Restaurant: Indian Curry House
Address: 57 Almendras Mabolo Cebu City
Operating Hours: Mondays to Saturdays only for dinner from 6:30pm-11:30
Mode of Payment: Cash
Contact Number: +639238264033
Text & Photos by Andrew “Doyzkie” Buenaviaje
The vibrant colors of spices and herbs used in each Indian dish define how peppy life in India is. I was lucky enough to get to know India more through a gastronomic trip at Indian Curry House, a 6 month old folksy Indian joint in Mabolo. Adding personal twists to traditional southern Indian cuisine, Soni Bhagwan brought and shared Indian culture through food to Cebu. Soni exclaims that a true Indian cuisine is distinguished by the capacious use of various Indian spices and herbs, and of course an Indian cook or a chef with equivalent extensive knowledge of preparing Indian dishes. The humble air-conditioned 24-30 person capacity restaurant (plus 10 customers dining al fresco) boasts authentic Indian dishes at pocket friendly prices, which ranges from 20php-250php.
Aroma of curry sates the air as the couple on the other table breaks into half a piece of Vegetable Samosa. Crunchy crust with smooth potato cubes, green peas, curry and other spices, is a stuffed deep-fried snack / appetizer famous in India. The appetizer resembles and tastes much like of our native filled deep fried snack, empanada but with a spicy Indian kick and a crunchier crust. Soni shares that his Samosa is a favorite among his Filipino customers, Japanese guests (some even flies the Samosa to Japan) and some Cebu hotels orders from Indian Curry House. To complete the Indian appetizer experience, be sure to slide some coriander paste on the filling.
Indian Curry House Vegetable Biryani is golden yellow-spiced basmati rice with vegetable dish and is one of the best sellers of Indian Curry House. The flare of coriander and other spices wrapped the long grain rice and then as you chew gives a clean grainy finish. Add yogurt for more flavor. This dish would be still appealing to the general Filipino palate or Filipino version of Biryani exists in Pampanga but is prepared with saffron instead of Indian spices. And also a version widespread in Mindanao among our Muslim brethren are enjoyed but with local spices.
Choose to have it extremely or mildly spicy, Curry Mutton is made of tender lamb meat simmered in yoghurt and tomato gravy. Goes well with a cup of plain rice and a glass of Mango lassi. The serving is good for sharing.
Wrapping up my Indian culinary journey, a serving of roti and a cup of Indian Tea. Flat Indian bread made with wheat flour and salt is different from the roti I got accustomed to served in Asian restaurants in Cebu wherein the taste is similar to a toasted crepe and then dipped in curry sauce, which is of Singapore-Indian origin. Sweet smell of cinnamon and rose with a hint of cumin arises from the aroma of the Indian tea and gets more interesting as you sip.
Trying food outside our comfort zone gives us a wider knowledge on food and the culture where they originated. Dinner at the Indian Curry House and getting acquainted with Indian cook and owner Soni Bhagwan was an adventure. And will definitely be back for more food trips trying other dishes on the menu.