Mediterranean cuisine is probably my favorite of all the foreign cuisines that I have tried. If someone tells me we’re eating Mediterranean, I won’t even bat an eyelid when I say of yes! It offers one of the most flavorful and interesting types of food. Although this region spans a wide variety of cultures, the historical connections of the region, as well as the impact of the Mediterranean Sea on the region's climate and economy, have led to there being many common elements in the foods.
Mediterranean food is a mixture of cuisine from these different countries: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Portugal, Provence, Serbia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey. Whew that’s a lot! But notable among all these when it comes to Mediterranean food are Greek, Moroccan and Turkish cuisine.
Salcedo Village in Makati City is well-known for having a lot of great restaurants and food places. You would be amazed that even in the unfamiliar back roads of this busy business district, you could find interesting and great places to dine. I was invited a few days ago at Sultan Mediterranean Grill in San Agustin St. Even though my office is super near that area, I didn’t have the luxury of time to roam around the village to check out other places to eat. I would usually just eat in our office canteen or from the restos in our building.
Sultan Mediterranean Grill is tucked in the less crowded street of San Agustin, which is parallel to Valero St. The restaurant was once known as Sinbad then last December 2014 was renovated/re-invented and was re-opened in January of 2015.
The place is quite small, more like a hole-in-the-wall resto. But it has a great, inviting and cozy ambiance perfect for subtle lunches, dinners and get-togethers. The place is well lit, with cool modern industrial feel with touches of Mediterranean-style elements and decors. I particularly love the floor stencils (that reminded me of the design of Moroccan tiles) and the communal table.
Sultan Mediterranean Grill does not in any way claim they are serving authentic Mediterranean. They are more on the fusion side but keeping in mind the very soul of this one-of-a-kind cuisine.
So here’s what were served to us:
Falafel –deep fried patty made of chickpeas with lots of spices, served with pita on a bed of hummus bi tahina and veggies
Vitamin Boost Salad – composed of fresh lettuce, cucumber, quinoa, mango, red onions, oranges, dried cranberries, and walnuts. Served with orange cranberry dressing and grilled chicken salad
Greek Country Salad – fresh salad greens, cucumber, tomatoes, black olives and feta cheese
Moussaka – a uniquely Greek traditional dish layered with minced beef, eggplant and cheese baked liked an Italian lasagna
Lamb Shanks- juicy lamb shanks stewed and braised with spices for 3 hours and served with buttered rice
Kebab Platter – choice of any 4 sticks of kebab or koobideh served with grilled tomato. This platter included lamb, beef, squid, shrimp and chicken
Chicken Curry – combination of herbs and spices cooked with coconut milk to provide a nice thick sauce that will surely tickle your palate and served with rice
Beef Shawarma and Chicken Shawarma
Fruit Yoghurt Shakes – comes in mango, banana, strawberry and mixed berry or just plain
Lobia rice- rice with string beans and chicken with a twist of Mediterranean taste
Well, after all those food, I would say my favorites would be the Falafel, Vitamin Boost Salad, Lamb Shanks, Moussaka and the strawberry yoghurt shake. I love how tasty the Falafels were, even though it was deep fried it wasn’t oily and the hummus that came with them was awesome too (I’m really starting to completely fall in love with hummus!) The Vitamin Boost Salad is a must try! I couldn’t keep myself from saying “ang sarap nito!” (this one’s really good!); and right then and there decided I would make one at home one of these days. The combination of all things in this salad was downright heaven! Don’t get me started on those lamb shanks! They were super tender, owing to the fact that it was cooked for 3-hours, the meat almost fall off the bones and loved the sauce that came with it as well. Their Moussaka is unique, it looked like an Italian lasagna where the pasta part was replaced with eggplant. The eggplant was laid and lined and not minced so you can really appreciate them. For someone who loves to eat eggplant (fried dipped in soy sauce) this Moussaka is definitely a step-up and a must try. The strawberry yoghurt shake was on the sour side but it was yummy! I got to also try the mango+yoghurt and mixed berries yogurt and they were good too!
The place was well staffed; the staff are friendly, polite and give a pretty good service. The food servings are ample enough to fill a tummy with a modest to big appetite. The amount of serving is worth the bucks you would shed as well. Definitely value for money. Sultan Mediterranean Grill is open every day from 11:00am to 10:00 pm. They would also be opening a branch in Quezon City this November.