5.065 Mixed Grilled Plate

-Cycle 5, Item 65-
11 (Tue) March 2014

-Middle Eastern-
Mixed Grilled Plate


from Shawarma Snack Center [catering]

in my office (WHO/WPRO)

-Ermita, Manila-


This is a busy week for the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO) Division of Building Healthy Communities and Populations (DHP).  Concurrently, we're--yes, "we," because I'm technically and spiritually part of the team--hosting three consultations on the following issues: (1) preventable blindness, (2) workers' health, and (3) electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).  Not planned that way, just how things turn out on occasion.  

Our new Al Fresco dining porch, adjoining the cafeteria.

The koi pond, also home to turtles.

Our Regional Director has made a concerted effort to enhance the working environment at WPRO; quite refreshing and morale-boosting to work within an urban oasis--too bad we're not allowed to touch the grass.

Personally, I'd rather eat within an air-conditioned space, but I can see the attraction from a visual perspective.

Shawarma Snack Center is an Arabic restaurant.  Nearby.  That's all that I know about it, for now--soon enough, I'll be checking the place out for myself.  

The spread.

fish kebab (2.5)

grilled squid and shrimp (2.5)

grilled pita, tabouleh, grilled peppers (3.0)

At such consultations, protocol calls for WPRO to arrange a welcome reception for the participants.  The arrangements, including venue (usually somewhere on the WPRO campus), sourcing of food (either WPRO cafeteria or nearby restaurant), and menu selection (what specific items to serve) (subject to approval by someone in the Nutrition unit--seriously, this is WHO), are up to the responsible officer, who may delegate the task to someone else.  

For (2) and (3), which both started today, the receptions were combined into a single event.   Everything was handled by Ella G, one of the division's trusty administrative assistants.  She reserved the Al Fresco dining porch, called up Shawarma Snack Center, and chose a range of mixed grilled items.  

Not to be antisocial, but I was forced to take a plate of goodies back to my office so that I could finish up a few tasks while munching.

The food was excellent, in various ways, under the circumstances.  First, Ella had deliberately ordered only chicken, seafood, and vegetables.  Second, the preparation mostly involved grilling.  As a result, the spread felt very light and healthful.  Third, it was the kind of food that's amenable to being cooked in advance and sitting out on platters for a couple hours without losing much in quality.  Fourth, most importantly, it tasted good.  And fifth, the skewers and pitas made for convenient nibbling, no real silverware required.  For all or some of these reasons, everyone seemed to enjoy the food, most of which was gone within an hour--unusual, as we order amounts according to the people present, many of whom tend to take a couple bites and skip out for better eats elsewhere, resulting in tons of leftovers.

I may consider ordering a similar spread for our upcoming Consultation on Overweight, Obesity, Diabetes, and Law.  

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