Circles Event Café: Persian Delights at Makati Shangri-la

Hotel restaurant hopping has been one of my hobbies these past few months. But although I've already been to quite a number of luxurious dining spots, I still haven't tried the wonderful gustatory treats at Circles Event Café in Makati Shangri-la Hotel. Luckily, I got invited earlier last week to sample Circles' offering for their Monday Persian Delights.

Makati Shangri-la Staircase Circles Dining Area

Located in the heart of the financial and commercial district, Circles Event Café is Makati Shangri-la Hotel's casual dining restaurant serving a plethora of Asian and Western dishes on its glorious buffet spread. However, for our recent trip, we didn't get to pig out on the buffet offerings as we had something more special -- a taste of Persia personally prepared by Executive Sous Chef Hamed Ghayedi.

After a quick introduction from Chef Hamed, Circles' team of courteous servers brought us a selection of cold mezzeh which I believe were cold appetizers. We had Hammous, Moutable, Fattoush, Babaghanouj and Tabouleh, along with pieces of Arabic Pita Bread.

Hammous
Hammous, pureed chickpeas with sesame seed paste
Moutable
Moutable, an eggplant paste
Fattoush
Fattoush, a pita bread salad
Babaghanouj
Babaghanouj, mashed eggplant with olive oil and seasoning
Tabouleh
Tabouleh, finely chopped parsley, tomatoes and onions with olive oil dressing

Honestly, it was my first time to get a taste of these Persian cold mezzeh so I can never tell if these tasted authentic. However, I can definitely say that each of these meal starters were enjoyable for the palate. The Hammous, Moutable and Babaghanouj nicely complemented the pita bread despite having simple flavors. The Fattoush and Tabouleh on the other hand, definitely earned a new fan. They had a fresh, bold flavor that I really dig.

Meat Sambousik Spinach Fattayer

If there's a cold mezzeh, there's also a hot mezzeh. And for this phase, we had servings of the Meat Sambousik -- pocket pies of seasoned ground meat, and Spinach Fattayer -- small triangular pockets of tasty spinach. Although the only pocket pies I love are my dad's special empanada, I can't deny that these two are very flavorful treats.

Barley Soup

Although we've already had a hefty start, we were still served with an equally filling Barley Soup also called Aash. Made from a harmonious blend of barley, lentils, beans, spinach and herbs, this hot bowl is not only very tasty and comforting, but also very nutritious.

Iranian Mixed Grill

For main course, we had a big platter of Iranian Mixed Grill which has generous portions of lamb kubideh (kebab), lamb chops, chicken larri, prawns and fish. Being a proud member of PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals), this mountain of meaty goodness got me hooked. Although the chicken and fish were a little dry for my taste, the prawns and lamb chunks were grilled to perfection.

Zreshk Polow with Chicken

We also had the Zreshk Polow with Chicken, a famous Persian dish of barberry and saffron rice over a bed of chicken. Although the chicken itself was nothing extraordinary, the Zreshk Polow got me going ohh and ahh. The rice dish had a nice savory flavor with added chewy and crunchy textures from the dried barberry and nuts.

Fesenjan Duck Stew Polow Safid

We also got to sample the Fesenjan which is a Persian duck stew infused with pomegranate juice and ground walnuts. Although not entirely alike, this dish reminded me of our own Dinuguan because of its thick consistency and slightly tart flavor. To accompany our main entrées, our group also had a plate of Polow Safid or Persian white rice.

Kunafa Mixed Baklawa

For desserts, we were served with Kunafa -- a Palestinian sweet made from unleavened dough, and Mixed Baklawa -- a rich and sweet treat made from filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and drizzled with honey. It was my first time to taste these 2 Arabian desserts, but both of them somehow reminded me of some of our local delicacies -- kakanin and napoleones.

Mahlabiya Platter of Dates

We were also served with Mahlabiya -- a sweet, soft and smooth rose and orange blossom water-infused milk pudding topped with chopped pistachios, and a platter of sweet and tangy dates which despite not being my kind of fruit, definitely did a nice job cleansing our palate.

Circles Event Café only offers an array of Persian Delights every Monday evening. For Tuesday, this luxurious dining destination serves up a selection of Italian cuisine. Wednesday nights on the other hand, is a feast of local flavors with Filipino Fiesta, while Thursdays is a play on Indian cuisine. For seafood lovers like me, Friday evenings will definitely satisfy our cravings, while Saturday nights are dedicated for steaks and barbecues. And lastly, visit on a Sunday morning and enjoy a hearty brunch.

THE VERDICT

Although I consider myself an adventurous and curious foodie, I still haven't had my fair share of Persian cuisine. However, I'm glad that my first was with Circles Event Café. Not only did I get to know these hard-to-pronounce food items, but I also got to experience the hospitality and impeccable service at Makati Shangri-la. Overall, Persian cuisine made a nice impression on my taste buds, and I can't wait to try more.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 3.5/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Circles Event Café, Makati Shangri-La Hotel
Lobby, Makati Shangri-La, Ayala Ave. cor. Makati Ave.,
Makati City, Metro Manila
Philippines
(02) 840-0884
Official Website
Facebook Page

40 comments:

  1. I love persian! Let's go and dine out with persian cuisine sometime. There's more to unfold I tell you. =D

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  2. OMYYYYY I'm a huuuuuuge fan of persian cuisine!!! Nakakagutom naman!

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  3. I love Persian food! How much is the buffet here? I want to try!

    See my Persian food posts here:
    http://www.dekaphobe.com/search/label/Persian

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  4. Sumi please stop tempting me on food. Hahaha! I'm not a big Persian food fan but the food is just asking me to grab and chow it down! hahaha! :))

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  5. Circles! You know what I miss? Their super delicious banana cake.

    It's so basic looking. In-your-face banana cake pero masarap.

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  6. awww..i missed all of these? :( i want the spinach fattayer! and that platter of iranian mixed grill!! yummy :)

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  7. Super yummy! a girl's gotta eat! :))
    Nice blog! Hope you can visit mine and follow too!
    Followed you :)

    www.kaigrafia.com

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  8. May Shang din pala sa Makati. AKala ko dito lang sa may Megamall hehe
    MUkhang pangmayaman yung place naku di ko ata keri jan haha
    pero nakakatakam talaga yung foods.

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  9. bakit walang pricey hahaha...
    super b ang mga food...

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  10. Yummy and also pricey! Hehehehe. But the food looks really great. :)

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  11. So this is the real Persian cuisine! We've gotten so used to the usual kebabs that I'm sure something as authentic as this will be a nice surprise for our taste buds! :) I really want to try the desserts :D

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  12. I've never tried Persian food. i admire you for really very open in trying new food.:) and by the way, as always, your pictures are really great. my husband and i are always amazed with your great shots. my hubby does photography too.:)

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  13. @stacy: Take me to more Persian restos! :D Can't wait to try out other Persian dishes.. ^^

    @michymichymoo and @Axl Powerhouse Production Inc.: I'm not sure how much Circles' rates are for their buffet, but I'll inquire and post the prices here asap.. :)

    @Rae: Thanks for sharing bout the banana cake sis! Will try that the next time I eat at Circles ;)

    @Sarah Olayvar: Aww.. Thank you sis. I still have more things to learn when it comes to photography, but practice makes improvements so I just keep shooting.. XD

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  14. i see that you have been food tripping lately. this latest adventure looks super fab. that staircase spells elegance at its finest. wow!

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  15. Ang sosyal naman niyan Sumi haha.. Try ko nga maghanap ng Persian Recipe sa i-net. LOL.

    Kidding aside, I love how vivid your photos are. :) Elegent place to eat :)

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  16. As always, buffets are both bad and good. haha tempting. is it called baklawa or baklava? i love baklava especially with pistachio!

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  17. Nice seeing you there again, Sumi!

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  18. The food looks super delish but I bet expensive too. How much is the buffet here?:)

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  19. OMG!!! I'm drooling siiis! :D
    I wanna try the Hammous, pureed chickpeas with sesame seed paste!!! it looks delicious! nom nom :D

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  20. I've always enjoyed Persian food, and the one at Circles has to be the best and most authentic yet. That mixed grill plate is awesome! And thanks for following my site, I'm now following yours. Looking forward to sharing new food discoveries!

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  21. Next to Lebanese food, we love Iranian cuisine. My son especially loves that rice with pomogranate.

    And I devour all hummous they serve me. Did you try any lamb rack?

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  22. Wow, sarap naman nyan.I never had persian cuisine yet. Looks yummy.

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  23. I've tried Circles before but not their Persian foods. They all look super delicious. But a little pricey noh?

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  24. I haven't tried persian cuisine before. it looks sooo yummy! :)

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  25. I love Circles!!!!! I love it just the same as my love for cafe ilang ilang :p

    Forever Nineteen

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  26. I'm not having lunch...
    but the way I look at these
    delicious dishes, my stomach wants
    to be loaded. NOW NA!!!

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  27. Im hungry! ^^.. I love Persian foods also. Zreshk Polow with Chicken suits for my taste.

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  28. What can I say, just watching those gastronomic pics I feel full already..the place is very elegant btw. :)

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  29. Sarap!

    Kung ako man eh kakain dyan, magla2way tlga ako, hehe

    :))

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  30. the place and food looks really nice :)
    i hope to go and dine there someday

    im currently having a blog giveaway.
    i hope you can join :)
    http://iwriteitalldownhere.blogspot.com/2012/05/unleashed-randomness-x-frida-accesoire.html

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  31. Hummus? (Hammous) anyway, I love baklava but with pistachio and the not so sweet variant, they tend to make it too sweet masakit sa ngipin :D

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  32. Thanks for the quality information. I really appreciate your efforts.

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  33. Nice pictures. You made me hungry. I'm going to eat now. Great post!

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  34. Wow! Sarap! wanna try persian dish its look expensive!

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  35. Never tried Persian foods my entire life. Maybe I have but didn't know that it was Persian.

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  36. i miss Circles and their sinful desserts!

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  37. I don't think Persian food suits my taste when it comes to food but looking at these pictures, I'm wanting to try eating one :))

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  38. i think this place and the food is over pricey but the food looks yummy

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