Verdict: Just like grandma used to make it!
Budget: P300 – P400 per head
After almost 3 weeks of absolutely no carbs in my diet, I got so fed up and wanted all the carbs I could get! All I could think of was having a nice big plate of really flavorful carbs and where else can you get that if not in an Indian restaurant? No, really. Indians eat A LOT of carbs and they don’t even realize it. Rice with potatoes, a side dish of potatoes and a curry with potatoes. Indians also love anything that has extreme flavor! That’s why they can turn something as simple as rice into a mind blowing plate of Biryani.
It doesn’t happen often but there are times I have a meal that leaves me completely speechless. This was one of those times. Despite the mediocre service, the taste of the food managed to make me forget about it. I also enjoyed how the waitresses knew a lot about the food on the menu and how it was prepared so plus points for that! Unlike any other Indian restaurant in the country, this isn’t a fancy place – it is basically a hole in the wall that only Indians seem to know about. The whole time I was there, all the customers that walked in and out we’re all Indian. That’s how you know that the cuisine is authentic.
What we ordered:
Tandoori Chicken – I saw them barbecuing this outside the restaurant when we first entered but I didn’t think much of it (I also wasn’t aware that this was how they made their tandoori because it was dark out and I always thought this dish was made in a clay oven). Later on, I found out that you can actually make this dish using a traditional barbecue grill which is what they chose to do! One order will be enough for 2 as they serve 5 medium sized pieces of chicken. The chicken was not only juicy, it was also the right amount of spicy and savory. This was served with a side of raw onions and 1 Calamansi so you could put the Calamansi extract on the chicken. (You can request for more Calamansi should you need it.) Having a spoonful of hot Jeera Rice, Tandoori Chicken and raw onions was the perfect way to break my diet! It had been exactly what I was looking for and I didn’t even know it.
Zeera/Jeera Rice – This is a very simple dish but it packs a lot of flavor. Zeera/Jeera in English is Cumin Seeds. It is one of the easier rice dishes to prepare and some households have this as their everyday rice because Cumin is known to be very good for the skin and hair. It was my first time having this dish in a restaurant and I was happy to find that it tasted just like it would at home. It can’t get any more authentic than that.
Masala Dosa – This is basically the Indian version of a Crepe. It is a crepe made from fermented rice batter and stuffed with spiced potatoes, green peas, onions. It was served with a bowl of Sambar (lentil based vegetable stew), and coconut chutney (semisolid paste made of coconut, mint, green chili). The Dosa here wasn’t the best but it sure did hit the spot. Although we did leave the Sambar untouched as it barely had any flavor. If you guys ever want to try this dish out, hit me up and I’ll recommend a place that has kick ass Masala Dosa! (It may or may not be my house)
Masala Pappad – This is what I enjoyed the most. I can’t even find the words to explain this, it’s one of my favorite dishes! One order comes with 2 large and flavorful pieces, I can guarantee you that each piece will be bigger than your face. (I can eat 3 orders all by myself though because it’s so light and tasty) Pappad is basically a thin, cripsy food made out of seasoned dough. It is usually served to accompany a dish or it can be eaten as an appetizer or a snack. Masala means spices so this dish is basically a pappad with spices as well as onions, green chili and tomatoes sprinkled on top. Just order it and trust me, you won’t regret it.
Gulab Jamun – The perfect end to a very spicy meal! According to Wikipedia, a Gulab Jamun is a milk-solids based dessert. According to me, it is a little piece of heaven. After having so many different flavors, the milky sweet taste of a Gulab Jamun feels like a warm hug for your tongue. It is sort of a fritter made out of a milky batter and dunked in sugar syrup for your pleasure. My favorite way to eat this is when the Gulab Jamun is really hot, you take a scoop of vanilla ice cream, toss it on top and enjoy! (I couldn’t get a better picture because I got too excited to eat it)
I may be Indian but I don’t always eat Indian food so when I do, it is still such a treat for me! I am glad that there are restaurants in Manila that can serve authentic Indian food which reminds you of your grandmother’s cooking. (That’s right, your grandmother’s and not your mother’s because let’s all admit it, our mother’s food can taste good but our grandmother’s food always tastes better!)
New Delhi Restaurant
Address: 1418 Quirino Avenue cor South Superhighway, Paco, Manila (Beside Shakey’s)
Phone Number: +63 2 562 9160
Operating Hours: 9:00AM – 12:00MN