Manila's Best Kept Restaurants 2014: Ziggurat Cuisine.


I'm happy that Ziggurat, an old favorite of mine, is the winner of Manila's Best Kept Restaurants this year under the category Middle Eastern cuisine.  I learned about this hole in the wall during my law school days since my fellow night owl blockmates and I were always on a lookout for nearby restaurants that are open 24 hours.  




Ziggurat is indeed a hidden gem and therefore hard to find if you're not familiar with the area because the streets are very small.  But the back part of the restaurant is literally at the corner of Tigris and Euphrates so just use the Waze app to find it.




The best place to dine is inside for that authentic feel because you have to remove your shoes and sit on the floor.  Cool huh?  The downside is that it is not that big (since they are renovating the second floor) and is always packed, especially during dinner time.  In fact, I went here after dinner already with Ralph and T and the place was still full.  Try to go earlier or during odd hours to maximize your experience or you can try to call for reservations.  I posted Ziggurat's number at the end of this post.




Ziggurat serves dishes from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Turkey, Nigeria, Ethopia, Morocco and other Middle Easter countries. There are more than 200 dishes in the menu, which looks like a huge newspaper, so it might be a bit overwhelming for first timers.  My tip is to ask your server for the best sellers so you can choose from them instead of looking at the long list of food.  Or you can check out what we ordered and see if it's something you like as well.

I love Hummus (P75/$1.70+SC) which is hand pounded garbanzo beans with tahini so I always order this whenever we are in Middle Eastern or Greek restaurants.  I remember waking up and walking to Cyma in D'Mall Boracay everyday just to get hummus for breakfast.  Yes, hummus for breakfast.  I'm weird like that :D

The one in Ziggurat only comes with a single pita so better order extra because it takes a while to get the second pita.  Baka mabitin while eating.








If you're dining in a big group, ask the server about the Hanging Garden of Ke-Babylon (P1,500/$33.70+SC) which has six different kinds of kebabs: Shrimp, Tuna, Beef, Lamb, Duck, and Gibna and served with vegetables and eight khobiz pieces and condiments.  

Since we were only three, we each got a Tikka or sliced piece of meat.  T got the Lamb Tikka (P280/$6.30+SC), I got the Chicken Tikka (P150/$3.40+SC), and Ralph got the Beef Tikka (P185/$4.15+SC).  These are also available as Kufteh or ground patties.  










Ralph also ordered Lebanese Rice (P90/$2+SC) which is premium Basmati with butter, dill, cardamom and chillies.  




T got the Turkish Eggplant Pilavi (P100/$2.50+SC) which is long grain rice with eggplants, tomatoes, and garlic.  Both variants of rice are good!   




There is one table outside that's similar to the set up inside where you remove your shoes and sit on the floor.   Luckily, it wasn't occupied when we went there!


Me, T and our adopted for the night, Ralph Dimatulac :D


Thumbs Up!
Authentic Middle Eastern food.
Nice ambiance.
There are sets for group diners.

Thumbs Down!
Hard to find (although this could be a thumbs up as well).
Only a few tables and usually packed during dinner rush.
Servings are not that big.

Verdict
Ziggurat has always been my favorite so of course, T and I will be back!


Ziggurat
Most Recent Dining Date: 2 November 2014

Ground Floor
Sunette Tower
Makati Avenue near Burgos Street
Makati City
Philippines

Tel No.: (02) 897-5179
              (02) 899-3336




4 comments

  1. The dishes look really good. Nagutom ako! :)

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    Replies
    1. If you're up for a culinary adventure, this place is a must visit! Hope you get to try it :)

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  2. I love hummus! I hope you enjoyed it too!

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