Thursday, March 7, 2013

Makati's Turkish Secret: Combos Bread Company Bakery & Café

Growing up in Dubai, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food is my version of comfort food. I long for my shawarmas, biryanis, hummus, and falafels as much as the next Arabic expat, and good Middle Eastern food can be very hard to come by here. Good and affordable Middle Eastern food is like finding a unicorn in the heart of Makati.

I found my kebab unicorn in Combos Bread Company Bakery & Café - a bakery in the morning turned restaurant in the afternoon cum bar at night. Located near Rockwell, it is tucked away in one of Makati's side streets and can be a bit hard to find, but once you do you, you'll probably keep on coming back for the authentic Turkish food.

The owner, Mehmet Temizyurek - the Chemical Engineer turned Professional Chef and owner of the joint - greeted Jericho and I when we came in. He has made Manila his home for sometime now and does almost all the cooking himself, which is probably why everything tastes so damn good. I couldn't stop staring at him, not that I was being rude, but because his eyes were this bright blue, it was like staring into up at the sky!

The place is actually a house that's been turned into a restaurant, with the patio and garage converted into seating space. I like sitting in the open air space where all the natural light is, with the roof protecting us from the sun. There's a private dining room for bigger groups to enjoy as well as an international selection of beers if you're in a drinking mood.

I love that they serve the elusive Cherry Coke (P90) and the even more elusive Cherry 7Up (P90).

You can choose between a variety of Turkish Dips (P200 each) like their Eggplant Salad, Babaganoush, Haydari, or Saksuka, that are all served with pita bread. I went for the Hummus and wasn't at all disappointed when it was served with a generous amount of paprika. This is how hummus is supposed to be served!

I got the Chicken Kebab in Bread (P225) while Jericho got the Beef Kebab in Bread (P225). We wanted to try the popular Iskender Kebab (P500), but with no one to share else to share it with it seemed a tad too much.

Both of the kebab meats cooked on the big red grill that hangs out near the entrance of the restaurant, and then stuffed into pita pockets before being covered with a spicy tomato and yogurt sauce. The meal was simple, yet very well put together, with the combination of spices bringing me back to my days growing up in the desert. Thanks, Mehmet!

They were out of Baklava (P150 for 2 pieces - this is a good deal!) and Pumpkin Pie (P150) that afternoon, so I settled for the Turkish Ice Cream (P140) instead. Made with carabao milk, the chocolate ice cream is thicker and creamier than your usual, cleansing our palates of the spice from the kebabs we had just had. 

When mucking around Makati, make sure to hunt down this hole-in-the-wall with the amazing Turkish food. It'll be worth your while, I promise.

Just mucking around Manila,
Follow @_iamkathi on Twitter and Instagram.
Like the Mucking Around Manila fan page.

Combos Bread Company Bakery & Café
+63 2 553-3371
5911-B Matilde Street
Barangay Poblacion, Makati
Open Daily: 1pm - 1am