Verdict: Affordable and filling but not Mediterranean enough
Budget: P200 – P250 per head
I have only recently developed my love for Mediterranean cuisine, I can never say no to Shawarma and Moussaka has become my go to dish when on a low carb diet. Having recently fallen in love with the cuisine, you can imagine my excitement upon hearing that a new Mediterranean restaurant has (re)opened just walking distance from the office! When I entered, I instantly fell in love with the way the interior was designed, it was a very industrial look but somehow had Middle Eastern feel about it.
The patterns all over the restaurant along with the music, gave the whole restaurant a very Middle Eastern feel while the cement floors and light fixtures contributed to the industrial look. I am absolutely in love with the way this restaurant was designed – even the layout of the menu was so well done. Everything felt very clean and modern. Despite not having such a big space to work with, they definitely did a fantastic job with it.
Mediterranean food is not an easy cuisine to pull off, especially in a country like the Philippines where our palate is tailored to enjoy foods that are sweet. I’m assuming this is why their Garlic Yogurt Sauce and Spicy Yogurt Sauce were both very sweet – I usually hog the Garlic Yogurt Sauce but after one taste, I didn’t touch it for the rest of the evening. (If you want to know what amazing Garlic Yogurt Sauce is, try Zabo Chicken’s!)
We ordered the Chicken Shawarma Rice, Fish Kebab and the Moussaka.
I was surprised when I received the plate of Shawarma Rice because if it’s not a fried rice mixture, Shawarma Rice is generally a plate of rice topped with everything you can find in a Shawarma. The plate we received looked just like any ordinary grilled chicken and white rice. The rice didn’t even have any flavor, it wasn’t even cooked with salt or topped off with butter – it was just plain white rice and there’s nothing Mediterranean about that. The chicken pieces were slightly bitter in taste and quite difficult to stomach. I guess for the price, you get exactly what you paid for. Would not recommend this.
The Fish Kebab on the other hand was much easier on the palate. The fish was flavorful and juicy. What I did not like was that I was not even served slices of fish, I was served pieces of it and that too, it was not enough fish for the amount of rice they had served. It may have had a side salad but that didn’t compensate for the sad serving size of the actual main dish.
I was quite upset that none of the dishes seemed even the slightest bit Mediterranean but that was until the Moussaka arrived – possibly the only good thing on their menu.
The highlight of dinner was the Moussaka and not just because it was covered in a thick layer of cream and cheese either but because the whole dish was put together very well – this might be the only dish I ever order from this restaurant. The eggplant held together nicely and wasn’t mushy, the beef was well seasoned and the bechamel sauce + cheese combination was as creamy as creamy can get. It is without a doubt my favorite dish in this restaurant! It was served with what I assume is their version of Pita bread but it comes no where close – I had one bite and felt like I was chewing on cardboard, it might be better to leave it untouched.
There are not many great Mediterrannean restaurants in Manila and this would have to be just another restaurant struggling to get it right but since it just opened, maybe it will get better as time goes by. Maybe they’ll iron out all the kinks in their recipes and manage to pull off impressive Mediterranean food. Who knows? Although the other dishes we ordered were quite forgettable, the prices were reasonable and I would definitely come back here (only for the Moussaka though).
Sultan Mediterranean Grill
Address: UG9 Valero Plaza Condominium 124 San Augustin, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines
Telephone Number: 02 894 5909
Opening Hours: 11:00AM – 2:30PM & 6:00PM – 10:00PM