For lunch, I met up with friends in a small ... dinnerette. How do you describe a place that is not quite a hole in the wall, not quite a bistro, that services a primarily business clientele in the Salcedo Village area for lunch, while the dinner crowd tends towards those avoiding traffic and the neighborhood "ethnics"?
Sinbad is that kind of place. Serves Middle eastern/indian ethnic food, has enough space for 25 to 30 people (the latter would be quite snug), and decorated with that relatively kitschy interior (a knockoff heiroglyphic wall hanging, alongside Bollywood music) sensibility. An upscale canteen perhaps is the best short description for it. And it serves the frugal hordes well, with waiters providing decent service (no mess ups with the drinks and food delivery, plus they took our comments re: the baba ghanoush in good stead). I caught sight of a female chef in the kitchen, and a Sikh eating heartily, while another Middle Eastern couple were sampling the small dishes of hummus and fatoush.
Our group of four had two kebabs (beef and lamb), a chicken tandoori set, and a madras beef stew, and the order of baba (made fresh, but too much lemon tarted it up.). Sinbad uses Australian cuts of beef and lamb; I found the lamb to be decent, not as tender as I normally prefer, but it was a decent kebab. E ordered the chicken and rated it well, saying the chicken breast was tender. C chose the beef stew, and liked the "unspicyness" of it. Hmmmm, oh well.
We all spent an average of P160 for food (no one was in the mood to add drinks, so tack on another P40 for drinks). A nice little lunch neighborhood place for those in the Salcedo area.
Sinbad is along San Agustin St, near the corner of Valero and Rufino/Herrera.