice spicy, slightly tomatoey sour taste. The lamb chop was, oh i don't know, just your regular lamb chop BUT SMALLER it didn't taste like it was marinated or had added herbs or spices. The rice was long grain and was obviously cooked or baked in spices. If I was to come back to this restaurant it would be for that rice. However, the portion Benj got was like for a girl. In short the portion(s) he got was small. So poor Benj was not satisfied.

I kinda feel sorry for this "Persian" place because I'm using my childhood memories of Hossein's Persian kebab as a yardstick to compare and rate this restaurant or any restaurant that claim to offer Persian/Middle East cuisine. The fairest statement I can describe my experience with this resto was you get what you pay for.

My order did not wow me AT ALL. Neither did the waiter offer me the usual 2 or 3 varieties of hot/spiciness of the lamb kebab (the way Hossein's and the Kebab factory do(es). The lamb kebab almost had no taste, the "pita" was ok, but on the thick side. The lamb kebab was on the dry side as well. It wasn't juicy at all. It was on the tough side, it being not hydrated with spicy sauces. I felt as though they Filipinized the taste of this Middle Eastern dish. What I mean is I feel they've watered down the taste to accommodate whatever pallet they think they are accommodating, cuz Pinoys with their Bicol express is ideally spicy. I did like my rather expensive lemonade, it had this herb in it that gave it a twist to offset the tangy lemon of the drink.

It's possible that they have dishes that are better than what we had the misfortune of ordering. So when in mega mall and you wanna try Persian grill, skip the lamb chop with the rice in a bell pepper unless you're petite, and skip what i had which was the lamb kebab.


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