Banking on his passion for Halal food, Hasim Salih Mammah became an epitome of Filipino resiliency when he dared to break through Japanese cuisine in Riyadh. He honed his unconventional trade by servicing the Filipino community in the Saudi Arabian capital with his home-based 100 percent Halal-Asian catering business for nearly 12 years.
And while it may seem an unlikely pairing for most, the question of why there weren’t any Japanese Halal restaurants anywhere in the Philippines, despite Islam being the second-largest religion in the country was a void he wanted to address.
“In pursuit of knowledge for food concepts, I met several Japanese and Asian chefs, including a Filipino executive chef who had the experience and skills in Japanese cuisine that encouraged me to put this business venture,” Hasim said of the Philippines’ first 100 percent Japanese Halal restaurant – Samurai Halal Express.
Despite having opened just this year, Samurai Halal has already been garnering excellent reviews from a diverse range of patrons.
“Located in Terminal 3 at the Ninoy International Airport, Samurai Halal is at the best place to cater not only Filipino-Muslim but also international foodies who wants a fusion of Japanese Halal in their palate,” Store Manager Archie Hidalgo Ravao told Expat.
Samurai Halal uses imported Halal meat and chicken and Halal-authenticated ingredients. It also uses Halal-certified ingredients from Japan, and is manned by a Filipino sushi chef who has mastered the artistry of Japanese cuisine.
On top of the regular Japanese selections, Samurai Halal offers several innovative menu items, such as it ramen bowl with choices of seafood, chicken, and beef – all authentic in taste. Its tempura and furai (fried shrimp), for its part, are handpicked and coated with fine special batter.
Kakkiago is Samurai Halal’s crispy and delicious vegetables fritter made from mixed vegetables strips, served with savory tempura sauce, while Chicken Gyoza (steamed fried wrapped minced chicken and vegetable served with spicy home made gyoza sauce) are some of the other must-try’s in their menu.
Samurai Halal is scheduled to open its second branch next year at the Mall of Asia.
Samurai Halal Express is located at Level 4, Dining Area, Terminal 3, Ninoy Aquino International Airport; for more information, call (0995) 282-8176.
By VIA BAROMA