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Circles Buffet at Makati Shangri-La: Treasures of Turkey, a Feast of Turkish Cuisine

Monday, August 04, 2014
A feast of Turkish cuisine is what awaits buffet aficionados and eat-all-you-can lovers at Circles Events Cafe of Makati Shangri-La Hotel from August 1 to 10, 2014. This Turkish food festival at Circles features Treasures of Turkey in gastronomical form prepared by guest chefs from Shangri-La Hotel in Bosphorus, Istanbul, Chef Harun Imre and Chef Ramazan Edrem. These two talented chefs carried with them Turkish ingredients from Istanbul to make Treasures of Turkey Food Festival at Makati Shangri-La breaths authenticity.

Treasures of Turkey will last only for 10 days. Yet, it holds the promise that within that span of time, colorful spices and exquisite flavors of Turkish cuisine will surely transport guests to the Republic of Turkey. International dishes at the buffet spread of Circles Events Cafe will still be available for guests to feast on during the festival, but the spotlight belongs to the Treasures of Turkey this time.
Circles Buffet Makati Shangri La, Treasures of Turkey at Circles Buffet Price Rate Location Address Promo Schedule
Turkish Feast at Cirles, Makati Shangri-La

During the media preview, we sampled some of the traditional dishes from Turkey which will be included in the festival. Chefs Imre and Edrem graced the luncheon to welcome us and give some insight about the cuisine they re most proud of. There aren't many Turkish restaurants here in Manila, hence, this chance is perfect for those who wants to savor the goodness of Turkey's rich cuisine.


Treasures of Turkey at Circles Event Cafe
Treasures of Turkey at Circles Event Cafe

Our luncheon started with appetizer or meze as what they call it in Turkey. These are meant to be eaten with pita bread which was also served to us. In the absence of pita bread, good old ordinary bread of different variants may also do well which we also tried.

These appetizers include Spicy Tomato Marmalade which had a level of spiciness palate-friendly enough for me to handle. Hummus, which was beautifully decorated with slices of pink radish, pine nuts, olive oil, and dash of paprika. Also best eaten when generously spread on pita bread with all the said decors.

Spicy Tomato Marmalade and Hummus
Spicy Tomato Marmalade and Hummus

There was also Eggplant Salad which made me think that while it can be a great appetizer, it can also be a perfect accompaniment to any grilled food, just like out usual Ensaladang Talong, although this one has a soft consistency since the ingredients were mashed. The Montabel (Moutabel), my favorite among the four, was so awesome that I remember feasting on it the entire meal time. Moutabel is a spiced eggplant dip which boasts of the distinct flavor of aubergine with a hint of nutty flavor. It was mildly spicy, hence, I find it easy to love.

Eggplant Salad and Moutabel
Eggplant Salad and Moutabel

For the main course we had Sauteed Chicken in Turkish Spices. Reminiscent of the usual sauteed chicken breast in tomato sauce, only this one has richer taste brought about by the Turkish spices they used. The spices weren't disclosed to us and I forgot to ask. But I am guessing there were oregano, allspice, and sumac just to name a few. There could also be a dash of curry or cumin, perhaps. That's just a wild guess based on the flavor profile I have tasted. I am sure there are others which made this dish hearty and flavorful.


Sauteed Chicken in Turkish Spices
Sauteed Chicken in Turkish Spices

At first, I was not too keen on trying this Turkish fish dish called Steamed Groupa with Mixed Vegetable. Funny how I ended up consuming more of this than any other dish that was served to us. Perhaps I fell madly in love with the delicate texture of the groupa. The spices they used as well as the admixture of flavors brought about by the variety of vegetables thrown in the mix played a big role in giving interesting flavor to the fish which I was expecting to be bland.


Steamed Groupa with Mixed Vegetable
Steamed Groupa with Mixed Vegetable

The Sauteed Beef Liver with Onion was something new to me, albeit interesting. I never had beef liver before and I was under the notion that this particular part could be too hard when cooked. I was yet again proven wrong because surprisingly, I enjoyed this spiced rub chunks of liver. It also made me consider recreating the dish at home, or something like it since Turkish spices maybe hard or even impossible to come by in my area. Some sliced raw red onions and tiny chunks of potatoes were thrown in the mix that adds variation in terms of texture and flavor.


Sauteed Beef Liver with Onion
Sauteed Beef Liver with Onion

I think one of the best food that represent Turkish cuisine is Shish Kebab (Meat Skewers). The variety that was served to us was Beef Shish Kebab which boasts of succulent chunks of roasted tender beef meat accompanied by chopped bell peppers and onion, the staple on shish dish. In appearance it could be as enticing as the other kebab you may find elsewhere, but in terms of flavor, this one was the best I have had. It spoke of spices blended with the innate savory flavor of the beef. Garlic yogurt dip may be a good accompaniment, but even in the absence of the sauce, this one stood with such honor that only a well prepared dish could muster.


Shish Kebab (Meat Skewers)
Beef Shish Kebab

The Fried Calamari was served with Yogurt dipping sauce and some lemon wedges to boot. While its simplicity suggested the possibility of it to be overshadowed by other more colorful dishes on the table, it's flavor proved that it was worth a try. The squid was tender, a proof that it was cooked in an impeccable precision. The flavor was light, almost ethereal, especially when eaten in the absence of lemon and yogurt. When however combined with the two, it elevates the experience of eating an otherwise simple fried squid dish.


Fried Calamari
Fried Calamari

The Lamb Kofta Kebab had two variants; the first one has the regular taste of lamb with flavors from the spices it was made with, while the other one which has a reddish color as shown in the photo was the spicy version of it. I tried the regular version and was quite happy about it. I love dipping it in a yogurt sauce but I still enjoyed it when eaten as it is.


Lamb Kofta Kebab
Lamb Kofta Kebab

There was also some sliced Grilled Lamb served on its own drippings. The flavor itself was a dead giveaway that herbs and spices were used as flavoring agents. I had a couple of bite of this dish and while I wish it could have been more tender, I only have good words for its flavor. The drippings made me dream of a heaping bowl of rice I could mixed it with and devour with such abandon.


Grilled Lamb

While there was an absence of the steamed white rice I would love to have with the lamb dish, the Rice with Nuts and Raisins did a good job that we are after all feasting on Turkish cuisine. I love the overall flavor of this rice considering I am not a big fan of raisins on anything. 

Rice with Nuts and Raisins
Rice with Nuts and Raisins

For dessert we had this sampler of Turkish sweet goodies namely Kunafa, Turkish Delight, Dates with Pistachio and Marzipan, and of course, the well known Baklava. I am a bit biased since I love Baklava since the day I first tasted it way back when I was not a food blogger yet, hence, it stood out among the other choices. The Kunafa which is made of shredded phyllo pastry packed with sweet coarse nuts and cheese inside was a well0loved revelation for me that afternoon.


Kunafa, Turkish Delight, Dates with Pistachio and Marzipan, and Baklava
Kunafa, Turkish Delight, Dates with Pistachio and Marzipan, and Baklava

Treasures of Turkey, a Turkish Food Festival at Circles Events Cafe of Makati Shangri-La Hotel can be experienced from August 1 to August 10, 2014. The buffet rate is priced at Php 1,670 net from Monday to Saturday and Php 2,026 net on Sunday. Dinner buffet is priced at Php 2,008 net from Sunday to Thursday and Php 2,272 from Friday to Saturday.

Guests may also sign up for an exclusive cooking class facilitated by chefs Imre and Edrem happening on August 8, 2014. Both chefs will share their impeccable knowledge and expertise in preparing Turkish cuisine. Priced at Php 2,500 only, this class includes a lunch buffet at Circles Events Cafe, a certificate, and a recipe card. They can only accommodate limited participants hence, early reservation is highly recommended.


Circles Event Cafe at Makati Shangri-La Hotel
Circles Event Cafe

Circles Event Cafe at Makati Shangri-La Hotel
Lobby Level
Makati Shangri-La Manila
Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue
Makati City 1200, Philippines
Contact No.: (632) 813-8888
Website: www.shangri-la.com/Makati‎
Facebook: /MakatiShangrila
Twitter: @MakatiShangrila
Instgram: @makatishangrila






4 comments on "Circles Buffet at Makati Shangri-La: Treasures of Turkey, a Feast of Turkish Cuisine"
  1. Yedy, your photos are always amazing! Your variations in photography style is never boring. You can jump from mood photography to white and the outcome is always beautiful.

    by the way, what camera did you used in this particular post? it's really beautiful, i'm sorry i have to ask.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Philippines Food Blogs, I apreciate your kind words, thank you.

      For this post, I used an Olympus point and shoot camera. I'm lucky we had a great natural light that day despite the rain :)

      Delete
  2. Rockstar photog! Love it!

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