Unlike many other ethnic cuisines, Mediterranean cuisine is not the product of a specific ethnic group or culture. Rather, it is a label referring to the culinary trends shared by a diverse array of people. Luckily here in our country, there are some restaurants that offer authentic-tasting Mediterranean dishes. One of them is even are serves mouthwatering Arabic barbeques. Let’s get to know Imotep Shawarma and its Chef/Operations Manager, Robertino Garcia!
Imotep: Full efforts in research, development, and marketing
Robertino ‘Tino’ Garcia got the idea to put up an Arabic barbecue restaurant because of his love for all kinds of shawarma. He had tried and indulged shawarma shops all over Europe whether its Syrian, Algerian, Lebanese, Turkish, or Israeli-owned. After doing this, he established Imotep Shawarma, with the help of his business partner. As the Executive Chef, he came up with the recipes by doing research, visit event pop-ups with his Egyptian friend.
Like any other business, Imotep had its share of struggles because of the ongoing health crisis. People are willing to spend as much as they used to and they rather not go out because of their fear of COVID-19. However, Robertino and his team found ways to make their product strong and competent. Their confidence came from several honest feedbacks from the repeat customers.
Aside from that, they stick to their goal of providing great authentic tasting food at an honest price while continuing to serve their growing loyal diners. According to Robertino, a restaurant’s success depends on the consistency of the taste, quality, portion size, and value for money. Those are the things they always consider at Imotep Shawarma. He also adds the importance of marketing, “But you must not stop marketing as well these are key for it to stay in the long term, if you don’t maintain all these, you won’t be able to survive or no one will know about you.”
So no for those who are entering a food business venture, Robertino advises them not to overcomplicate their dishes or products.
“Be straightforward but by still being creative and support local suppliers. Then for all types of businesses, start small, don’t rush, just be patient and be grateful you can still operate.”
Exquisite Arabic barbecues in generous servings
Imotep Shawarma offers a wide variety of Arabic dishes, from sandwiches to side dishes and rice meals. As for their best-sellers, you must try their Lamb Kofta wrap or the Beef Shawarma wrap. Those two have a more Turskish and Lebanese taste compared to others. Most local shawarma restaurants just put garlic sauce in almost every dish. Imotep’s version stands out because of a special Tahini sauce.
Although their menu is still limited, Imotep is superior in terms of quality, taste, and authenticity. Robertino said, “Our menu is just small so we can really focus on each dish and make sure we control the quality and consistency. You don’t have to be a jack-of-all-trades in your food.” And their customers who have traveled to Europe and the Middle East even agree! They told Robertino that their dishes taste exactly the same as those in Doner Kebabs and Shawarma stalls.
Soon, Imotep Shawarma will serve meals that cater to vegan and vegetarian diners. Currently, they only have a grilled eggplant dip or “Moutabal” and Fava beans croquette or “Ta’ameya”. We are really looking forward to their menu’s expansion.
You can visit Imotep Shawarma at 2233 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati and they are open 11 AM to 7 PM, from Tuesday to Sunday. Aside from that, they have a user-friendly website so you can conveniently input your details and select the items. They can choose whether they want delivery or self-pickup, but they can settle payment through Gcash or credit cards. For our Pharaoh Platters, you can simply send a direct message to their Instagram account. Note that you have to order hours or a day ahead so they have time to prepare.
Fancy a flavorful shawarma wrap or aromatic kebab tonight? Hit the DM button!