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Arya Persian Restaurant - Home of Famous Kebabs

The Interior of the bigger Arya in the Robinsons Midtown Wing
The interior of the bigger Arya in the Robinsons Midtown Wing

The Arya and the Arte
Ever since I’d started seeing Arya in Robinsons Midtown wing, I made it a tradition to just ignore and pass by the restaurant. I don’t have a very specific and well-grounded reason behind it, but I just kept on “judging the book by its cover”. It was as if something within me was telling not to eat there because I may not enjoy the food. It was so presumptuous that I even disregarded the fact that a good number of people eat there, and that Arya has been in the 2nd floor of Robinsons Ermita for quite some time now (meaning, it was good business which translates to good food).  Oh wait a minute!  I just remembered that one of the shallow reasons I used to rationalize my decision never to eat there was that the place didn't seem that inviting to me, but rather saw it somehow hostile (most probably because it was relatively new to my eyes and as well as taste).

Another view of the interior of Arya Persian Restaurant
Another view of the interior of Arya Persian Restaurant

Anyway, just one fine night of May, my sister decided to set a date for some catch-up dinner. We were supposed to eat elsewhere inside the mall, but restaurants were already closing that time.  Hence, we opted to dine in Café Breton (which is one of the restaurants located outside the mall with extended operating hours). Unfortunately, the staff weren't accommodating at all. In fact, they just kept on passing by us as if we didn't exist making us feel unwelcomed and slightly disappointed.

Honestly, that one almost blew it. I mean, we had no other options but to try Arya, and just as you expected we ended up dining in that restaurant (which is the reason why I have this post). Anyway, pardon me for the long introduction, but I just felt like documenting that one. Since I already blabbered too much, let’s now explore Arya!

Note: There are two Arya branches here in Robinsons Midtown. The first one is on the second floor of the inner mall, while the second one (which is where we dined in) is on the ground floor accessible outside.

The Food
Arya Dip Platter || P292
A Halal certified combination of Hummus, Motabal, Tzitziki & Mirza Ghasemi served with 2 pieces of Pita Bread
The pita bread that comes along with the Arya Dip Platter
The warm pita bread that comes along with the Arya Dip Platter
Arya DIp Platter: Hummus, Motabal, Tzitziki & Mirza Ghasemi
Arya DIp Platter: Hummus, Motabal, Tzitziki & Mirza Ghasemi
I have to admit; I got intimidated by the looks of the dips. All of them were fairly new to my sight, and definitely to my taste buds. However, I just let the air of adventure within me to manifest. Let me share with you a little something more about the dips (based on my Google search):
  • Hummus (upper left) - an Arabic food dip or sauce made from cooked and mashed chickpea (a type of legume) usually mixed with tahini (a paste resulting from mashed sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic
  • Motabal or Mutabbal (lower right) - almost similar with Hummus but with a different base; rather than using chickpea, eggplant (aubergine) is used
  • Tzitziki (upper right)- a dip made out of seasoned yogurt often with herbs or fruit extracts
  • Mirza Ghasemi (lower left)-  mashed eggplant usually seasoned with garlic, tomato, turmeric, oil or butter, salt and pepper; has a subtle sweetness from the tomato
The last two mentioned dips were the ones I was able to appreciate.

Arya Salad || P183 (Single) || P292 (Share) good for 2-4 || P392 (Family)
Crispy romaine lettuce cucumber, walnuts, olvies, capers tossed in balsamic mustard sauce
The refreshing but plain Arya Salad of Arya Persian Restaurant
nThe refreshing but plain Arya Salad of Arya Persian Restaurant
I initially thought that the ones surrounding the plate were sliced banana, but when I took a closer look, they were cucumbers. Ha! They fooled me big time (although I would have preferred if they were really bananas).

Anyway, this salad was satisfyingly refreshing in terms of the freshness and the selection, but I wasn't able to appreciate the dressing because it matched the taste of a sweet Asian dressing (with a texture of thousand islands). Nevertheless, in its totality, I give it a above satisfactory stamp - thanks to the walnuts!

Arya Sini Kamel (Combination of White & Red Meat) || P1,209
Skewers of Mourgh Koobideh, Bareh Koobideh, Beef Koobideh, Royal Joojeh, Mahi Kabab & Migu Tanoori served with rice platter, grilled tomatoes and onions. Good for 3 to 5 persons.
The rice platter that goes along with the Arya Sini Kamel platter
The rice platter that goes along with the Arya Sini Kamel platter
Honestly, the nosebleed-inducing terms of the kebabs and skewers are not just hard to pronounce, but somehow difficult to do a quick search on. Anyway, let me share with you the content of this platter (from left to right of the photo):
  • Grilled Chicken or Mourgh Koobideh
  • Grilled Lamb or Bareh Koobideh - Good quality! I totally loved this, and the best in the collection!
  • Grilled Chicken Cubes (not the Knorr kind of cubes) or Royal Joojeh
  • Grilled Shrimps or Migu Tanoori (although I can't verify if this one really pertains to shrimps)
  • Grilled Fish or Mahi Kabab
Note: Koobideh is a Persian minced meat kebab

The Arya Sini Kamel - collection of fine kebabs of Arya Persia Restaurant
The Arya Sini Kamel - collection of fine kebabs of Arya Persia Restaurant
Among the collection, I enjoyed the lamb the most, followed by the shrimps, beef, fish then chicken (both of them). Yes, I know you've noted of the price, and basically each stick costs at an average of P200. However, I would say that it wasn't a total wrong buy because of the good quality of grilling as evidenced by the taste. Still, I may go for the solo purchase of the kebabs. In that way, I can eliminate the chicken (be it the cubes or the koobideh) in my selection.

A closer look of the kebabs of the Arya Sini Kamel
A closer look of the kebabs of the Arya Sini Kamel
Arya Persian Restaurant - Ratings 

Note: Unshaded stars are equivalents of half-stars. Ratings pertain to this dining experience alone.
Place ★★
Taste ★★
Service ★★ 
Price ★★
Budget needed: at least P500 for a meal per person with appetizer (excludes drinks and desserts); solo diners should prepare to spend more, since the dishes are mostly good for 2 (except for the platters)

After this dining experience, I realized that I'd been too judgmental with Arya without me knowing what I've been missing. Well, I admit that my experience wasn't extremely superb, but the restaurant still deserves my attention. After all, Philippine Tatler wouldn't give recognition and awards to Arya for consecutive years if it doesn't have something great to offer. Anyway, I am glad to say that with this food exploration, I am eager to try more Persian dishes be it in here or in other restaurants!

How about you guys? What do you think of the place? I will definitely love to hear from you!

Arya Persian Restaurant
Location: Ground floor, Midtown Wing of Robinsons Place Manila, Adriatico cor Pedro Gil, Ermita, Manila
Service Charge: 10% on price (after VAT)


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2 comments:

  1. I must try this place soon! :) I love Persian food. :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice! I am yet to make it official whether I like Persian food, but so far I'm loving it! Yup, Michy, I think it will be worthy of your visit!

    ReplyDelete

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