When the first returning OFWs from the Middle East brought back shawarma, they knew they had a hit on their hands. Such a hit, in fact, that we Pinoys very soon had our own versions. One of the best-done versions I have to say is from Food Channel, a shawarma and snack chain that originated in a kiosk by an escalator at the ground floor of Virra Mall in Greenhills in the early 90s, spreading all over the metropolis and finally coming to BF Homes, their first branch at the south. Cat and I got to know Food Channel BF Homes franchisers JP and Joyce when we went to try them out.
Beef Shawarma & Beef Shawarma with Rice
At first I didn't recall that I'd eaten at Food Channel's Greenhills stall before, but the signage and the menu were somehow familiar. Then JP told us its origins, and I had it -- I'd been noshing on Food Channel's shawarma since the 1990s. They now offer a wider variety of very affordable, below Php100 food choices. Aside from their signature Beef Shawarma with Cheese, we also tried the Shawarma Rice, the Korean Beef Rice, and the Barbecue Rice.
Food Channel's All Beef Shawarma is a real Pinoy shawarma, made to satisfy the bottomless hunger of students and late-night snackers. It's literally bursting with crunchy beef, made heftier with the addition of cheese and a side of french fries (yes, shawarma and fries!). For the size, amount and quality of beef you're getting, this shawarma is well worth its price of PhP 95. It's not filled with as much onion and tomato like Lebanese shawarma, but the Lebanese-style garlic sauce - thick, smooth, and creamy -- is still there, and the spicy sauce is very good. For those with a really big appetite -- note that the Beef Shawarma is already a meal in itself -- the Shawarma Rice is the same shawarma served with a cup of Java rice.
Korean Beef Rice
The Korean Beef Rice is another meal for those days when you're desperately in need of something good to fill you up, fast. Flash-cooked strips of tender beef, marinated in sweet Korean-style marinade and served on a bed of caramelized onion, this is a treat I can definitely go for after a long night of gaming or writing when the body inevitably demands some munchies.
Same goes for the Barbecue, which to our surprise was cut really thick. I've gotten used to barbecue from the neighborhood stall, which as typical for barbecue is cut thin for fast cooking; Food Channel's is thick yet very tender, the sweet-savory flavor of the marinade soaking through and through. You can literally sink your teeth into this one!
Other goodies you may like are their Tapsilog, Sisig, Korean Beef, Gourmet Tuna Wrap, and Fried Siomai to list a few. This branch even serves breakfast comfort foods all day - the bestsellers are their Tuna Shitake Mushroom Melt Omelette, Blueberry Pancakes, and Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
Food Channel BF Homes has targeted the early morning risers to the late sleepers and everyone in between by opening its doors from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m. Adding enjoyment to your dining experience is an entertainment set and free WiFi. They’ve just opened their catering services in time for the Christmas season and will soon offer free deliveries as well.