Saturday, October 4, 2014

Eastern Flavors at Gilak by Hossein

Authentic flavors from the mystical east, made from family recipes handed handed down through generations, served daily at Gilak by Hossein's.   

Named after the northern region of Iran, Gilak by Hossein's serves authentic Persian, Arabic and Indian cuisine, adding to the diversity and rich culinary landscape of the metro.

Since opening his first restaurant specializing in Halal Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Indo-Pakistan dishes in 1985, Chef Hossein Sohrabi's restaurants have grown to six branches in key areas of the metro. In fact, you could say that Chef Hossein contributed to the growing popularity of Middle Eastern cuisine in the metro today.

Nearly thirty years after opening his first restaurant, Chef Hossein remains as busy as ever. Winning the MBKRS Best Middle Eastern Restaurant award three years in a row is an impressive achievement, and  Chef Hossein attributes his success to "honesty...and cooking from the heart." Chef Hossein Sohrabi starts my culinary journey to middle eastern flavors with his Hummus Chicken, a traditional mezze made from chickpeas topped with delicately grilled strips of chicken and roasted peppers. The subtle yet creamy flavors of the hummus is enhanced by the smoky notes of the chicken and peppers, as you scoop another generous helping with a piece of soft and warm pita bread.

Next, Chef Hossein Sohrabi served one of the signature dishes at Gilak by Hossein, the Mix Kebab II, with grilled and tender beef kebab, juicy shish kebab, and chicken kebab with char-grilled tomatoes and onions. Perfectly grilled, each kebab is tender and juicy, marinated and seasoned with the rich spices of the east, ranging from mildly sweet and nutty hints with just a whisper of heat. Best enjoyed with warm pita or one of Gilak by Hossein's middle eastern rice platters, the Mix Kebab II is an excellent platter for a serious introduction to authentic kebabs. Gilak by Hossein serves six other kebab platters with an assortment of grilled meats for even more choices.

Biryani Rice and Saffron Rice, perfect with the assorted kebabs and curries. The flavorful Biryani rice, light and fluffy long-grain rice, is richly flavored with a blend of spices along with subtle and distinct hints of cinnamon and sweet raisins. The Saffron rice is equally light and fluffy, with delicate long-grain rice cooked with saffron and butter.

In between, go for a spoonful of Chef Hossein Sohrabi's refreshing Salad Shirazi, a traditional Persian salad with fresh diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in a light and refreshing lemon vinaigrette with Persian spices. Tart, with nutty and spicy notes, the rich blend of spices add complex layers of flavors, a perfect contrast to the richness of the kebabs.

Butter Chicken, the traditional Punjabi classic, with its distinct rich and creamy sauce. Blended with yet another mix of spices, the subtle notes of each spice balances the creamy texture of the rich sauce. And you'll want some more of Chef Hossein Sohrabi's Biryani rice to go with this dish.

And as we enjoyed our dinner, Chef Hossein Sohrabi shared stories of his youth and culinary journey, making our dining experience even more special. Rich and authentic Middle Eastern flavors, only at Gilak by Hossein.

Gilak by Hossein's is located at Level 2, Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati City or call 729-0266 for inquiries and reservations. 

Dude for Food is now on Facebook, check out the FB page for regular updates on good eats. Better yet, click "Like" and enjoy the ride...just look for the FB "Like" widget on the right sidebar. 

You can also check out my article on Gilak by Hossein in the October-November issue of Breakfast Magazine, now available in newsstands and other outlets in the metro. 

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