This post is actually a result of a conversation about craving shawarma in the En Route Facebook page. There were three contributions, but one was at the far end of Quezon City (where apparently there is a SECOND Mindanao Avenue in that place).
The other one was a very famous name from before but just forgotten and buried under the ever-piling junk in cyberspace. It was Jacob’s Shawarma in the Ortigas area.
The claim to fame of this secret gem is that this is the authentic Turkish doner, and it has a shawarma menu that changes depending on the day.
And with an opportunity to try it here since work has brought En Route to Ortigas, it was time to try out Jacob’s Shawarma. (That trip to Tri-Mo Shawarma Co. will be next)
Apparently, there are three things you will forget when you go here:
1. Forget the idea that Shawarma is Persian in origin:
A little bit of research has revealed that Shawarma didn’t really originate in the Persian country area (currently Iran). Shawarma originated in Turkey. It’s just that there are Persian shawarmas.
Also, forget the assumption that the word shawarma means it will be in a wrap. Actually, from a visit to the Lebanese Mana-Ish and More in Jupiter, Shawarma is revealed to be the way of cooking it in a spit being twirled and scraped into shreds. So a shawarma can be served in some form of soupy tahini bowl, or the popular way of being served here in the Philippines-which is in wrap.
That is what is apparently called a Doner Shawarma.
2. Forget that Jacob’s Shawarma looks like one of those eateries from the 1980’s filled with bright vinyl covers and posted with whatever posters of fancy.
For this, it actually are posters of everything about Turkey. It seems like Jacob is a true patriot and brandishes everything Turkish all over the store, up until the ceiling where a small flag of Turkey is mounted. You are not here for fancy dining. You are here for some authentic tasting Turkish Doner Shawarma.
3. Forget that Shawarma is only beef or chicken or lamb
Apparently, it can be anything. Case in point: This Salmon Shawarma
Depending on the day, Jacob’s Shawarma serves a particular kind of meat for the shawarma:
- Monday and Thursday: Chicken
- Tuesday and Saturday: Beef and Lamb
- Wednesday and Friday: Pink Salmon
- Sunday: ???
While this visit was admittedly expecting that a nice beef or lamb shawarma, that will have to be for another time as salmon was what was served. But now, one bite into this 12 inch long doner (yes, it’s 12 inches for PHP 200.00) and all expectations that a shawarma is best with lamb or beef goes away.
The salmon tastes great! The combined vegetables of tomato, onions, lettuce and cilantro with the creamy salmon was a delight.
As a matter of fact, now all the more I would want to return to try the other variants to see if it will complement with the last thing you will need to forget.
4. Forget Garlic Sauce for Jacob’s Shawarma:
There. It’s been said. Cries of blasphemy might echo after people read this. Contrary to everything about shawarma dressings and dips, forget garlic sauce. At least for the doner shawarmas from Jacob’s. What they have is just plain lemon juice. And you know what? It damn works! The slight citrusy taste nullifies any slimy texture from the salmon (and probably will work the same for lamb) and enhances the taste of the tomatoes and cilantro. It was quite a surprise.
One thing you should not forget: Jacob’s Shawarma is open 24/7
So where else will you go in Ortigas? There are actually other places like Uncle Moe’s or Food Channel, but it is about location. It is also about the preference you want for your shawarma at that moment. And at this moment, Jacob’s Shawarma is the little shawarma shack gem this side of Ortigas Center in Pasig.
Jacob’s Shawarma is located at AIC Grande Tower, Sapphire Street, Ortigas Center, Pasig City
Tel. Nos. +632-227-7686
Check out Jacob’s Shawarma Facebook Page here
Love Jacob’s Shawarma? Have other Shawarma Secrets? Share it in the Comments below.
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