There’s a whole garden of parsley being chopped at Shawarma Gourmet for an amazing experiential taste of authentic Lebanese salads and dips with a refreshing aroma of fresh vegetables and cooked meat. Enjoy the different sensations from flavors of yogurt, lemon, coriander, mint, sesame, and a lot more, from a very comforting and hospitable cuisine right at the heart of Cebu City.
Shawarma Gourmet: authentic Lebanese comfort food in Cebu
If you are not yet familiar with the original mouthwatering menu of Eastern Mediterranean food, Shawarma Gourmet brings a gastronomic experience to diners of authentic flavor and quality in Cebu since 2015. From their original location in an industrial setting in Parkmall, Mandaue City, the owners decided to depart and relocate to a new and residential destination point at Escario Central Mall.
With a passion in the kitchen in mind, Shawarma Gourmet was born from tasteful trial-and-errors and is continuously growing with a big red heart made with love for food. They serve Levantine cuisine, and we would recommend you let Shawarma Gourmet provide you quality and authenticity of gourmet food with a taste of exotic spices that you will absolutely want to try and definitely come back for more.
Start your meal with some appetizers, of course. Order a small platter of Sambousek that looks like an empanada but not an empanada. It’s a filled puff-pastry fried with cheese or beef inside. Since we will be getting later on the Beef Shawarma rice, we opted for the Cheese Sambousek. The hot puffed-pastry melted the cheese filling giving you that amazing long, stringy and gooey fun that gets even better in every bite.
We cannot resist to not include an order for more appetizers. We’ve also got to sample Chicken Musakhan rolls. Musakhan, which translates into English as “heated up”, is one of the most famous and traditional Palestinian dishes. It’s like lumpia but a Mediterranean twist. Kibbeh (also Kebbeh), a Levantine dish made of burghul1, minced onions, and finely ground lean beef and lamb; oval-shaped, fried Lebanese version of meatballs. Kibbeh is the national dish of Lebanon.
Falafel is a deep-fried ball, or a flat or doughnut-shaped patty, made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Herbs, spices, and onion relatives are commonly added to the dough. It is a well-known Middle Eastern dish that most likely originated in Egypt.
The appetizers alone are satisfyingly delicious. They almost made us full, but we gave more spaces for more food and dips that we ordered from their menu.
Breads and Dips
It’s getting even better and better when our order of Lebanese bread arrived. If there’s one main staple on Lebanese cuisine — it’s bread. To an untrained eye and palate, it’s all flatbread. It was, however, initially inflated like a paper bag balloon during the process due to the moisture trapped inside and trying to escape from the bread in the hot oven. At Shawarma Gourmet, theirs were served fresh and hot straight from the kitchen.
Lebanese bread, or Pita bread, is part of every Lebanese table. Since they don’t usually use cutleries, they dip their fingers with the bread as a way to connect with the food on every meal of the day. You can also have the Saj bread, the famed razor-thin Middle Eastern flatbread used to wrap your favorite Shawarma.
To eat the bread, order their salads like Tabouleh2, and Fattoush. This can also be enjoyed with dips. Lebanese cuisine is famous for its dips made from ground chickpeas, the Hummus3, as well as other vegetables. One example is Baba ghanoush, a Levantine appetizer of mashed cooked eggplant mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and various seasonings.
The Levantine Pizza
Manakish (also Manaqish, or Manakeesh) is a popular Levantine food consisting of dough topped with thyme, cheese, or ground meat. Similar to pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can be served either for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack. In short, Manakish can be devoured at any time of the day.
With your Manakish, you can choose three available toppings: Labneh, a strained yoghurt to cheese giving you that Greek yoghurt and sour cream flavor; Zatar, a mixture of sumak, thyme, sesame, dried lemon powder, and oregano; Akkawi, a combination of soft unripened brine cheese with a chewy, smooth consistency, and a very mild salty flavor; and Sujuk, Lebanese chorizo of lamb and beef mixed with a combination of several Mediterranean spices.
Shawarma, Shawarma, Shawarma!
Shawarma Gourmet’s house specialty. Shawarma, of Turkish origin, was birthed in a pit of charcoal rotating vertically on a skewer (also known as sheesh). If the Mexicans have the burrito, we have the Shawarma in wrapped form and in rice. The Shawarma rice is a special formula invented specifically for our Asian-blooded Filipinos.
If you dine with a group of friends or you bring along your family, level up your Shawarma dining experience with Shawarma Gourmet’s Platters To Share meals. Gather around the Lebanese Mezza4, and assemble your own wraps on a Do-It-Yourself fashion.
Platters To Share are available in Shawarma (Chicken, Beef, or Mixed Meat), Chicken Taouk5, and Kebab (Beef and Lamb).
Shawarma Gourmet also provides a huge variety of sodas and beers to help you down all the food on the table. They also have other sauces and dips on the menu, as well as fruit shakes, yoghurt drinks, Lebanese coffee, and Arabic teas.
Shawarma Gourmet continues to be a family favorite for individuals with an international palate. Now beyond dining in and reservations, they also offer catering for company or matrimony events, delivery to your doorstep and a private room for special functions.
A restaurant destination that grows, and remains to become Cebu City’s most hospitable and easy-access dining space serving authentic Lebanese comfort food, Shawarma Gourmet is located at the Escario Central Mall (near Escario Central Hotel), Cebu City. They are open Mondays to Sundays, from 7 AM to 1 AM the next day.
For other menu options and further details about Shawarma Gourmet, follow their Facebook Page today.
- (also Bulgur) is a cereal food made from the cracked parboiled groats of several different wheat species, most often from durum wheat. It originates in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- A vegetarian salad made mostly of finely chopped parsley, with tomatoes, mint, onion, bulgur, and seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
- A dip, spread, or savory dish made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, lemon juice, and garlic.
- A much-loved tradition that stretches for hours, and is celebrated not only in Lebanon but also in neighboring countries throughout the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Mezza consists of a leisurely banquet of small dishes, both hot and cold, for diners to work their way through.
- “Taouk” or “Tavuk” is derived from the old Turkic language “Takagu” which means “chicken”. It is simply bite-sized chicken cubes that are marinated with Turkish spices, then skewered and grilled.