dishesandplaces

ziggurat. a delicious find at the corner of tigris and euphrates

In eating in manila on December 22, 2011 at 5:42 pm

it isn’t the easiest thing, finding ziggurat. but follow these instructions: from makati avenue, turn into burgos. on your left you’ll see a bar called bottoms, turn left on the street after – that should be durban street. don’t go too fast, on your left you’ll see a narrow street, turn into it. on the next corner of that street you’ll find ziggurat. it is, literally, at the corner of tigris and euphrates (streets). the entrance to the restaurant isn’t too big, so keep an eye out for it

once inside, the ambience strongly signals what’s in store

the theme of the restaurant is the cuisine of the islamic world. and instantly, we love the idea. it is what we think is best about food – learning about cultures and peoples through their cuisine. we try a number of dishes (we went twice in a row), but – at least for now – the ones that stood out were

the mango curry

this is a dish that made me realize how tiny my existing culinary world really is. a curry with mango subbing for the protein/vegetable? how would that taste? well, it was extraordinarily good. a perfect balance between the spice of the curry and the sweet of the mango – pulling off a delicate balancing act to make sure that in the end this was still a savory dish.

we had this with the injera bread

native to ethiopia, it’s a nicely spongy bread. not brimming with flavor, but just what you want to sop off all that curry in the bowl.

we washed down our food with chili beer and honey beer. fantastic stuff. the beer alone is worth going back for.

and the desserts. kulfi

and the gulab

i’ll say this. i never liked indian desserts. until now. i’m convinced that – at least in the philippines – only ziggurat can do these two dishes in a way that are actually yummy.

these dishes are just the tip of the iceberg. the menu of ziggurat is daunting at first with a food list covering an area as big as a newspaper spread. the first time we were there, the whole experience blew our minds. the boldness of the flavors, the headiness of the spices.

we knew this was a place we had to keep coming back to. we spent about P1,000 each for an appetizer, a main course each, and dessert. though this isn’t particularly expensive given the richness of the culinary experience, it’s still not something we can afford to do regularly.

but we will be back, many many times. each time we will try something different. and each dish, we know, will expand our lives.

 

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