Saturday, August 2, 2014

Taste the Treasures of Turkey at Makati Shangri-La

Discover the rich flavors of the exotic east with an array of traditional Turkish dishes prepared with colorful and exquisite spices for a true taste of authentic Turkish cuisine. And it's happening at Makati Shangri-La.

From August 1-10, 2014, Makati Shangri-La's Circles Events Cafe presents an impressive range of Turkish dishes, dubbed as the Treasures of Turkey as part of its popular buffet spread, prepared by guest chefs Harun Imre and Ramazan Edrem from Shangri-La Bosporus, Istanbul.

Guest Chefs Harun Imre and Ramazan Edrem bring with them over 20 years of culinary experience. For Makati Shangri-La's Treasures of Turkey buffet, guest chefs Harun Imre and Ramazan Edrem also brought with them authentic Turkish spice blends to ensure authentic flavors in each and every dish. 

Start your authentic Turkish feast with a range of mezze, or appetizers, including (clockwise from left) Spicy Tomato Marmalade, Moutabal, Hummus, and Eggplant Salad, along with freshly baked flatbread, or pita.

Paired with a traditional flatbread, each appetizer has its own distinct flavor and texture. The Spicy Tomato Marmalade combines the natural tartness of fresh tomatoes with a medley of Turkish spices for a unique flavor, with just a hint of soothing heat from the various spices. The Moutabal, a creamy appetizer made with mashed roasted eggplant, is richly seasoned with spices along with olive oil and garlic. Dip a piece of flat bread in the creamy Moutabal for a taste of familiar yet new and refreshing flavors. Real and authentic flavors, and that's how they do it in Turkey. The classic Hummus, made with chickpeas blended with spices, olive oil and tomatoes, delivers familiar and comforting flavors, but freshness and the rich flavors of the Turkish spice blend makes this appetizer truly stand out from the other versions I've tried in the metro. The refreshing Eggplant Salad is another dish worth trying, with the clean flavors of fresh eggplant punctuated with the bold flavors of Turkish spices. Classic flavors upfront, and that's just the appetizers...

You can also opt for deep-fried pita, soft and chewy bread with a light crisp layer, perfect with the wide variety of traditional Turkish mezze.

Chefs Harun Imre and Ramazan Edrem then serve more appetizers, starting with Beef Liver with a rich spice rub, spiced potatoes and red onions. Breaded and coated in in richly spiced seasoning, the cubed beef liver is then pan-fried in butter. Oven baked potatoes, coated in an equally rich blend of spices, complete the dish. The distinct metallic taste of tender beef liver is kicked up a notch by the spices and the sharp flavors of the red onion. The bold use of spices and the fresh red onions perfectly complement the beef liver, a personal favorite.

Fried Calamari topped with herbs and parsley with a creamy yogurt dip blended with spices is served next. The dip adds that Turkish touch, creamy yogurt with subtle hints of spices. Soft and tender with a crisp outer layer, the calamari is fresh and flavorful, and another great starter.  

Next, Steamed Garoupa with Mixed Vegetables, a delicately flavored broth with tender chunks of fresh grouper, a milder spice blend, and a medley of vegetables. The flavors are clean and fresh, with a subtle fresh sweetness from the grouper and vegetables. The tender whitefish simply melts in your mouth, a unique light and comforting dish.

Sauteed Chicken in Turkish Spices, a flavorful dish with tender, boneless chicken, fresh vegetables and a rich blend of spices. The delicate flavor of the chicken is enhanced by the various spices, yet the blend of spices don't overwhelm the palate. The mix of various spices don't necessarily mean a spicy heat. Instead, the spice blend builds layers of distinct flavors, and it works pretty well with this dish.

Pair the chicken dish with Turkish Rice with Nuts for rich, nutty flavors and just a whisper of sweetness from the raisins and a hint of cinnamon. Soft and fluffy, the rice dish also pairs well with an iconic Turkish dish...

...the grilled Beef Skewers, tender chunks of beef with grilled onions and peppers. Grilled meat on skewers over an open flame remains one of the most traditional dishes of middle eastern cuisine, and the Turkish kebabs are just simply perfect. Evenly grilled, each chunk of beef remains juicy, and the spices add layers of
robust flavors. You really don't need any sauce at all. With pita bread or rice, these beef skewers add a flavorful and beefy punch in every bite, another winner from Makati Shangri-La's Treasures of Turkey buffet.

And chefs Harun Imre and Ramazan Edram return from the grill with yet another Turkish classic, Lamb Kofta. Heavily spiced minced lamb, grilled and topped with herbs and served with grilled tomatoes and peppers. Like the Beef Skewers, the Lamb Kofta is rich and flavorful on its own, with the blend of spices providing layers of flavors in each bite. If you love grilled lamb, this one's another must try at Makati Shangri-La's Treasures of Turkey.

To cap your authentic Turkish dining experience, indulge on traditional Turkish desserts including (clockwise from left) Kunafa, Turkish Delight, Dates with pistachio and marzipan, and Baklava.

Each piece features distinct and unique flavors, and the sweet notes of pistachios, dates and honey, popular in Turkish desserts, are each faithfully represented.

Authentic Turkish cuisine at Makati Shangri-La's Treasures of Turkey presents a unique opportunity for diners to sample real Turkish dishes with real flavors. And there's more. Guests also have the option to sign up for an exclusive cooking class on August 8, where chefs Imre and Edrem will share their expertise and knowledge in preparing authentic Turkish cuisine. The cooking demo is priced at only P 2,500 and includes a lunch buffet at Circles Events Cafe, a certificate, and a recipe card. Limited seats are available, and early reservations are recommended.

Treasures of Turkey Lunch Buffet is priced at P 1,670 net from Monday to Saturday and P 2,026 net on Sunday while the dinner buffet is priced at P 2,008 net from Sunday to Thursday and P 2,272 from Friday to Saturday. Treasures of Turkey runs from from August 1 to 10 only, so make your reservations now.

Circles Events Cafe is located at the Lobby Level of Makati Shangri-La, Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue, Makati City or call 814-2580 for inquiries and reservations.

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