I have always been comfortable with food from the Middle East. I am not an expert in their palettes of flavors but I have learned to love it because in Oman, where I was born and raised, there was never a day I missed it. Growing up I had the perks of travelling abroad with my family, because my dad works for an airline company, and had the opportunity to tour some countries around the Gulf. Now, after graduating, I wish I could see and know more.
This week, I got the chance to visit Persia Grill, owned by the Kazemi family. The restaurant is chiefly run by Kian Kazemi, eldest son of the family, who graduated from De La Salle College of St. Benilde with a degree in Hotel Restaurant and Institutional Management. You may recognize his face: former Pinoy Big Brother Housemate (Season 2) and co-host of a show on Abs-cbn/TFC called “Trip na Trip.” He also has a travel series on his YouTube channel entitled, “Kian is NoWhere.” To our pleasant surprise, he graciously hosted our meal when we came to visit.
Kian talked about his college days, recalling how he would often invite friends to come over to his place and serve them Persian food. Outside of that, he would sometimes sell shawarma sandwiches in school. Being half Persian and half Filipino, his vision was to one day bring Persian cuisine closer to the Filipino market. He stays true to his roots by familiarizing himself with the history, culture and tradition of his Persian heritage.
Driven by the Kazemi family’s love for food and bringing people together, Persia Grill established its first location in Salcedo Village, Makati City in 2007. With recipes originating from their grandmother’s kitchen in Tehran, Iran, Persia Grill’s dishes are 100% authentic and deliciously healthy
The menu features wide variety of Persian cuisine, neatly designed and deliciously descriptive. Their price rates are affordable (http://www.persiagrill.com.ph/menu.html). Note also: they serve HALAL food.
Persia Grill has a casual dining vibe, making it a good place to chill and eat with friends and family. Cozy, ambiant and well-put, the interior is perfect for an Instagram-worthy post.
I have always been a fan of Hummous P120(a dip composed of mashed chicked peas) coupled with pita bread—for me the best merienda ever! Sir Kian introduced other Persian dips like Salad Oliveyeh P120—a potato dip with with chicken, egg, dill pickles, olive oil and Persian spices; the famous Baba Ganoush P115—eggplant, olive oil and special spices; and Must O’khiar P115—cucumber and garlic dip.
What I like about Persia Grill is that they serve premium and authetic beef. The picture above is Abgusht P260,made of beef, chick peas, white beans and potato with dried lemons.
Biryani,a dish of flavorful spiced rice and your choice of meat,combines the most exotic of Persian spices into one mouthwatering dish. (Here’s a tip: drench biryani in garlic sauce, or yoghurt dip—sarap!)
Remember: you have dig in to the bottom of the pile—the meat is at the bottom.
Back in Oman we used to have beach parties, and I remember very fondly: they were not complete without grilled Kebabs. At Persia Grill, they served us their classic Beef kebab along with their lemon and spicy varieties.
The (a) Fallafel P185, a fried tart made from chicked peas.
(b) The Persian Rice P65 was the blockbuster at our table. As a nurse, I loved the healthy tip they wrote on their menu: “Steam-cooked, long-grain Basmati rice, known for having low glycemic index (good for diabetic patients).”
Their best seller, © All-Vegatable Musakka P225, is a tasty dishmade with onion, eggplants and tomato, chick peas, cooked in olive oil served with pita bread and yoghurt.
Something exotic, (d) Sizzling Ox Brain P140.
(e) Persia Grill Chicken Barbeque P175.
A variety of selection of drinks can also be found in their menu. I highly recommend their (f) Creamy Yoghurt Shake P85 (bestseller) and try also their selections of (g) tea and coffee too.
This is (h) Must O’Asal P130,a lovely dessert made of yogurt, honey and muesli. In the Middle East, people love their yogurt, that’s why if you notice, Persia Grill has plenty of yoghurt-infused dishes on their menu.
There are also Filipino desserts on the menu as well, such as (i) Leche Flan P65and (j) Pastillas Cheesecake P130.
I made sure to save space in my tummy for the shawarma. Here is a story: the first shawarma I tasted here in the Philippines was actually at PERSIA GRILL, at their SM MEGA MALL branch. It was my best friend, Aimee’s birthday treat to us. Mostly we just ordered shawarma, just because we love shawarma.
The Shisha (sometimes called hookah) at Persia Grill comes at an affordable price, with flavors ranging from double apple (best seller), strawberry, mint, four seasons and more, depending on availability. Not bad for P299.
I definitely recommend Persia Grill to my friends from the Middle East, especially those currently based here in the Philippines. It’s a new hangout spot and a place to reminisce those good old days. For those who are interested in tasting authentic Persian cuisine here in the Philippines, Persia Grill definitely worth your time and money.
I would like to thank Sir Kian for his warm hospitality in accommodating us, and the kind staff and crew. Should you find yourself in need of Persian food at your next party or celebration, Persia Grill also offers catering services. Check out for their other branches and contact numbers (more information at www.persiagrill.com.ph).
Don’t forget to like their FB Page (https://www.facebook.com/persiagrill), follow them on Instagram @persiagrill and check out Sir Kian’s account @kiankazemi for updates.
Sir Kian Kazemi
Ross Del Rosario, Wazzup Pilipinas
Ms. Carol P. Layog