06/04/2011 § 2 Comments
If there would be two things I missed in Mindanao, it would have to be air and food. When I got to Manila, my chest was heavy because of the pollution (until I eventually got used to it. Nasty.). Fruits do not taste as good here, unless you buy the really expensive ones or you get the rare finds!
Because I’m missing the motherland a bit, I scanned through my “Days in Mindanao” folder and saw my last date with my team as Editor in Chief of Himati. We went to Zabadani.
Zabadani Cafe is located in Ponciano Street, Davao City; just a few paces away from the printing house, Tesoro.
Same criteria: Ambiance, Service, Food, Experience, and Price.
Zabadani is an Islamic resto, and the theme is consistent from food to the interior of the restaurant. It’s very cosy; at times, they use the AC to cool the temperature off, some times, they turn on a big fan to keep the customers relaxed.
Inside the restaurant are three areas. At front, there are tables that can allow you and a friend to enjoy tea or coffee. In the middle are raised platforms that are covered with carpets, and you have pillows to sit on. And the last area is a row of computers that customers can use while enjoying their time in Zab (in addition to a mini bar).
Lighting is just right, and it doesn’t distract a good conversation with a friend live or online. The seats are so comfortable that I even find myself lying down on them for some time. I also liked a couple of ornaments they have hung on the ceiling. I wish there were more, and more intricate. 😉
Sometimes, the server in this restaurant is the owner himself whom people fondly call as Wadi. I like the service here. Since I do not have much background on Jalal or even Mediterranean cuisine, Wadi was able to help me make the right food choices. He would first ask you what kind of food you would like to eat, e.g. rice or just bread. And then, he would explain to you how the food is prepared, and what it would taste like. Preparing the food takes a while, but you won’t mind because if you’re in good company, you will enjoy the place with your friends. If you’re very hungry, it’s worth the wait!
The food is amazing. I don’t think there’s one I ordered that I didn’t like. My team also enjoyed their meals (or maybe they were too hungry to tell if it was delicious or not). We had:
Blueberry with Thyme Tea
Filipino Syrian Beef Steak, Beef Rib, Syrian Grilled Breast
My favorites would have to be Pita Shateerah and the Bruschetta. Both of them had just the right amount of cheese, and the flavor in them from the spices = yum. The Bruschetta, I believe, had some rosemary herb and the olives were good. The Pita Shateera balanced meat and cheese + romaine tomatoes and lettuce and more, and yes, they won’t fall at every bite. The Pita Bread was soft and really tasted good.
The experience is rich! If you chanced upon Wadi there, he can tell you a lot about their cuisine, and more about their culture. He prepares the dish himself for you, as well. I like that after a busy day at the publication (since it’s near the printing press), Zab offers a very relaxing place for stressed writers, editors, and journs in general; but at the same time, it’s not the lull and dull hang out spot. Because here, you can learn so much from the owner. And to get to experience authentic Islamic food/ Jalal or even Mediterranean is wow. Sorry, I still can’t get over how much I had such a good time here.
It only gets better here. Food prices are cheap, and you can order meals for less than a hundred pesos! To get the most out of Zab, why not budget at least 200 to 300 to try out their drinks and food? I loved it, and I hope you do too.
All in all, I give this restaurant a 4 out of 5, suggested to people who want to try Jalal or those who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a spiffy hideout (from work! hahaha). 🙂 Journs go here a lot too! And it’s also perfect for the health conscious.
Oh and, if you go to ZAB June 6 onwards, they are offering unlimited Pita Shateerah + Bottomless Iced Tea for only 280 pesos. That’s a good price. 🙂
COUNTDOWN: 9 more posts to 100th! Contest winner, soon! Keep those suggestions coming. 🙂 link: https://sergeiwrites.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/end-of-may-hello-june/