Saturday, August 21, 2010

Kabab Cravings @ Arya

A few days back, I found myself hungry for all things Persian. So when I found myself at The Promenade in Greenhills, I got myself an outdoor seat at Arya. 
The restaurant's menu tries to familiarize its dining clientele with the Persian culture and cuisine, its owners probably wanting to entice diners to try the wide variety of dishes beyond the kababs and shawarmas we Pinoys have grown to love. The verbose menu also explains that Persian dishes are "spiced" and not necessarily spicy, one common misconception about Persian cuisine.

Standard Persian and Indo-Aryan dishes like Roti served with curry sauce;  dips like Hummus (chickpea mash), Tzitziki ( cucumber and yoghurt- a personal favorite) and Motabal (pureed eggplant); Kababs (beef, chicken, lamb or even fish) available as barg (diced) or koobideh (ground) served with Basmati or long grain rice.

Since it as a late snack to early dinner meal, I decided to try out something I haven't had before- Sambuseh,  deep-fried, crispy chickpea and cheese dumplings served with a spiced brown chutney sauce. The dish plating was kitschy with the cute  little Iranian flag-n-a-toothpick stuck to one of the dumplings.

One measure of a restaurant serving regional food is how they serve the staple dishes of the region. Since I am obviously not an Iranian who grew up eating kababs, I have no way of telling the authenticity of the taste (this is when you wish you had traveled to or had friends from the place).

 Judging from the way the mildly-spiced beef kebab was cooked tenderly without it turning cold and greasy during the course of the meal. I'd say it was a good kabab. The steamed basmati rice, lightly flavored with melted butter was a perfect match to the beef and grilled tomato.

With the meal I had a yohgurt drink with rose water, a common ingredient in Persian cuisine. It is not the popular Iranian youghurt drink, Doogh, but more akin to the Indian Lassi.
The drink took some time to get used to because of the unfamiliar sourness but as you eat more of the beef, you realize that the yoghurt compliments the kabab ensemble.


  1. Nice post Mike! The boys and I will try the place soon. We love Persian cuisine (and Indian too). We've been wondering if Arya would be a good try. Thanks for the heads up! :)

  2. Hi Miej, thanks for the comment. I heard the Lamb Biryani's also good, a bit expensive but it can be shared, I think.