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The Holi Festival is the biggest color festival in India. People throw special colored powder in the air or to each other, resulting in huge fun and a huge splattering of color.
Thankfully, we get a slice of that rainbow pie, as the Asia Society of the Philippines brings the festival to the Philippines, the third year in the row. It happens on Sun, Mar 1, in SM by the Bay at the MOA Complex in Pasay. Experience it and we promise you, you’ll go home with red arms and green hair, and blue hands. Sounds fun, right?
In honor of the Holi Festival, we rounded up 6 of the yummiest Indian restaurants in Metro Manila. Enjoy!
Festejo Building, 816 Arnaiz Ave, Makati. 11am-11pm. +63 2 8444924
Kashmir is the oldest fine-dining Indian restaurant in Metro Manila. While it has two locations, we recommend the one in Makati. Its interiors are ever so dramatic: Low lights, wooden carvings, red walls, plush and colorful sofas, the works. Add an attentive wait staff and you’ll feel like royalty.
Order: Anything from Kashmir’s Tandoori menu is, hands down, the best. The Murgh Ka-Tinka (PHP450) is boneless chicken marinated in yoghurt and spice. The Tandoori Machhli (PHP550), lapu-lapu marinated in spice and curd and then broiled in a tandoor oven, is the specialty of the house.
Swagat Indian Cuisine
119 Rada St, Legazpi Village, Makati; +63 2 5015079. Mon-Fri 9am-10pm, Sat 9am-9pm
Afraid of Indian food because you find it too spicy? Swing by Swagat. It’s long been a fixture in Legazpi Village, serving delicious home-cooked Indian food. At Swagat, spices don’t take front and center of the dish. Komal Khanchandani, the lady behind Swagat, certainly knows how to handle spices so that dishes only only a hint of them. Everything, then, comes together and delights you.
Order: The Machchi Masala (PHP130) with buttered roti is our favorite in Swagat. It is served hot off the pan, with the fish swimming in red sauce. Don’t let that scare you. Komal handles the spices well and the fish is cooked just right so its sweet seafood flavor shines through and through.
Legend of India
114B Jupiter St, Bel-Air 2, Makati. +63 2 8364232. 11:30am-3pm, 6-10:30pm
Legend of India prides itself in having two kitchens: one for purely vegetarian purposes and the other for carnivores. Its chefs are flown straight from Northern India — yes, Legend of India makes that distinction with regard to the kind of Indian cuisine it serves. Food from Northern India are thicker and creamier than the usua;, which is to say it’s hearty and yum.
Order: The Mutton Masala (PHP440), which comes with egg and spices, is one of the more underrated items on the menu. Try the Vodka Gol Gappas (PHP250), which are flaky buns stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas, is served with vodka mint water. Photo: Legend of India/Facebook
New Bombay Indian Cuisine
G/F Tower 1, The Columns Condominium, Ayala Avenue, Makati. 10:30am-11:30pm. +63 2 901 3275
Because of the number of locations that New Bombay has — there are now 5 branches scattered all over Metro Manila — not to mention its affordable price points, this Indian restaurant is easily the most accessible of the lot.
Order: The Vegetable Kofta (PHP265) is a huge mound of mixed vegetables drowning in fiery red sauce. Pair it with a chapatti (PHP30) and if coming from a long day, a bottle of Indian beer (PHP115) and you’re solved.
Queens at Bollywood
3/F Greenbelt 3, Ayala Center, Makati. Sun-Thurs 12pm-11:30pm, Fri & Sat 12pm-1:30am
The opulent interiors, the reference to India’s film industry, and of course, the food make eating at Queens At Bollywood more than just a food trip. Queens At Bollywood is actually the second branch of Queens, which is located in Jupiter. Unlike the original location though, the menu is more concise and more at point.
Order: The Chicken Dhal Sag (PHP419) is lovely, but you can’t go wrong with the Rogan Josh (PHP340): mutton cooked in masala with saffron and yogurt.
Photo: Queens at Bollywood/Facebook
Om Lifestyle and Café
2/F Fox Square Building, 53 Connecticut St, Northeast Greenhills San Juan. +63 2 7057072. 11am-8pm
The less-than-a-year-old Om is a nice welcome change to the plethora of Chinese choices found inGreenhills. It’s a small boutique where all things Indian converge: fashion, décor, and food. Unlike other Indian restaurants, Om keeps its menu short and sweet. Yet another welcome change from the dizzying array of most Indian menus in town.
Order: The Chicken Tikka (PHP180) is both a best-selling item and the house speciality. The Pakoras (PHP120) is an awesome snack. Trade the expected lassi with Masala Chai (PHP80) and you’re good to go.