Veggie Meat – Middle Eastern Style!


Veggie Meat – Middle Eastern

To the vegetarians and health conscious peeps looking for new things to eat – this is especially for you!

Middle Eastern cuisine is definitely becoming more popular in Manila. We all know the “Shawarma Craze” that happened approximately 10 years ago. While this pita-wrapped treat isn’t enjoying as much popularity anymore, we see Persian restaurants popping out of everywhere and nowhere introducing less familiar Middle Eastern dishes such as Kebab on buttered rice! (choke…)

Needless to say, most of us have probably tried a good number of these places. But we found something interesting in Baghdad Restaurant – veggie meat! Thats right – we have found actual veggie meat skewered as Kebabs and even ground veggie meat in the Shawarma. For the dish reviews, we have Ren, Fiel and a guest reviewer and certified food fanatic too – David from UA&P! Dude we would like to thank you for showing us the good places to eat near your school. I’m sure we’ll have more reviews together here on rarelyordered!

Appetizer – Egg Roll

Well, nothing like an appetizer first before going on the main menu. According to the restaurant management, this is the least ordered appetizer. Thus, even if it does not have any veggie meat, this is something we reviewers collectively haven’t tried before and it is certified rarely ordered.

Fiel: The only impression I got of this after tasting it was that of scrambled eggs, except that instead of putting it on rice or bread like we Filipinos usually do, it was put on Pita. So if you can imagine eating regular scrambled eggs with onions and tomato just that it the filling for pita bread, this really isn’t anything special. I give it a 5/10.

Ren: At first it looks like a quesadilla but the taste is so much different! Basically it has egg in the middle mixed in with a special salsa, wrapped in what seems like a tortilla. It has a soft feel in the inside and a crunchy surface making the clash of texture, a very welcoming part of the dish. But as good as the dish’s texture it seems to lack flavor still as it is lightly seasoned. I’m giving it a 7/10.

David: The dish was presentable to the eyes. However, it lacked taste. Texture wise, it was ok. However, it would have fared better if given a hint of tomato sauce and oregano. (But the latter isn’t exactly Arabic, now isnt it?) 5/10.

First Main Dish – Vegetarian Kebab

Fiel: The flavor in this one is quite strong yet not something that sways you from eating it! It tastes like curry and I have a bias for curry. The texture of the veggie meat is quite nice as it is somewhat chewy too and the buttered rice is nicely but not perfectly done. This is pretty nice and refreshing especially if you are used to the normal beef kebab. It is a wonder why people don’t order the vegetarian kebab here. I give it a 7/10 for meeting my expectations of getting something different from this one.

Ren: As much as everyone is I am not that much of a big fan of vegetarian dishes but this is one of the two dishes that may change my mind. With the the kebab marinated in curry sauce, and the so called “meat” part having a distinct flavor, it gives vegan meat a twist! The rice with the butter on top was a nice touch to complement the dish! For not tasting like tofu I give it 8/10!

David: It was simple, yet utterly exquisite. More fishlike in texture than vegetables, the curry like taste is brought out fully. Wish the serving was more though… 8/10.

Second Main Dish – Vegetarian Shawarma

Fiel: There is no way I believed at first that this was not beef! From looks, texture and flavor it almost perfectly replicates beef! It has everything else a basic Shawarma has – shredded lettuce, tomatoes and onions plus a choice of different Shawarma sauces from the table. The pita is thicker than what you would usually get from an everyday Shawarma stand – and thus it is more filling and less overpowering. For a shawarma, I’d say it tastes a notch above the ones you usually buy from the stand. I give it an 8/10 for replicating beef so well and being a damn good tasting Shawarma.

Ren: This is the second dish that may give me a second glance at a vegetarian diet. As first glance it does not seem to be like to be a vegetarian dish, and even the taste may deceive you! Wrapped in tortilla bread, with onions and vegetables mixed in together with the so called meat. The taste is so uncanny that a vegan, who is against animal cruelty, will say that the taste is criminal! A 9/10, YEY!

David: In my humble opinion, THIS IS NOT VEGETABLES!!!! THIS IS BEEF!!! The look, the texture, the taste and consistency perfectly mimics that of ground beef. It certainly is a dish worth eating again. 9/10.

When we went: Friday, around 1130AM on June 27, 2008
Where it is: Baghdad Restaurant (David please fill this in) in front of the University of Asia and the Pacific
Budget range: P100 – P160 gives very satisfying portions per person.