*UPDATE: Jafar’s has another new location inside Ayala Center Cebu. It is in the Rustans Supermarket area.
Creativity is innate to most Cebuanos. There is an innate gift in turning things more wonderful than they already are. It’s no different with food.
This has never been truer than with Alfonso Martinez. He is the man behind the Jafar’s Shawarma Station in Banilad Town Centre.
We all know what Shawarma is and what to expect when we grab one. But you will be surprised when you try one from Jafars. Alfonso added new twists in this already popular staple that could surprise us all.
Here’s what he had to say:
032: Tell us a little about how you came up with the idea for Jafar’s Shawarma Station?
AM: I’ve always enjoyed a good shawarma. From my travels, I came to learn that shawarma can be found all over the world and that there are many variations of it. I thought Cebu could use a different shawarma option so I decided to come up with my own version. The whole concept of Jafars was to give the customer more choices. That’s why at Jafars we have several proteins you can choose from which you can mix and match.
032: Are you a shawarma lover yourself? What makes your shawarma different from others?
AM: Yes, I am a shawarma lover. I drew inspiration from different shawarmas that I’ve tried. That helped me come up with recipes that are unique to Jafars. Our proteins are more savory as opposed to sweet, we use a yogurt based sauce and we make our own pita bread. We’re not trying to make a shawarma that’s unique to a certain culture; whether it’s Greek, Turkish, or Lebanese. We are just trying to make something that is delicious and that we can call our own.
032: Can you please tell us the complete list of what’s on your menu right now and give us a little description on each?
AM: The first choice for every customer is whether they would like to have a wrap or a rice meal. For the rice meal, we use Biryani rice which we cook with an array of spices. However customers can choose plain rice instead. Also customers can opt to not have rice at all and have it as a salad.
Next, they can choose which protein/s they prefer. The different protein choices are as follows:
- Chicken- heavily spiced and seasoned like a curry
- Minced beef- freshly ground beef that’s slightly crispy in texture
- US Angus beef- slow roasted till tender, our version of a steak typically cooked on a shawarma machine
- Chickpeas- our version of a falafel, it’s also heavily spice like a curry and it happens to be a vegetarian option
- Spanish chorizo- born out of my mutual love for Spanish chorizo and shawarma, this combines both flavors
- Lamb- smoked then pulled leg of lamb
The customer can choose to mix and match different proteins for different flavor combinations.
032: Are you planning to add more food choices?
AM: We are planning on doing different specials such as chicken Tikka masala and Kofta balls. We might also add a seafood option. We’re working on new sauces as well like a herb based sauce and a tomato based sauce.
032: Are you planning to open a bigger space in the future?
AM: At the moment we are planning on opening more branches of the food stall as oppose to opening a restaurant.
Best seller: The most popular protein is the US angus.
Price range: P80-200
Contact: 0936 900 5747
Location: Banilad Town Centre (beside entrance to Robinsons)