THE QUIET DINER

Middle Eastern food and Chinese dishes

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A group was searching for a new taste. A chance presented itself, a restaurant called Persian Kebab. The discovery serves not only Mid-Eastern food but more. On another eating journey, in another district, favorite Chinese dishes beckoned. Thus in a span of two weeks, the gustatory urgings were satisfied.

Hossein’s Persian Kebab (Unit F&B 007, Cluster 2, The Street, ATC, Muntinlupa City; call 5118899)—While it calls itself a Persian restaurant, this place serves an extended list of other cuisines in the Middle East and even Thailand. Therefore it is quite an adventure to dine there.

Dining area—It is bright and airy. Chairs are upholstered in beige. There is a counter/bar at the end and a semiprivate nook separate from the main hall. There is some Persian decor.

Service—Welcoming. Efficient.

Staff—Males dominate the group waiting on guests. There was, however, a lady occasionally checking tables, service.

Suggested orders—One can drop in and make a prearranged  menu. Start with Hummus, a spread of mashed chickpeas seasoned with lemon juice, garlic, tahina and olive oil, and served with Lebanese bread pockets. Then get the Fattoush Salad of fresh greens with dressing made of Persian spices which renders the flavor unique. To balance the texture, small pieces of radish are added. For the main courses, there is tender Lamb Kebab, pieces off the skewers, that goes very well with the spicy Thai Chicken Curry whose sauce is perfect with the special Saffron rice. Cap the meal with Baclava and coffee.

Usual government and service charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.

Rating: 3 spoons

*****

Zong Sta. Rosa (Unit 5 G/F Paseo 4, Paseo de Sta. Rosa, Sta. Rosa City; call 049-5028959)—This chain has come a long way from where it started in Quezon City. Its popularity can be attested to by diners who continuously come wherever a branch is, like this one which gets patrons even after 2 p.m.

Dining area—Clean and evidently sound-free. Nothing from the next table can be heard. There is some sort of an island/dining table in the center with built-in decor items.

Service—Warm greeting is extended by the door. Orders are taken quickly.

Staff—Efficient and knowledgeable.

Suggested orders—Needless to say, start with a selection of dim sum items that should include Fried Prawns and Hakao. Follow up with Hot and Sour Soup. Then indulge in the succulent Suckling Pig and Hong Kong-style Roast Duck, fat and all. If you prefer, go for the healthier Braised Beef, Shanghai-style Fish Fillet or the classic savory Hot Pots. Take the Steamed Shrimps but don’t forget the Fried Rice. There might still be room for dessert, the most popular being the Buchi.

Service and government charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.

Rating: 2 spoons

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