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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Chicken Skewers (Php590). Tender and flavorful chicken pieces, grilled together with onions and bell peppers and served with Syrian Basmati rice and seared tomato.
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!)
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.
Almond Creme Brulee (Php330). A mildly sweet, creamy almond cream custard garnished with raspberry sauce and mint.
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.
Gypsy Mango (Php380). Rum mixed with organic mango liquor, fresh mango and cilantro. A perfect drink for this summer day!
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.
Built to Spill (Php350). A blend of bourbon, ginger root and mint leaves.
Noor (Php390). The resto’s house-recipe cocktail made with gin, freh basil, cucumber, fresh lemon juice and tonic water.
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.
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!
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.
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.