How to get me out of the south: Good food (preferably from somewhere open up to the wee hours of the morning because if it’s farther than BGC, traffic would be too much), great friends capable of fun conversation, and a glass or two of good booze.
With the promise of all these things, I decided to make the trip to Kite Kebab Bar in Poblacion, eager to catch up with fellow foodie friends and meet the chef behind the restaurant, Kian Kazemi.
In the midst of conversations involving self-pollination, inappropriate jokes that would have landed us in jail in other countries, figuring out the concept of being better than good (alcohol-wise), and establishing that a Mensa friend is the worst (or “better”) influence, we were treated to so much good food (Kazemi will literally shove delicious food in your hand or on your plate.. Whichever one is closest to him at the time) and alcohol.
Here are some of the food and drinks we had:
Hummus (from the Mezze Sampler)
Confession: I have a hard time finding hummus in Metro Manila that I like, because most of them to be have so much olive oil. Kazemi’s take is delicious, flavorful, and is something I know I’ll end up craving for one drunken night at home (please, please, PLEASE food delivery apps, be kind!). I think a Pinot Grigio would be delicate enough not to overpower this hummus, or even a Pinot Noir if I’m feeling a red. Kite also has a Rosé worth giving a go from their menu.
Vegetable Samosa (from the Mezze Sampler)
According to Alpana Singh, MS, a good sparkling wine would be great with a vegetable samosa because the “fatty richness of the fried dough gets cut by the bubbly richness of the wine.” The thing about Kite’s veggie samosa is that the flavors and texture are rich enough to complement something incredibly dense; which is Sapporo Beer they have on tap would also work.
I was told by Gerry San Miguel (he has a fantastic food blog called Dude For Food, but fair warning: His food photos are so mouthwatering, they’re guaranteed to cause major cravings) that I simply had to have Kite’s Beef Keema. I trusted his taste (duh), so I did… It was delicious, loaded with tasty spices, and has just the right tanginess from the tomatoes to give it another dimension. I’d pair it with a Northern Rhône (i.e., a restrained Shiraz) or even a Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to both compliment the beef and the spices. For a simpler pair, however, I’d be just as happy with the Engkanto Lager available on the menu.
Chicken Tandoori involves a yogurt marinade, several spices (none of which are overpowering), and charcoal (either through a traditional tandoor or a grill). All these flavours combined make me think of something that would work with a Zinfandel, preferably the younger kind (old vine zin tends to be too robust and can overpower the chicken or the beautiful spices). If I were feeling experimental, I’d also mess around with Gin and Tonic and add spices to it to make it go with the tandoori. Luckily, Kite actually offers the option for their guests to make their own G&T.
In the interest of trying to eat healthier since the second quarter of this year, I ended up polishing off the Bademjan (PS, it took me forever to figure out the name, so I’m quite welcome to be wrong #notafoodwriter). It’s a Persian eggplant stew with caramelized onions and delicate spices, and actually went well with the Classic Margarita we were served. I also think it would work just as well with a rosé (refreshing enough but not too heavy), a proper Beaujolais (to go with the earthiness of the dish), or a New Zealand Pinot Noir (which has complimenting flavours and enough acidity to cut through the texture if I’m really feeling a red).
When this arrived in our table, the first thing I thought was how it was such a thing of beauty. Slow roasted for several hours with a mélange of spices, tomatoes, and pomegranate (or course), it was a soft, tasty bite of chicken heaven. I can easily imagine it with a Riesling, preferably from Clare Valley because it’s fancy enough for the dish and would go well with pomegranate. It could also work with Kite’s “Not So Old Fashioned Highball”, which has whisky, orange (for a little fruit on fruit moment), and ginger ale.
The overflowing mountain of rice, beef and wonderful Persian spices was just out of this world… I think it would be a perfect barkada meal because… Look at the size of that thing! I think the roundness of Gewürztraminer in the Alsace/German style will be nice with the texture and flavours of the dish, and the higher level of acidity would cut through the oiliness. Another way to go about it is to go with a Double IPA, such as the Engkanto Double IPA, or even Lassi (although this is guaranteed to be incredibly hefty in the tummy). Yay Kite for having that on the menu, with the option to add fruits to it.
Kebabs (Classic Beef and Ox Tongue)
I thought kebabs were a brilliant idea for bar chow. I’ve not had proper kebabs in ages, so I admit to gorging. I also thought Ox Tongue was yummy… It was pretty convenient to eat too (i.e., tipsy friendly!), since it’s presented pretty similar to the way pinoy street barbecues are. While Zinfandel is a classic pair to anything barbecued, I think the Ox Tongue would also work with a Merlot (again, they have one on the menu). HOWEVER. The ultimate must-try with the kebabs is Kite Beer, a kombucha lemon ginger concoction topped with Red Horse beer for a refreshing, slightly killer, kick… Bonus points for being served in a glass with multi-colored lights. According to What to Drink with What You Eat (Dornenburg and Page), Sake is also a viable option, which is also available on the menu.
Kite Kebab Bar is located in 4900 Durban Street, Poblacion, Makati. It’s open Sundays to Thursdays from 5pm – 3am, and Fridays and Saturdays from 5pm – 4am. They also accept catering and events.
Mobile number: +63917-8995426
Very special thanks to Kian Kazemi and the wunnerful KTG 😉