Noor

Noor

Flatlay and photo credits @johnbunag

There is a gem of a place that just opened last August at Burgos Circle just across Uncle Cheffy's restaurant.

The restaurant is called NOOR which means light in Arabic  and is coincidentally the same  meaning of Chef-Owner Or Hakmimi's name in Hebrew.

Ambience

It is a two storey edifice with  an impressive open industrial  kitchen at the ground floor.  I love that one can pretty much see everything going on in the kitchen as one goes up the wooden stairs...  


Note the wall of well curated wines on your right as you go up...


There are   more tables for guests on the second floor.. The focal point   is the  vast floor to ceiling window which draws the eyes.  It lends a warm cozy vibe to the area while creating an illusion of spaciousness as it lets the outdoors in.

photo by @johnbunag
You will also find the bar  and the restroom on the 2nd floor.


Noor can actually seat 55 guests at any one time.

NOOR Cuisine

The food is a mix of Mediterranean and European cuisine  with Arabic influences and Chef Or's own creative spin on them. Chef Or honed his craft in Tel Aviv while working with one of the best Chefs in Israel.

Last Friday October 19,  we  got to know Chef Or up close and experienced first hand his food and the process that  went with each dish



Cauliflower P350

This is one of my favorite dish. First of all I do not like cauliflower. Chef Or's version of cauliflower was quite unique and delicious, it converted me. I have a mind to replicate it at home. 


Amazing how cauliflower changes its texture beautifully when deep fried. It married well with the home made Ceasar aioli. There were sweet notes from the cauliflower, brininess from the anchovy and capers and earthiness from the oregano. The mouth feel was exquisite.



Moroccan Cigars (P290 short ribs 2 pcs / P250  Fish 2 pieces

Reminiscent of our very own lumpiang shanghai,  you have the option of having short ribs or fish filling. You dip it in  Chef Or's very own home-made satay garlic aioli or Harissa which is a delicious Moroccan chili paste .

Chef Or found it amusing that our very own lumpia is a street food here in our country while the Moroccan cigars are only served during weddings and other formal occasions.


Chicken Thigh on  Skewers P620 
Chicken is marinated in paprika harissa and honey. They are served with syrian rice and lentils and home made harissa aioili. I loved how the chicken  was tender, moist and flavorful. That Harissa Aioli was scrumptious

"Tunisian in origin, Harissa   is a delicious red chili pepper condiment now  
accepted as part of Moroccan cuisine.. Dried red chili peppers are ground to a  paste
with garlic, spices lemon juice and olive oil"
 -  www.thespruceeats.com


Fish Kebab P560
"...take a very humble ingredient and make it tasty " - Chef Or

I loved how Chef Or candidly shared that the Fish Kebab is made from our very own Tilapia! I assumed it was either Dory or lapu lapu. At any rate, it was delicious. The fish was not deep fried apparently but was cooked "plantcha seared "' ( a thick flat slab of cast iron you place on your grill for searing - Wiki)

It is paired with chopped Israeli Salad made of chopped tomato, cucumber parsley swimming in sour and spicy Sumac yoghurt.

It was delicious and refreshing on the palate.


Lamb Baklava P460

This was an exciting dish. Baklava is familiar to us as dessert. But in Noor, Chef Or made the sweet baklava into a savory dish.

"Baklava is a rich , sweet dessert pastry made of  layers of filo filled with chopped nuts, sweetened
and held together with syrup or honey - Wikipedia

Chef Or grew up in Israel surrounded by Arabic countries. He shares that he was greatly influenced by their food especially the Moroccan. Moroccans usually love to combine their meat with sweets. Thus the inspiration for his Lamb Baklava.

"I like to play with textures and flavor" - Chef Or

He seared the lamb with  leeks, paprika, tomatoes, thyme then wrap it in filo as if making the real baklava . For sauce,  he used a combination or raw tahini sauce, raspberry sauce and olive oil then garnished the dish with ground pistachio.

The result is a perfect balance of sweet vs savory and crunchy vs. creamy. Im amazed that there was no gamey taste coming from the lamb. I loved how the sweet-citrusy raspberry sauce cut through the richness of the raw tahini.


Moroccan Shrimps P470
Shrimps were marinated in Moroccan paste and Harissa then plancha-seared. It swam in a pool of  home-made tzatziki and charred eggplant. Shrimps were succulent and flavorful and married well with the tzatziki


'Tzatziki is made of salted strained yoghurt or  diluted yoghurt mixed with cucumbers,
salt, garlic, olive oil, with  vinegar or lemon juices and 
herbs like dill, mint , parsley and thyme - Wikipedia


Noor Signature Cocktail P380
Gin / Fresh Basil/ Cucumber/ Fresh Lemon Juice/Tonic Water


Noor Cuban Beehive P380
Rum/Honey/Lime Juice/ Angostura


Knafe P390

For dessert , Tair ( wife of Chef Or) was quite excited to let us taste the Knafe. Knafe is made up of shredded phyllo pastry, white cheese filling, butter  and yoghurt pistachio ice cream. It was delicious! Again the play on texture and flavor was evident. You have the creaminess of the yoghurt vs the crunchiness of the phyllo pastry and the richness of the cheese vs. the sweetness of the ice cream.

I thought it looked similar to Kouign Amman.  But where Kouign Aman is puff pastry, Knafe is made of shredded phyllo. So they are really poles apart in concept and execution

We were also served black Turkish coffee   to match with the dessert . If you like really strong coffee, you will like this

Before we said our goodbyes, Hezi one of the owners insisted we try their home-made hummus and made-from-scratch bread. Sorry I was not able to take a photo of the bread.

Their home-made hummus was really silky and flavorful so different from the grainy hummus Ive tasted locally. Their bread was delicious as well. Nothing really compares to bread freshly made from the premises.

Overall....

What an amazing afternoon  learning about Chef Or's  Noor.  Indeed Noor lives up to its name of  giving light or  lifting up one's mood with the dishes that it serves. 

Light could also mean "less heavy" as  Noor's dish are quite healthy  and therefore customers are less likely to gain weight after gorging themselves on Chef Or's amazing creations. 

All the dishes served were scrumptious and note worthy. What stood out for me though were the Cauliflower,  Lamb Baklava,  Moroccan Shrimp,  Chicken Skewers , Fish Kebab. I think I mentioned all of them haha.

Home-made from the bread to the sauces and pasta, fresh ingredients, modern take on Mediterranean-Arabic-European familiar dishes, exciting flavors and textures, a passionate Chef who puts his heart on his creations....what's not to love?

Most definitely returning with the piggery in tow. Can not wait to try the other items in the menu.

Thank you for hosting us Chef Or,  Tair, Hezi and for the invite Cam.
L-R @boyeatworldph, Cam (marketing officer of Noor), Chef Or Hakmimi, moi and @johnbunag



NOOR  is located at Unit F133 Forbeswood Heights Burgos Circle Bonifacio Global City Taguig. They are open from 11 am onwards everyday. Check Zomato App for more details

Noor Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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