In every mall and grocery store, there’s always a food stall selling shawarma wraps. Shawarma-Wrap Food Shack does it a little differently, though. Instead of being in a crowded mall or bus terminal, it’s located at the ground floor of the HMA Building in Makati.
Another thing that sets this restaurant apart from the dime-a-dozen shawarma places is the excellent vibes they’re serving up along with your meal.
@nolisoli.ph Aside from the wraps, the minatamis na saging was our favorite 😋 #foodtokph #restaurantsph #shawarma #foodieph ♬ Cooking Show / Lunch / Cooking / Cuba(855079) – RIKIYA
Shawarma-Wrap Food Shack is the latest concept from HMA Concepts, the same group that brought us Assembly Hall Coffee and HereAfter. In the group’s true fashion, they do things a little differently.
Comfort food is the name of the game at Shawarma-Wrap—specifically college comfort food that’s all grown up. All, of course, in a setting that also serves up some excellent ambiance.
Let’s do the time warp
Walking into Shawarma-Wrap feels a little like walking into a time warp.
The first thing you see at the restaurant’s entrance is the funky orange door with wavy cutouts—a clear indicator of a good time. When you walk in, you’re immediately bathed in a vibrant neon glow, which mostly comes from the recessed lighting in the ceiling and the huge neon shawarma sign hanging by the door.
Aside from the vivid oranges and purples in the restaurant, pink is also a color you’ll be seeing a lot of. The wavy cut-out table, one of the refrigerators, and even the garbage can is decked out in a bright, vivid pink color to match the rest of the restaurant’s aesthetic—very modern disco chic.
The walls are also decked out in various illustrated posters showing the characters you’ll find on their menu—like Mr. Shawarma, Mrs. Siomai, and Beshie Fries.
There’s even some highly danceable, bright, and funky pop music playing in the background, which adds to the space’s overall energetic and fun vibe.
A deliciously funky time
Foodwise, the restaurant’s main event is its namesake—the shawarma wrap.
There’s a large, open shawarma rotisserie in the kitchen that’s always cooking up a literal mountain of spiced meat. The pita bread is toasted on a dry pan for an extra layer of flavor, thanks to the toasted bits. The dry pan is essential to make sure things don’t get greasy.
The wraps are served hot and fresh with an assortment of vegetables (like tomatoes, cucumbers, and the elusive sliced white onion), some fries, and a garlic sauce that’s not spicy enough to be considered spicy, but still delivers a rich and creamy kick.
The wraps may look a little conservative in size, but they’re actually hearty and filling as a meal. It’s loaded up with enough spiced beef and vegetables to keep you going through the day. Or maybe to push you out of your afternoon daze if you’re having it as an afternoon snack.
If a wrap isn’t much your speed (or if your appetite demands more than pita bread), the restaurant also serves shawarma rice with the same ingredients. The rice iteration of the meal is just as good (if not better, for rice fans) as the wrap.
A serving of siomai with a side of rice has been everyone’s go-to meal at some point (most likely during our university days). It also happens to be one of the restaurant’s other main attractions. Six pieces of freshly steamed siomai are served on a bed of steaming white rice and topped with a spicy chili crunch oil—with calamansi on the side for drizzling, of course.
If the vibe you’re going for isn’t as much of a meal as it is pica-pica or pulutan, they also serve an a la carte version of the siomai without rice.
No matter how full you are after your meal, dessert at Shawarma-Wrap is a must. Their minatamis na saging is a fitting closer for your meal here. It’s saba stewed in sugar until just cooked through and topped with cream. As the sugar melts, it turns into a caramel sauce that’s served alongside the saba.
It’s a sweet—and surprisingly light—treat that hits all the right spots after a meaty meal.
Coffee, drinks, and (finally) a meal
Shawarma-Wrap is a necessary addition to the residents of the HMA building. After the success of previous concepts like Assembly Hall Coffee and HereAfter, the restaurant finally ticks off the box for serving fresh, hot, and filling meals.
While the restaurant closes a little early at 7 p.m. on weekdays, it’s open until 2 a.m. on Saturday for when the HereAfter crowd is craving for more than just bar chow.
For people working flexible jobs where you’re not required to show up in the office, you can spend the whole working day or quiet weekend at the building and (finally!) have a great lunch or dinner without having to wander off too far away.
And we have an inkling that more concepts are coming soon.
It’s really only a matter of time.
Shawarma-Shack Food Shack is located on the ground floor of the HMA 773 Building, J.P. Rizal Ave., Makati City
Open from Mondays to Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.