Thursday, October 2, 2014

Persia Grill: Iranian Comfort Food That Filipinos Would Love

Wazzup Pilipinas!

It would be safe to say that curiosity was what really drove us to try Persian cuisine this time. My blogger friends and I have tried so many kinds of dishes inspired from many different countries and their traditional cuisines, many of which were modified through a fusion of cultures and family heritage recipes.

First impressions for Iranian or Persian cuisine was all herbs and spices, and it may be so true. But for me that's their strength since it makes up for a more flavorful dining experience. You'll know you're eating Persian when you taste a distinctive sourness in the dishes and you see the most popular ingredients are wheat, lamb, poultry and yoghurt.Wheat is their staple food,as we are to rice. However, rice dishes are also among the true specialities of the region. Kababs also form part of the traditional cuisine.

Half-Filipino and Half-Iranian Pinoy Big Brother ex-housemate Kian Kazemi was all excited to have us dine at the Kapitolyo, Pasig branch of Persia Grill. This branch is located at the ground floor of Ace water Spa and Hotel. Kian personally welcomed us at his restaurant so we could experience a very rare treat since many of us have not tried Persian food yet except for one who grew up somewhere in the Middle East.

As per their website, "The Kazemi family's deep rooted heritage and culture created exquisite, authentic & distinct Persian dishes that started from family traditions of cooking a feast at home & inviting friends & family over to share the delicious food and capturing lasting memories. Today they share their vision and love for exceptional food with the world through the doors of Persia Grill. You are not only eating great food, your having a taste of history."

Reading it made me realize this will be a great dining experience, and is so happy I now have the opportunity to go Persian with my friends.

Persia Grill signage
The restaurant was quite small but would be able to conveniently accommodate around 25 to 30 customers. The ambiance positively reeks of authentic Iranian culture especially with the "shisha" and "samouvar" on display. Later on we got to try using the "shisha" which got everyone so excited.

Persia Grill logo
Persian design of restaurant
Persia Grill menu

Kian says they get some of their ingredients locally but also import some hard to find spices in Iran whenever they go out of the country. With an Iranian father and a Filipino mother, it is no surprise when you somehow see some Filipino touch in their Iranian food.

Persia Grill napkin
Creamy Yogurt Shake (P 85)
Most of us ordered the Creamy Yogurt Shake, a very refreshing yogurt-based drink that you won't find anywhere else.
Pita Bread comes with the Peshgahza
As starters, we were served with Peshgahza - four kinds of dips for our Pita bread: Salad Oliveyeh (potato dip with chicken, eggs, dill pickles, olive oil and Persian spices), Hummus (chick peas, olive oil and Persian spices), Baba Ganoush (eggplant, olive oil and Persian spices), and Must O’ Khiar (cucumber, garlic, Persian yogurt).

Peshgahza (family P 395, Junior P 250)
The favorite for me was the Hummus and Baba Ganoush. We ate up all our Pita bread until nothing was left. The four dips were actually too much for the Pita bread so you'll probably think of ordering a new batch of Pita bread. It's either that or generously get bigger portions of the dips the next time you order this fabulous starter.

Falafel (P 185)
The Falafel, made from ground chick peas, bread crumbs, eggs, and of course Persian herbs, as well as other ingredients, comes in four pieces. They are deep-fried until they turn golden brown and crispy.

They look like smaller but thicker burger patties, and definitely ideal as a starter. They are so tasty as well that I could very well grab a burger bun and treat it as a patty.

Abgusht (P 260)
The Abgusht is made up of beef, potatoes, chick peas, white beans, with dried lemons. Before eating this dish,, you need to mix the ingredients all up by squashing them so all the flavors would be evenly distributed for a better dining experience.

I really enjoyed this particular dish since it is a familiar taste that Filipinos would learn to appreciate. The chick peas may be something not really common for me in most Filipino dishes but definitely something worth including in our recipes. I would surely introduce it to my wife so we could also try it at home.

Chicken Barbecue (P 175)
The Chicken Barbecue is not really that Persian, but Kiam wanted us to try it as well so we would be able to differentiate it from the rest. True enough, this BBQ offers a satisfying meal that could become your new favorite chicken meal. It is served with Java rice and some veggies.

Beef Biryani ( P 345)
The Beef Biryani seems like just long grain Basmati Biryani Rice but underneath was some sumptuous beef. The dish is also available with Lamb or Chicken, and comes with two dips and veggie salad. It must be the same beef that they use in the Abgusht dish. Again, this is a very filling and complete meal that's great for any time of the day.

Sizzling Ox Brain (P 140)
The Sizzling Ox Brain is not as crunchy as your traditional sisig but has a more peculiar taste that you'll love if you're the adventurous type. You won't know if it's Ox brain until someone tells you.

Kebab (P275 per two skewers, P 655 per platter containing 6 skewers)
Visiting a Persian restaurant is never complete without having kebab (Morg, Tikka and Beef) skewers of  chicken and beef marinated with Persian herbs and spices. They were perfectly grilled and you could really taste the well-marinated meat oozing with flavor.

Hey, what is she doing with our kebab? Relax! She's just preparing a Burani sauce out of the grilled tomatoes as main ingredient. The sauce would be best for our kebab.

Beef Shawarma ( P 85)
The Beef Shawarma is a superb Persian sandwich that could very well be eaten as a take-out treat. A great combination of veggies matched with premium beef and rolled in Pita bread.

All Vegetable Musakka  (P 225)
The All Vegetable Musakka is composed of eggplant, onions, tomato, chick peas and olive oil served with Pita bread and yogurt. You can fill up your Pita bread with the veggie concoction and eat it like a sandwich.

Pastillas Cheesecake (P 130)
Persia Grill also serves dessert like the Pastillas Cheesecake, Leche Plan, and Must O' Asal. Though they're not really Persian except for the Must O'Asal which was clearly identified by its yogurt as the main ingredient. They have other choices like Decadent Cake, Black and White Chocolate Cake, and Pistachio Baklava (all P 130 except for the Leche Plan which was only P 65).

The Leche Plan, according to Kian, was his mother's family recipe.

Leche Plan (P 65)
If you want a special sweet taste, the Leche Plan is the best choice. Truly home made recipe that everyone would love.

Must O'Asal (P 135)
The Must O'Asal is yogurt, honey and muesli. It was quite sour at start but you'll learn to enjoy it after the first few teaspoonful.

Brewed Coffee (P 75)
You should also try their brewed coffee. Kian says its from a local farm in the Philippines. Proud that restaurant owners patronize Filipino products, and incidentally, they will soon be selling this type of coffee granules as well.

They also have Cafe Latte (P 85), Cappuccino (P 85) and Flat White (P 95), aside from the teas, iced teas and juices.

Bloggers shisha session
The fun was not yet over as most of us tried out the "shisha" commonly referred to as goza and narghile, although most people know it as hookah.

The "shisha" is smoking involving a water pipe that has a bowl, smoke chamber and hose. A special type of tobacco is burned inside the chamber, and smoke rises through water in the bowl before it is inhaled through the pipe.

There are several flavors available and you can avail of this for only P 299.

Kian doing shisha
Kian showed us how to use it, and everyone learned easily. In no time at all, almost everyone was lining up to try it. It was definitely something new and different for us.

Kian Kazemi, owner of Persia Grill
We would like to thank Kian for a great experience at Persia Grill. It was an absolutely wonderful dining experience. The "shisha" session was also very memorable. The experience satisfied our curiosity and got to learn a lot about Persian cuisine.

May your restaurant chain continue to increase, and congratulations for the new franchise Blue Bay Walk branch located at Macapagal Avenue near Mall of Asia. Persia Grill already has around 10 branches as of this writing and more are coming up soon.

Bloggers with Kian Kazemi

Thank you as well to the other bloggers namely Mike, Rizza, Maria Rona, Eens, Krizia and Mars, who joined our restaurant review. Everyone seems so happy they were there to meet Kian and try out authentic Persian cuisine.

More information about Persia Grill from their Official website: or Facebook page:

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