Relaxing Sunday brunch at Noor, BGC

The day was warm with the sun shining down brightly from blue skies unmarred by clouds as I made my way to an area of Bonifacio Global CIty I seldom find myself visiting.

Megaworld’s Lifestyle Malls Forbestown Center (also known as Burgos Circle) is home to many new concept restaurants, cafes and dessert places. It is a wonder how I’m seldom here but that can soon be rectified. 🙂

This particular Sunday morning, I was headed to one restaurant in particular: Noor Modern Mediterranean. The place may look quite posh with its well-appointed modern interiors and the tasteful display of art and wine bottles throughout the premises but the overall vibe is one of freshness and warm hospitality. Its second floor dining area features a green wall as its focal point and floor-to-ceiling windows that affords a view of Forbestown Center as well as lots of natural light which will become quite handy when we do our food photos later on.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Yep, this hip and happening resto is to be the setting of a relaxed and banter-filled gathering among myself and my fellow foodie friends from #WeLoveToEatPH and #SaanSaPH.

Firstly, we were warmly welcomed by Noor’s Isreali-born Chef Or Hakmimi, who brings to the table the Mediterranean culinary influences he grew up with. The chef also espouses a friendly and casual dining atmosphere for his establishment; in between his adventures in the kitchen preparing Noor’s signature dishes as well as new ones he is experimenting on, he takes the time to chat with his guests and share more about his philosophy when it comes to food.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Foremost among his rules of thumb is the preference for having at least three flavors and textures in the food he serves, “so it won’t be boring.” He is right, too. Each bite of Noor’s dishes presented us with wonderful complexities: smokeyness, tartness, a hint of spice and more.

These complexities are in evidence in the brunch feast he and his staff laid out for us, which include:

Salmon Tartare. Not yet on the menu, this dish is made of thinly sliced chilled salmon topped with roe and served on crunchy black sesame seed-studded phyllo cones, an awesome start to the meal!

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Cauliflauer (Php300). I read somewhere that this dish is life-changing and I can definitely agree! Cauliflauer are deep-fried and tossed in ceasar aoili and parsley.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Moroccan Shrimp (Php480). Succulent shrimps grilled then served on a bed of tatziki (a Greek yogurt-based side dish flavored by mashed vegetables, dill and olive oil) together with charred eggplant.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Lamb Baklava (Php470). Ground lamb sauteed in olive oil and spices encased in sheets of sheer phyllo dough baked to a lusciously crispy golden brown. Served with sesame dressing and a raspberry sauce, its combo of meaty savory and tart fruity flavors is a winner.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Chicken Skewers (Php590). Tender and flavorful chicken pieces, grilled together with onions and bell peppers and served with Syrian Basmati rice and seared tomato.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Shawarma Tacos (Php630). A triad of shawarma variants – roasted chicken with tahini, tomatoes and amba aoili; roasted fish with tsaziki, coleslaw and cilantro; and roasted mushrooms with garlic aioli, sumac onions and parsley – served open-faced on warm pita bread. These are best eaten by hand! (A bit messy but that’s part of the experience!)

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Knafe (Php390). A classic Arab desert made of shredded buttery phyllo pastry, ricotta cheese, rose water syrup and yogurt ice cream topped with chopped pistachios. That interplay of warm and cold inside my mouth, together with the sweetness and rich buttery flavor is quite decadent. My only regret is that I have gone through forty plus years in life and I’ve only tasted this heavenly dessert today.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

Almond Creme Brulee (Php330). A mildly sweet, creamy almond cream custard garnished with raspberry sauce and mint.

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

All of these dishes are made from scratch in the kitchen by Chef Or. Ingredients are locally sourced and the produce are organically grown in local farms.

Chef Or and his staff also served us with the resto’s signature cocktails to complement the dishes and to add to the day’s happy vibe.

Noor, BGC

Gypsy Mango (Php380). Rum mixed with organic mango liquor, fresh mango and cilantro. A perfect drink for this summer day!

Noor, BGC

Cinnamon Fashion (Php340). A version of the Old-Fashioned cocktail made by muddling sugar with bitters and adding some brandy, but here, it is garnished with a cinnamon stick.

Noor, BGC

Built to Spill (Php350). A blend of bourbon, ginger root and mint leaves.

Noor, BGC

Noor (Php390). The resto’s house-recipe cocktail made with gin, freh basil, cucumber, fresh lemon juice and tonic water.

Noor, BGC

Flavored Soda Water. Sparkling water flavored with juices of sweet fruits such as lychee, passionfruit and strawberry to quench our thirst and refresh our palates.

Noor, BGC

With such a lavish spread of good Mediterranean food, refreshing cocktails that kept us in high spirits and the company of great friends, it was a very enjoyable Sunday brunch!

Noor, BGC

Noor, BGC

And here’s some good news: did you know you can get free drinks at Noor, thanks to Zomato Gold? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here. Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.

Noor is located at Unit F133, Forbeswood Heights, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, open daily from 11am to 12 midnight. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 956 1563426.

Noor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to join a foodie meetup held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees, including myself.

Three reasons to get yourself a #HummusBowl at The Cafe Mediterranean

Hummus is made from cooked and mashed garbanzo beans (chickpeas) blended with tahini (a condiment made from ground hulled sesame), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. It is rooted in the traditional cuisine of Levant, the area that covers the large stretch of land in the eastern Mediterranean which includes modern-day Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Syria and surrounding states.

In line with its promise of bringing “flavors of the sun” to its diners’ tables, The Cafe Mediterranean features a seasonal menu of hummus bowls that do bring to mind pictures of rich harvests, the bright blue sea and the hot Mediterrenean sun.

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

If you find yourself at a #CafeMed branch, do get a #HummusBowl for yourself or your gang. Here are three reasons why.

One: These are very nutritious.

Owing to hummus’ main ingredient, chickpeas, it provides a good amount of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamin, manganese and other nutrients. This makes it a wonderful addition to any modern diet geared towards health and proper nutrition.

Two: Their toppings not just ups hummus’ nutrition game, they also significantly add to the flavor.

Hummus actually is very versatile. Aside from its use as a dip for breads or raw onion wedges, it also serves as an ingredient for soups, hot stews and sauces.

Taking advantage of this versatility, The Cafe Mediterranean offers eight varieties of hummus bowls, made with the freshest ingredients daily, to suit your craving or to add to your already flavorful meal. There are meat and no-meat options, so whatever your diet is, there is a hummus bowl for you.

Take your pick from among these tasty variants.

With cherry tomatoes cooked with garlic and extra virgin olive oil (Php275)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With roasted red bell peppers, black olives and feta cheese (Php325)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With roasted broccoli and cauliflower (Php395)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled eggplant and tomato sauce (Php300)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With mushroom and caramelized onions (Php350)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled chicken (Php375)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled beef (Php395)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

With grilled lamb (Php435)

Hummus Bowl, The Cafe Mediterranean

Each of these bowls come with two pieces of warm pita bread that you can tear apart with your hands and dip into the hummus.

Three: Getting a hummus bowl (or more) contributes to the welfare of victims of armed conflict.

The Cafe Mediterranean has collaborated with UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, to generate support and donations to the Syrians displaced by the Syrian War. Customers can rest assured that all proceeds from the sales of these bowls are coursed directly through the UNHCR to help the Syrian refugees.

So head on out to the nearest branch of The Cafe Mediterranean and get a big bowl of hummus for yourself and your friends!

The Cafe Mediterranean branches in the metro are located at:

  • Lower Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City
  • Basement 1, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Oranbo, Pasig City
  • Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Third Floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Level 1, Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
  • Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

Disclosure: Together with other foodies, I was invited to attend a food-tasting held at this restaurant. Food items mentioned here were served to allow us to sample the fare and were not paid for by the attendees including myself.

A gastronomic trip at The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

Mediterranean cuisine is said to be identified with a trinity of basic ingredients: olive, wheat and grape, yielding oil, bread and wine respectively.

Two of these key ingredients came into play during a lunch with my family at The Cafe Mediterranean while we were on our way to a movie screening at the Powerplant Mall. (I was with my hubby and kids so wine was not ordered, hehehe!)

The Cafe Meditteranean prides itself on bringing the “flavors of the sun.” True enough, biting into its tasty offerings brings to mind images of sun-drenched vineyards against a wide azure Mediterranean sky.

Even the restaurant’s premises evoke a similar vibe through the use of brightly colored or strikingly patterned artwork and design accents against whitewashed walls.

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

For our appetizers, we ordered:

Hummus with Grilled Vegetables (Php300). The classic chick pea and sesame dip from the Middle East accompanied by grilled vegetables. I love scooping it up with a folded piece of pita bread together with a grilled onion or tomato.

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

Moutabal (Php165). A grilled eggplant and tahini dip, also great with wheat pita bread.

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

For lunch, Hubby and the kids went for an order each of Grilled Beef Kebab (Php535). Small cubes of grilled beef served with Tabouleh and Labneh (the Lebanese version of cream cheese), together with buttered Basmati rice.

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

As for me, my choice for lunch was a Grilled Beef Gyro Plate (Php450). Tender slices of well-seasoned grilled beef accompanied by Moutabal, Tzatziki (a creamy combination of cucumber, yoghurt and garlic), Tabouleh (cracked wheat, tomatoes and parsley) and pickled chillies. I loved how the smokey flavors of the beef and eggplant dip were complemented by the cucumber dip and other elements of the dish. Together with buttered Basmati rice, this made for a flavorful and filling meal.

The Cafe Mediterranean, Rockwell

With these combinations of tastes and textures from different Mediterranean cuisines, dining at The Cafe Mediterranean seemed like we went on a gastronomic tour.

Too bad we didn’t have time (or room!) for dessert. I would have loved getting myself some Baklava.

Oh, since both Hubby and I are Zomato Gold members, we each got a 1+1 deal on food which basically rendered one of the beef kebabs and my grilled beef gyro plate as free! What a sweet deal, right?

This Cafe Mediterranean branch is located at Lower Ground Floor, Power Plant Mall, Rockwell, Makati City. For inquiries and reservations, call +63 2 8981301 or +63 2 7565010.

Other branches may be found at:

  • Basement 1, Estancia Mall, Capitol Commons, Oranbo, Pasig City
  • Fifth Floor, The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City
  • Third Floor, One Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • Level 1, Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Makati City
  • Ground Floor, Entertainment Mall, SM Mall of Asia, Mall of Asia Complex (MOA), Pasay City
  • Second Floor, Alabang Town Center, Alabang, Muntinlupa City

The Cafe Mediterranean Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Want to score a similar discount? Zomato Gold provides members with 1+1 deals on food or 2+2 deals on drinks. All you have to do is sign up for a Zomato Gold membership here as soon as slots open. (They tend to get snatched up pretty quickly so be sure to sign up as soon as slots become available.) Use my code JELLYB to get 20% off the membership fee.