Goodie Giveaway Cinque: Arya's Persian Persuasion!

(Please scroll down to reveal the winner)
So it's been a while since my last Goodie Giveaway, and since the next following posts are about my Eurotrip,  I'd like to share with you a brand new resto find in the Metro (Manila) which holds very dear to my heart...
 Arya Persian Restaurant
After my infamous Eurotrip, a very persistent person took ToT to Arya (in Greenhills) for some Persian food because I was still craving for some middle Eastern/halal food after all this time. During my recent travels to the Eastern Mediterranean, I had eaten much more kebab than should be deemed legal so it was just perfect that I rekindled my spice craving with someone who likes it hot, too.
Corny, I know. But after some Basmati and Beef Koobideh, ToT found herself  DTR-ing amidst Garlic Yogurt Sauce breath and Hummus head. And the rest is just TMI for all you people who don't know me. Just be happy for ToT!
So back to Arya, I was so happy when I discovered a branch outside Podium mall in Pasig. Very close to one of my offices, my gym, my nook... I knew this meant easier access when wanting some seasoned meat and long grain rice. I especially enjoyed Arya in Podium because of the outdoor seating which is perfect when you want to smoke some Hookah.
The restaurant itself feels like stepping into a page of Ali Baba, from the servers uniforms down to the tiles on the floor
Even the walls were decked out with authentic Persian designs that really showed a personal touch from the owner himself.
Speaking of the owner, rather the restaurateur, I had the pleasure of meeting Shin, who was ever so gracious to tour me around the menu as well as the establishment. His presence truly makes Arya more inviting to those who are scared of trying exotic dishes. More on him later.
The menu is extensive, all with authentic dish names alongside informative explanation for those less-familiar with Persian cuisine. I also love the front page, which gives the history of Iran (Persian Empire) alongside other tidbits of trivia for those who want to feel transported to a different country.
I was FAMISHED since it was quite late in the day and I haven't had a bite to eat, so I ordered a lot thinking I could make a dent. Hey, it pays to be with someone who also loves to eat, so don't judge me by my appetite! The Arya Signature yogurt drink started me off on the right food, with rose water to lend a hint of flavor.

So have you noticed ToT eats a lot?
Cream of Onion Soup
An interesting take on onion soup, with dried fennel and onions to heighten the depth of flavors. Nice to start with
Whole wheat flat bread that's pan fried and served with a delicious curry sauce. I'm a big fan of dips, and the soft texture of the bread just soaked up the spices of the curry sauce perfectly. I could've eaten the entire plate! Wait... I think I did... Oh well, there goes my demure act.
Arya Salad
Crispy romaine, cucumbers, pasta, walnuts, olives & capers with a balsamic mustard sauce. This salad was so big, I didn't know if we had any more room for our main courses! I liked the creamy balsamic mustard dressing and the abundance of fresh ingredients in this pasta salad, making it delicious as an entree in itself.
Arya Dip Platter
It's quite ironic that I LOOOOVE dips and sauces with a passion, and ToT's boylet (gotta find a better pseudonym for him) absolutely wants nothing to do with them, so I was happy to keep this platter to myself! This combination had Hummus, Motabal (pureed smoked eggplant with Tahina and olive oil), Tzitziki (strained homemade yogurt with cucumber, garlic, mint & olive oil), and Mirza Ghasemi (pureed smoked eggplant in tomato sauce and garlic)
I loved them all, but the Hummus completely won me over. More please!
And now for our Main Coursesssss...
I ordered the Beef Combination of  Koobideh, ground beef seasoned with spices and onions, and Barg, tender marinated beef steak sliced, skewered & charbroiled with Basmati rice. Soooooo good! The flavors brought me back to Istanbul during my Kebab search, and the meat was cooked perfectly, making it moist and juicy.  Sorry boylet, NO sharing!
Mourgh Koobideh
Someone ordered the Chicken Koobideh, which I had on my DTR date the week before this. I must say, I'm not one to order chicken when I'm out at a restaurant, but this has got to be the best tasting kebab I have had in a long time! I love it when chicken surprises my palate, and Arya's take on skewered ground meat is my all-time favorite chicken dish by far. No kidding, it's THAT delicious. Something with the saffron and onions that just make this meager poultry come alive with exotic flavors.
Lamb Biryani
I was eyeing this on the menu, and so glad I was able to try it. The Lamb Biryani had tender lamb shanks stewed in spicy Biryani sauce with fragrant biryani rice was delicious and rich. Perfect for carnivores who love heavy sauces.  If one person can finish this, I give props!
Arya Sini
And to formally introduce boylet to ToT's world of Culinary Comas, I took the liberty of ordering for him Arya Sini. This combination had Mahi (Tanigue marinated in saffron, olive oil and lime), Royal Joojeh (skewered chicken breast marinated in saffron and yogurt), Beef Koobideh (ground beef marinated in spices and onion), and Shish Kebab Skewers (juicy tenderloin chunks marinated in saffron and yogurt). He took one look at his feast, glimped at me, and he knew... he was in good hands. Everything was delicious and good for 3 people, but I was surprised that he almost wiped his plate clean!
And back to the lovely Shin, the personality and figure behind Arya. He was so kind to prepare Arya's signature sauce, consisting of the grilled tomatoes on your platter and their garlic yogurt sauce.
While he was skinning the tomatoes and pouring the garlic sauce, we found out that he is the front or the house while his lovely wife is at the helm of the kitchen. Both dentists by profession, they met during a trip back to Manila from Iran, and the rest, is romantic history. He is ever present in Arya, don't be shy to chat him up! He might make your tomato sauce, which it the best one I've tried.
Voila! Tomato garlic sauce a la Shin!
Ahh... Made every meaty bite taste even better! Just say YES! when the server asks if you would like them to prepare your tomatoes.
Stuffed and happy :)
We ordered some tea, which came in this cute pot/cup set. Very intricate.
It went perfectly with their Date Cake, so moist with Persian dates, it felt like Sticky Toffee Pudding from Britain! This was so rich.. I couldn't stuff another bite into my tummy, but ToT is relentless!
All while pouring us some Chai tea, Shin notes that because he and the missus are both dentists, they have a fixation in hygiene and sanitation, hence their restaurant, and their dishes are guaranteed prepared in the most professional manner. 
And more bantering brought us to the second floor, which has some of Arya's most exotic and prized decors
Like some of the handmade carpets framed on the walls. They were so luxe and multi-dimensional, I was almost hypnotized to touch it.
Arya is literally a feast for your senses, from visual to palatable. I can't wait til I crave Persian again... which would be right about now...

Arya is located at the Ground Floor of Podium Mall. Call for reservations at +632 571 3962

AND now for the goodies.....
ToT's Goodie Giveaway Cinque:
Php500 Gift Certificate to Arya Persian Restaurant!
One lucky commenter/retweeter/reposter will win a Gift Certificate worth Php500 to Arya so you can taste your way to Persia!!! You can go to their Greenhills, Podium, or Robinson's Place branch, and is Valid until August 30, 2010. So here's how you can win:

Only followers of Trip or Treats are eligible to win. Choose "Follow ToT!" in that cute little box over on the right hand side menu of this blog where all the mug shots are. How can you win goodies if you don't know when I'm giving them away? (The Anonymous set are still encouraged to make some noise!)

1. Leave some love! Comment on this post for an instant entry! (Remember to be a follower!)

2. You can get up to 3 additional entries by including any or all(why not!?) of the following on your comment:
  • Copy this link: http://triportreats.blogspot.com/2010/07/arya.html
  • Post this Goodie Giveaway link (on your Facebook status (Make this post public) and include your FB username on your comment!
  • Post this Goodie Giveaway link on your blog (Blogspot, Multiply, personal), Or "Link to this post" at the bottom of this page, and include the link to your site on your comment!
  • Tweet "I want to win the Arya Goodie Giveaway @triportreats http://triportreats.blogspot.com/2010/07/arya.html " and make sure you follow me on Twitter, then tell me so on your comment!
Comment entries will be accepted until Friday, 23 July 2010, TOT blog time. Any comments after that will only be that, comments :) If you are NOT from the Philippines, you are not eligible to join, but can still comment for support! I will announce the Giveaway winner on Monday 26 July 2010, or when I finish putting all your entries on an excel spreadsheet. I do have an army of feudal serfs at my beck an call... but I don't know if they work weekends.

Ready, set, COMMENT!

After all your comments, I've picked the winner! RANDOMLY! I did something much like my first Goodie Giveaway.

And the winner is... 
SWEET DREAMS aka Grace Elizaga!!!
Congratulations! Please email triportreats@gmail.com your full name, mailing address, contact information and CP. I'll send your GC via courier mail !!


  1. Time to comment more on the food instead of ToT...

    Aside from the food-pictures that cause hunger even after a meal, Arya is one of the few Persian restos that still serve long-grain rice. Makes the whole kebab experience 10x better.

    That platter is much larger than it looks, and is really good for 3... or one Boylet who apparently can also eat 1 kilo of Bistecca when hungry.

    The owner adds a personal touch to the dining experience, but do not take offense if he does not approach you when you're on a date. He pays particular attention to decorum and said does this on purpose so he doesnt "cramp your style"

    "Food here is good as well as healthy.. If you dont believe, look at me (owner) *sabay flex*

  2. you call him boylet??? miggy boylet ka lang daw oh. hahaha

  3. We went to Arya once or twice. The one at Greenhills. The owner was attentive and animated. What a character and what a restaurant.

  4. i post this on my facebook wall, i like this food. Persian food is so delicious and yummy. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1450815905

  5. Yummy treats for us. I'm hoping to win in this contest.

    I posted it in my FB wall Maricar Losantas http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1190216487

    and tweeted in my twitter acct http://twitter.com/maricarlosantas

  6. Im joining

    FB username: Ning Buning
    post: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000734691019

    Twitter: Ning4u

    Blogspot Post: http://ning4u.blogspot.com/2010/07/tots-goodie-giveaway-cinque-ph500-arya.html

    Multiply Post:http://ningforyou.multiply.com/journal/item/177

    Thanks a lot and more power!!

  7. huwaaw! I love Persian food! I had to partake! :D

    followed ur blog hushbaby22
    posted in FB my username is Maia Chanelle
    followed u on twitter and RT'd Twitter id: chelle26


  8. Hello! Been an avid reader since..uh...can't really remember! :p Decided to join your giveaway contest just so I could comment for the first time, and maybe get lucky! :p

    Here's the blogspot link:

  9. ok ito ah
    di ko pa natry pero the lamb looks good
    yummy talaga.

  10. Wow! A great place for a sumptuous lunch :D

    facebook: jameela malicdem



  11. Holy wow! I am a food junkie! I love everything in this restaurant.

    Posted this on Facebook.
    username: April John Grepel Niebres

    Followed you on twitter.
    username: aaaapricot

    Posted the link on my blog.

    http://triportreats.blogspot.com/2010/07/arya.html - love at first sight!♥

  12. Keeping my fingers crossed for this GC!!

    Made a blog post at

    Facebook username: Cornelio Mallare
    posted on my FB wall: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=997038&id=1583485542

    Twitter username: cornelio03
    made a RT http://twitter.com/cornelio03/status

    cornelio.mallare AT gmail.com

  13. shared this on my blog http://luckyfinds-shareapic.blogspot.com/2010/07/your-take-on-persian-cuisine.html

    posted on my FB wall: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1055251&id=1649425764
    FB userID: emiliana sison

    made a RT http://twitter.com/millette05/status

    name: emiliana

  14. Hi i always read ur blogs but i only followed u now! i ♥ ur blogs and ur personality! i've never tasted an authentic Persian food though so hope i can win... =)

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. what a coincidence. i just finish eating persian food for lunch and read your blog. i love persian food!!! especially the chicken barg. yum! it's good to know that we have it back home.

  17. thanks for another cool giveaway! I saw Arya while it was being constructed. I'll visit it one of these weekends when I'm in Manila.

    P.S. I love the shot with the formaggio pizza. your eyes + cheekbones = fierce!

  18. I really want to join this contest and win the GC! hehe :)) I'm following your blog now.



    I followed you on twitter. username: annatjf2

  19. Everytime I read your posts I feel hungry ;)
    This is my first time to join your contest, hope I win ;)

    I'm following you & ToT @Twitter
    username: twinklerz

  20. I have always wanted to try Arya but wasn't sure what to order. Your blog gave me a list of what's good, whether it be salad, entree, dessert or drink. Which would definitely come handy for my first visit at Arya.
    Anyways, I love reading your blog. You have a voracious appetite for food and travel that I envy.

    I am already a follower of your blog thru twitter (username: grace_elizaga) and I already tweeted the I want to win the Arya Goodie Giveaway html . I also posted this link on my blog, http://sweetdreams-eighteen.blogspot.com/2010/07/trip-or-treats-goodie-giveaway-cinque.html and posted the link on my facebook account with gracedeleon.elizaga as my username.
    Goodluck to me :-)

    P.S. I deleted my previous comment because I typed the wrong information regarding my accounts (twitter and blog)

  21. Hmm, must try this restaurant!

  22. i've been on a strict no meat diet for the past couple of weeks and this post just made me crave for it!

    i love middle eastern food! i'll definitely be stopping by this place when i go back and visit manila.

  23. Hello jean.
    I already sent you an e-mail of my contact info via beatricepinzon@yahoo.com
    Looking forward on trying Arya's food.
    Thanks for the GC.

  24. i would like to ask,i just want to know which area of greenhills ARYA restaurant located?im here now in kuala lumpur,if we have a holiday we will try to eat ur restaurant...but i dont have an idea where,can u help me?is it inside the mall?which mall in greenhills?thank you!!!

  25. Hi Yeng,

    Arya is located at the Promenade strip in Greenhills. The phone number is +632 584 6266

  26. ok thank u so much for ur info,how i wish we could have a holiday soon,so that we could be there at your restaurant,coz i saw ur food looks delicious,yummy...but i don't have an idea what to order???

  27. To add another trivia about Arya: Shin the owner is Iran's Edu Manzano.

    Arya is good but ToT should try Al Batra in Makati ave. across Tiananmen. Best ever middle eastern AND indian resto in the Metro.

  28. nice! the food looks yummy and the place looks great!!! everyone looks like they are enjoying.

  29. Hello jean :-)
    I already used the GC you gave me. You were on the spot with your recommendations. I absolutely love the Mourgh Koobideh. Btw, you should try their fig orange cake next time, you might like it.
    Thanks again.


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