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Last night, my friend Charlene decided last minute to head on over to Eastern Hub, a restaurant in Guadalupe, run by a Syrian fellow, Alaa, alongside his Filipino wife, Jerry. I had already planned to try it out after my sister told me she found some seriously good shawarma. I was kind of convinced.
When my sister took Charlene there, Charlene messaged me as she was eating that was overjoyed with how good and AUTHENTIC the shawarma was. She had grown up in Abu Dhabi and she has told me before that it’s been 10 years since she had real, authentic Arabic food. I thought, hey, this is definitely on my list now!
I didn’t know what to expect because I haven’t tried real shawarma before. Shawarma places in the Philippines are “Filipinized“, made to the liking of Filipinos and that’s fine because it’s such a common practice to do this to almost any foreign dish introduced to the country.
But, my god, I was speechless. Everything I tried was good. Everything was a surprise to me. When you try food and it renders you speechless, it speaks volumes of the quality and taste. I haven’t had this in a while. Maybe the last time was the chimney cakes by Chimney Alchemy in Sugbo Mercado, which is still ironic because I’m not big on sweets.
Anyway, highlights were, of course, the shawarma. The best thing about it? FRIES. GUYS, REAL SHAWARMA HAS FRIES. WHY AREN’T WE DOING THIS. WHY WOULD ANYONE CHANGE THAT. Oh, did I mention they make their fries FRESH? It makes a difference. They were pretty good!
Second highlight was the pizza. Holy s***. The crust was amazing and it’s overloaded with cheese and chicken. Crunchy but soft (what??). It was just beautiful.
Third highlight was the rice milk. As I mentioned, I’m not into sweets but this was made perfectly to my liking and topped with my favorite pistachios. Again, speechless.
Lastly, the frozen lemon mint. It was the perfect drink to pair with all the food we had. It was refreshing. You can ask for them to put more sugar if you’re into sweet drinks but mine was made with just enough to still taste the tartness of the lemons.
On top of all the great things, the price is affordable. It won’t cost you too much to try it. As the owners mentioned, they want to make it available and affordable even for the lower class. All they want is for everyone to try real, authentic Arabic food. AND AND AND, they open until 2 a.m. so if you work late, there are places to go for late night meals aside from fast food!
The downside of things? It’s not air-conditioned so wear light clothes. It can get loud because they offer free karaoke so make sure to expect a bit of noise! But overall, my experience in Eastern Hub was unforgettable. Highly recommended. Now, stop reading this and plan your next meal with Eastern Hub!
Like their Facebook page and visit them soon! Open from 4 PM to 2 AM 🙂
Here’s a review Charlene made on her Facebook page:
Do you think you know where the best-tasting authentic shawarma is? Well think again. Let me tell you about a place called Eastern Hub.
For those who have been to Middle Eastern countries, then you guys know what I’m talking about! You’ve tasted it, you’ve seen it. I was born and raised in Abu Dhabi and since moving to Cebu 12 years ago, I’ve been looking for authentic delicious Arabic food, most especially my favorite thing in the whole entire world (other than bacon and James McAvoy’s new body), shawarma. I finally found it at Eastern Hub. My first bite into their chicken shawarma brought me back to my childhood, 11 years old, walking home from the school bus stop, and passing by our neighborhood shawarma shop for an afternoon snack. The waiters knew me by name and never forgot my order: chicken shawarma with extra pickles and extra french fries.
Eastern Hub comes extremely close with their shawarma filled with perfectly grilled sliced meat (chicken, beef, falafel, etc) with some french fries, vegetables, and secret sauce, all rolled together in warm homemade pita bread. No cheese or carrots or cabbage or bizarre sweet sauce or any of that shit. They also serve hummus, samosas, pizza (crust and sauce are to die for), and some middle eastern desserts. It’s delicious and affordable. Alaa and SeanJuri Pay, you guys are the best.
So enough with the jibber-jabbering and let’s give Eastern Hub the applause it deserves for finally bringing authentic shawarma Cebuanos didn’t know they needed until now. Check them out in Guadalupe, across Pan de Manila.
PS. This is not PR. I just really really love shawarma, guys.
PS. As I’m editing and writing all these, I have this strong urge to go back tonight but #carbs. I will go back… tomorrow LOL