Relative satisfaction at Uncle Moe’s (restaurant review)

For a couple of nights last week, my sister, her husband and I felt the old wanderlust. But since we have neither the time nor the budget for a last-minute getaway, we resorted to driving aimlessly around the city for a couple of hours at a time. On our second night, I blurted out that while we just had dinner, I was feeling hungry again (unusual, right?). Apparently, they were feeling the same way, so we started looking at options.

They asked me what I was craving for, and the first thing that popped into my head was shawarma because we’d been talking about it the past few days. Also, I had just spotted a place called Uncle Moe’s Shawarma Hub in BF, Parañaque earlier that evening. After mulling over our choices, we decided to head to Moe’s.

“Oh, no; it’s closed” was the first thing we said as we pulled up, seeing as the inside and the parking lot were both tumbleweed-in-the-wind deserted. But the guard, who had thankfully just stepped out of the restaurant, said they were open.

The outside was a boxy building with a dark palette of black and gray. Inside, Moe’s is small, dimly lit, and quiet, a good sign that it’s a haunt for people who get the munchies after a long night of drinking. Or are depressed. Or have been drinking because they’re depressed. Anyway, the interior is split into two: the smoking section with fans and barred windows (and flickering lights which I don’t think are on purpose), and the air-conditioned non-smoking section. I actually kind of like the vibe; I know I wouldn’t want to be assaulted by bright lights and loud music if I were intoxicated.

Because it was too cold (for me) to stay inside, we took a seat at the alfresco area and asked for a menu. For starters, you have a choice of tapenade, moutabal, hummus, or ox brain, but we concentrated on the entrees: various kinds of kebabs and shawarma. We settled for an order of the kebab platter (two skewers each of beef and chicken) with pita bread and a side of salsa, and Keema (sauteed ground beef) with buttered rice.

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Kebab platter

My sister and I split the kebab platter. The beef skewer, while incredibly tender, was a salt lick on a stick. Perhaps it’s a ploy to sell more beer, but what do I know? On the other hand, I can’t say enough about the chicken: it was moist, tender and flavorful. I sampled my brother-in-law’s Keema minus the buttered rice and thought it was really good too.

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Keema (drizzled with yogurt garlic sauce) with buttered rice

I enjoyed the fact that the pita bread was really thin so you don’t just get a mouthful of dough in every bite. I also liked their yogurt garlic sauce, which is a bit thicker and a little more savory than the kind you get from other shawarma joints. The salsa was not so much salsa as it was a container of chopped tomatoes, but it was still acid that cut through the creaminess of the sauce, so I guess it did its job.

We noticed that people started trickling in at about 12AM. Tables and chairs are limited, so crowding is most likely an issue particularly during high-traffic hours. Also, if you live nearby, you might be better off taking a cab because there are very few parking slots (about six) unless you count the street.

I thought the price was OK so I wouldn’t mind coming back again, especially with the the cheese lover in me pining for the moussaka melt and the kofta balls.

Overall rating:

Uncle Moe’s Shawarma Hub
98 Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque City

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