I can’t claim to know much about Persian history, culture and even cuisine because, frankly, I don’t. All that I can remember from my high school History class is that Persia (now known as Iran) was once part of the cradle of civilization that was Mesopotamia. And, uh… that’s about it. But despite my ignorance on the subject, I am still interested to know more about Iran through its food. No need to travel to Iran because we can have a taste of Persian flavors right here in the city at Persia Grill. Now with 5 locations in Metro Manila, it’s easier to familiarize ourselves with the colorful and exotic dishes that define this Middle Eastern country.
Let’s start off with the Ox Brain (top right photo; P95)–now this is not your usual appetizer, but I must tell you it’s worth a try. It has a very delicate and buttery flavor complementing its custard-like texture. The closest in taste that I can think of is the yellow part of the balut but with a milder flavor. Then there’s the Beef Shawarma (lower left; P70). Well, who doesn’t know shawarma? Our tastebuds have long grown accustomed to eating this wrap, thanks to the shawarma food carts found almost everywhere. Persia Grill‘s version has tender and very flavorful beef strips and none of the ingredients that I don’t eat (namely, onions and cucumber). As a snack, it’s very satisfying.
I ordered the Chelo Kebab Morg value meal (top left; P125), which is a plate of charbroiled chicken breast fillet and plain rice (with butter on top), a grilled tomato and a yogurt-eggplant dip. I loved everything about it. While I normally stay away from white meat (obviously, I’m not a healthy eater), the chicken kebab had a smoky flavor made even more delightful by a special blend of herbs and spices. The grilled eggplant dip was also very appetizing, and the rice was excellent. The value meal even comes with a glass of iced tea. For dessert, I chose the Baklava (lower right; P85) because I’m very fond of it and because it was marked as one of the restaurant’s specialties. Sadly, it wasn’t good at all. The pistachio baklava squares were served warm, thus making them too soggy. There was also something questionable about the smell and the taste, so I don’t recommend the baklava.
All things considered, I will still go back to Persia Grill the next time I hanker for Middle Eastern cuisine. But I’ll probably go for the Date Pudding with Caramel Sauce for dessert next time.
Persia Grill branches:
Skydome – SM City North EDSA * Megastrip – SM Megamall * Valero Street, Makati * University Mall – Taft Avenue * Eco Plaza – Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati