After all these years, my brother invited me to Ziggurat. The last time I ate in Ziggurat was about 4 years ago…and I must say, I’m happy I was able to taste and write about the food that I had. This place hasn’t changed much in the last 4 years, except having more pillows. But I also am glad to know that they still have really awesome food.
The night started off with the ultimate taste-bud shocker of the year…the Honey Beer. Yes, this thing is so unforgettable, I will recreate and perfect this at home. Basically it is a dark beer infused with honey. For those who hate the bitterness of dark beer, this is for you. For those who love dark beer, this is sooo for you! I am a lover of dark beer, and to my shock, I think they just used our local Cerveza Negra to make this (I should just make this at home!)! This was one of the simplest and yet most wonderfully creative things I have had this year. It’s so easy and yet no one seems to think about doing something like this. I assure you, it’s good. Your kids (oops) would probably enjoy this too (scary as that may sound)! It has all the great flavors of hops, caramel notes and the signature dark beer flavor…with honey.
Now for the more complicated stuff: Mezze Forte. The Mezze forte is a combination of dips served with their flat bread. The flat bread comes in sliced, nice and warm and there is a tier of dipping bowls on a custom made serving tray. My favorite in this mezze forte was the keema. Under the lights, it’s this light brown goo with small bits of ground beef. I liked it because the spices were pretty much in your face but blended really well — the onions, the garlic, the cumin! There are also the usuals on the mezze forte like hummus, moutabal, mohamara…all were pretty delightful, except I guess for the Dukkha….it was a little odd for me (i know there is Australian dukkha and I think that’s entirely different!).
Samosa. I have a pretty good benchmark for samosas guys ( I’ve eaten where really good traditional Indian homecooks have cooked me my dinner!). This was okay. Nothing super fabulous. Usually i look for a good dough and the choice of sauce for a samosa. This one was midrange and came with the usual tamarind sauce (other samosas come with 3 kinds of chutneys!).
Ox Brain. Like in a lot of Persian restaurants here in Manila, they serve brain. I like this version because they cook it much like a pan-seared foie gras — lightly patted in flour and then seared. This made it more absorbent to the lemon juice that was squeezed on top of it. The brain had a wonderful, scrambled egg like flavor and a texture much like sweetbreads and foie gras.
Lamb Kebob and grilled tomato and onions. I love the flavor of this since it tastes so fresh with their great and not too watery chili and garlic cream sauce. The lamb kebab is seasoned well that it retains much of the lamb flavor and still tastes very Persian inspite of that. The mixture with the tomato and onions on the side was fantastic, the tomato cut the richness of the lamb and the onion gave it a little sweetness and bite.
Ethiopian Beef Wet. I loved the way the flavors come out of this dish. It is a lovely braised beef dish in a “burbur” paste. Though I don’t know what burbur paste is, the flavors of this stew was awesome since it was so tender and the richness was just impossible to miss. It had all the lovely characteristics of a slow stew…tender beef, deep rich and thick sauce, and the almost unnoticeable vegetables which have almost disintegrated in the process. What was interesting was that it was served with these two flat pancakes and eggs. Eating both the pancakes and the eggs with the stew made it slightly sweeter and even richer!
I enjoyed Zigurrat and I’m hoping to come back there in a couple of weeks to try more items from their gargantuan menu…or someday, Marakesh. 🙂
Ziggurat is in the Ground Floor, Sunette Tower; Tigris corner Euphrates Street in Makati (behind Tiananmen Bar in Makati Ave!)