As soon as I entered, I knew I was in for a treat. The decor was out of taste: bright red dining benches and red and white plastic covers on small tables. The walls were adorned with stretched and framed tarpauline images of Turkey, and when I look up its high ceiling, I see the Turkish flag. I approached the counter, and was surprised with what I saw on their menu. A chicken shawarma.
Yes, only one item on the menu. I asked the attendant if they had something else. She just mentioned they had Baklava for the day. Beyond the short list of drinks (which includes Turkish yogurt drink and coffee), that was it. Imagine the excitement I had when I saw Jacob, the owner of this obscure spot, preparing my chicken doner which is what they call a shawarma in Turkey (it's called Gyros in Greece).
I asked Jacob why he served only chicken. His response was simple. It was healthy. I didn't want to ask more questions. He was busy preparing my meal. He lay a large rectangular piece of pita bread on the counter and topped it with chicken, cucumber, some more greens, cheese and a sauce. He folded the bread, and pressed it on what seemed to look like a panini maker. The chicken doner was served, and it was long, around a foot long, probably the longest shawarma I've seen. It was a bit flat, and looked very different from the pinoy shawarmas swarming every food court.
I took a bite. It tasted very different as well from our normal shawarmas. It didn't come close at all. I've never been to Turkey, so I guess, this is an authentic dish. It had unique spices, much like curry on a pita bread with cheese and flaming hot sauce. There was a lot of stuffing, and each bite gave you a different texture. It was a long piece of bread, so it took me a while to finish it.
This is what I love about trying out new stuff - the fulfillment in discovery. I have never tasted anything like this before, and to think it was a shawarma. The REAL Turkish doner had arrived in Ortigas Center. It's an experience I think everyone should try. I'm just wishing that Jacob offer more culinary delights from Turkey.
Jacob's Real Turkish Doner is located beside Chef and Brewer along Sapphire Road in Ortigas Center (the road leading to Robinson's Galleria).