Kite Kebab

In recent years kebabs, just like shawarmas, have been rising from their reputation as quickly grilled street foods, to more upscale fare in casual dining restaurants. One place that exemplifies this change is a cozy bar known as Kite Kebab Bar, located in Poblacion, Makati City. We might have bypassed this place altogether if not for its charming outdoor dining area with its wide cushy seats and a wide window decorated with small colourful lights. Much to our delight when we finally dined here, the restaurant’s interior was just as artfully decorated as its facade.  The walls were covered with bright murals, which made a great backdrop to the bar’s comfortable seating and well finished tables.

At first we were impressed by the menu, which featured various kinds of beef, chicken, lamb, and seafood kebabs, as well as a selection of salads and side dishes. In fact the menu enjoins customers to make their own platters by mixing and matching kebabs with side dishes, rice, or pita breads. However, we were informed that some of the kebab meats, as well as side dishes such as the smoked eggplant yogurt were not available that evening. Perhaps this had to do with the fact that the long weekend had just finished and the kitchen was not yet fully restocked. After a while we decided on these combinations:

For Lee: chicken kebab, biryani rice, and ox brain

For Kat:  tenderloin chipotle, basmati rice, and mojos.

To wash this all down, we paired our food with calamansi juice sweetened with honey, and a classic yogurt drink.

The chicken kebab was more akin to chicken tandoori in terms of taste, while the biryani rice lacked some of the characteristic aromas and flavour imparted by spices such as star anise; however both these dishes were still rather delicious. The highlight of this plate was the ox brain, which was lightly sautéed and minimally seasoned. The result was a smooth, silky side dish that would be tempting for adventurous diners as well as the more squeamish newcomers. We would definitely recommend this. Likewise, the tenderloin kebab was well seasoned with just enough of the chipotle spice blend to complement the beef’s natural hearty flavour. The mojos were served hot and crisp, with a mild garlic dip. All in all, this was a simple but tasty plate.

Unfortunately most of the desserts were out of stock too this evening, so we simply capped our meal with a small pot of tea to cleanse our palates. At the very least it allowed us to linger and enjoy the bar’s coziness a bit longer before heading out into an unusually cool summer night.

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The Food Score:  3.5/5: Aside from the bugaboos with the flavours, we found the servings to be rather small for the price. However the selection is friendly for first-time diners, but also features dishes touted to be for the adventurous or more discerning diner such as kombutsa tea.

Ambiance/Service Score: 3.5/5. As beautiful as the bar’s interior is, one thing that marred it for us was the presence of large beer crates right in the main room. And while it’s definitely sad that many food items are not available, at least the staff are conscientious enough to immediately inform diners if there are any shortages on the menu.

GERD Score: 3.5/5. As far as selection and our experience here is concerned, there’s still some heartburn-friendly items that will still whet one’s appetite, because alongside the spicy and oily are subtle choices like hummus, and with regard to alcoholic and caffeine-filled beverages, there are also fruit juices and yogurt drinks available. We suggest cutting back on the butter a bit.

Epilepsy Score:  4/5: At the very least the foods are not too heavily spiced, thus making them friendly for sensitive diners. The drinks menu features a large non alcoholic beverages list, which is a boon for patrons who may worry about interactions with medications

Team Glasses Score: 3.5/5. The Kite Kebab Bar is worth including on one’s itinerary for an evening bar-hopping throughout Poblacion. It may not be the place to get a full meal, but it is certainly a location to stop and catch one’s breath for a little while.

Kite Kebab Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Hummus Elijah

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While walking around the nooks and crannies of Rockwell, Poblacion, and Makati Avenue for a proper dinner yesterday, my foodie partner-in-crime spotted something she definitely knows I missed as a former OFW in the Middle East. So she grabbed my hand and led me to this small restaurant named Hummus Elijah which is located on top of a Thai massage parlor, just along Makati Avenue.

The place was a quaint nondescript establishment that could be mistaken for a café of sorts or a small eatery, but the relaxed atmosphere was a welcome relief. The walls and décor almost likened it to a comfortable diner to hang out with friends, instead of the usual touches of Persian or Arabian interior with brass décor and multicolored tiles and cushions strewn about. I think I even gawked at the spices such as saffron and cinnamon lined up on the shelves.

Service was alright since we did go there just before the dinner rush. We even got to see this cool shirt from their staff. Thankfully, they were fairly cordial during our stay.

We ordered Hummus Elijah, tabbouleh, and two mint teas. And feast we did. In our opinion, the hummus serving size would feed three people, give or take an extra order of pita. The mix of vegetables from the tabbouleh complemented the hummus quite well and the only thing lacking for me was either some kebab or kofta.  The best part was barely any burping from the GERD end even if we both had half of the meal and even ordered one extra pita to share.

The restaurant also sells bags of spices, Turkish coffee implements, and even pre-mixed curry and masala which we’ll definitely also give a try when we get back. Baklava, both in its usual form, and a sweet pie variant, is also available for dine in and take-out.

Food Score: 5/5. The food was enjoyable and managed to bring out plenty of good food memories I’ve had as an OFW. After all, balancing fresh ingredients, food presentation, and taste is not easy feat, but they exceeded our expectations at a fair price.

Ambiance / Service Score: 4/5. The service crew were attentive and cordial, and the interior, while well execute and pleasant to the eye, doesn’t evoke much of the feel that you’re eating in a Middle Eastern restaurant.

GERD Score: 4.5/5. While there are some fried items, such as samosas, that aren’t quite as friendly to someone who has heartburn, there’s enough variety to get you to come back often to try something out.

Epilepsy Score: 4.5/5. The food is freshly prepared and mostly free of preservatives, which is a plus. However for persons whose seizures or other conditions are exacerbated by spicy foods, it may be best to stick to the hummus or salads when eating here. Herbal infusions are not an option yet in this place, thus limiting the selection of hot drinks for those who are sensitive to caffeine.

On an added note, persons with blood uric acid issues may need to stick to the salad or vegetable dishes. After all, hummus is made out of chickpeas, and various lentils feature heavily in other dishes.

Team Glasses Score:  4.5/5. This type of restaurant or cuisine isn’t for everyone, however if someone is looking for fairly safe and authentic Turkish dishes, this place is worth considering for a light meal. It is also the sort of place to visit with a large group of friends, as there’s no fun in polishing off a plate of hummus by one’s lonesome. We’re definitely going back for more hummus adventures.

Hummus Elijah Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato