Makati Shangri-La’s Circles Event Cafe has been offering premiere buffet experience to the metro for quite sometime already. To mix things up a bit for a little excitement, chefs from this luxury chain of 80 hotels around the world would at time visit other branches to share the flavors of their country. This month of August, until the 10th of the month, guest Chefs Harun Imre and Ramazan Edrem from Turkey, brought their 20 years of experience along with a supply of Turkish spices to give a splash of authentic Turkish flavor with the “Treasures of Turkey” in their buffet.
There were four kinds of mezze (appetizers) paired with the usual flat pita bread or the crispy fried pita to start with out exploration of Turkish cuisine. Because I like spicy dishes, I tried the Spicy Tomato Marmalade first, not as strong as I was expecting but actually a mild pleasant spice combined with the tartiness of the tomatoes.
There’s a distinct flavor on the Moutabal that I liked, the mashed eggplant was creamy and smokey flavor that I really liked.
The Hummus, another popular mezze of crushed chickpeas with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil. What made this smooth dip truly taste good where the fresh authentic Turkish ingredients that were used.
The Eggplant Salad is also a favorite, reminds me of the local poque-poque in Ilocos but renewed with the use of Turkish spices.
The Beef Liver was first set on the table, I’m not really a fan of eating innards like liver but this one was quite good. The cubed liver was pan-fried in butter and has that solid texture without the fishy aftertaste I dislike on livers. It is brimming with Mediterranean spices and a slight hint of heat spice which I surprisingly enjoyed.
The Steamed Garoupa with mixed vegetables became a favorite the instant I tasted its rich buttery and garlicky broth. The fish was so soft and taste clean with only the pure flavors from the broth and spices oozing through.
The lemony aroma of the Fried Calamari was a tease. I find it a bit chewy though but good thing, the squid meat was enveloped in really tasty herbs and spices. There’s an optional yogurt sauce on the side but I didn’t find the need for it.
Another surprising favorite was the Sauteed Chicken in Turkish Spices. What can I say? Those Turkish spices does wonders to those tasty chunks of chicken. You simply have to try this.
There’s the Grilled Lamb as well, the flavor is there, quite good, though the meat was a tough one.
The traditional middle eastern dish, Beef Skewers, was simply succulent and perfectly grilled chunk of beef. Simply the best of the lot, if you are to try any of the Turkish dishes, I highly recommend this one.
Another lamb dish, the Lamb Kofta and the Lamb Kebab. I love these well grounded and richly flavored skewered beefs. I leaned on more though on the Lamb Kebab which has that slightly crispy texture and more heat.
Finally there’s the Cheesy Gambas, simply a cheesy baked shrimp. Cheese and prawn lovers would surely enjoy this combination.
We got to sample four of their dessert. The Kanufa, Turkish Delight, Dates with Pistachio with marzipan and the Baklava. My favorites were the Dates covered with chocoloate, and the added nutty flavor was just perfect to that fruity sweetness. The Baklavah, flakey and buttery was also a treat with just the right sweetness.
Treasures of Turkey
The Treasures of Turkey offering in the Circles Event Cafe had already started last August 1 and will only be until August 10, 2014.
Visit the Circles Event Cafe at the lobby level of Makati Shangri-La Ayala Avenue, corner Makati Avenue, Makati City
Contact Reservations: (632) 814-2580
- Monday to Saturday Php 1,670
- Sunday Php 2,026
- Sunday to Thursday Php 2,008
- Friday to Saturday Php 2,272