food + drinks by Emil Hofileña

Pushing Against the Wind

Kite Kebab Bar brings genuine warmth and authenticity to the Mediterranean street food scene.

Entreprenur Kian Kazemi’s somewhat rebellious personality was what first spurred him to pursue opening Kite. His family is behind the similarly Mediterranean-themed, Persia Grill, but he recognizes Kite as his passion project; a venture that he wanted full creative control over to separate himself from his family’s business. “Lord of the Rings, Persia Grill. The Hobbit, Kite,” Kazemi explains. “That’s my analogy.”

Kite features all the essentials one might expect from a kebab bar (tabbouleh, hummus, falafel, keema, gyros, and biryani to name a few), but stands apart due to its unbeatable value. Food choices are surprisingly healthy, go great with beer, and mostly come in at under P200. It’s a straightforward, no-fuss approach to good, high-quality Mediterranean food.

kite-2One of the most important things that Kazemi wanted to establish through Kite was the sense of community that he wanted foster. The restaurant is fashioned out of an old Poblacion home and only uses upcycled material—a characteristic that gives Kite a homeliness that Kazemi is proud of, and lends to its laid-back atmosphere as a whole. The result is a vibe that is welcoming and worry-free; one that eases customers into relishing their food and having a good time.

kite-5The more Kazemi describes the sense of community and relaxed nature of Kite, the more it becomes apparent that most of its success and beloved reputation is thanks to his own warmth and kindness. “When I created this place, I told myself I just want to attract like-minded people who enjoy the same passions as I do,” he says.

Moving forward, he mentions that he has received many opportunities to expand this passion project into a franchise. Kazemi plans to keep his options open for now, but whatever corner of the Metro he and his businesses land in, those places will probably shine a little brighter with him around.

kite-4Photography by Renzo Navarro

Emil Hofileña
Emil is a staff writer at Rogue Media. He spends way too much time and money watching movies, crying to Hamilton, and fawning over Carly Rae Jepsen. He believes all stories are worth telling. Follow him on Youtube at and on Twitter at @EmilHofilena.
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