Mainstream Indian Restaurants are not that common here in the Philippines even though there are a lot of Indians living here in the country or probably I am only living in my own world and never really bothered to find my way to try “uncommon” Indian restaurants. I guess there is only one name that prevails in the Mainstream Indian cuisine, which I won’t bother to mention in this blog post :).
Just a few weeks ago, we got an invitation to try out this newest Indian restaurant in Jupiter Street, Makati. It’s not all the time that Karla and I get to experience Indian cuisine so we immediately agreed to the invitation of the owner of Legend of India, Rakesh Alwani.
Legend of India opened last January 2010. This is not your typical Indian restaurant which have Indian motifs and symbolisms all over. Actually, I’d like to call it Cosmopolitan-Indian theme. The only Indian elements there, aside from the food, are the image of Taj Mahal and the Indian music videos being played in their TV screens. We were greeted by Rakesh’s younger cousin, who entertained us while Rakesh was still on his way to the restaurant.
While choosing the dishes that we’ll try, the waiter gave us Mixed Chevro with Fried Plain Papad. Chevro is just like mixed nuts while the fried Papad is just like Kropeck. The two condiments that you see in the photo above is the universal condiments that you can combine with any dish that you wish. The green one is the Mint Sauce while the other one is the Tamarind Sauce. I’ve been having this before but I didn’t really knew what it’s called!
Most of the dishes that we ordered were the suggestions of Rakesh’s cousin. For our appetizers, we had Mutton Seekh Kebab. FYI, mutton is also lamb. The kebabs were tasty and tender. This is best when it’s paired with the Mint Sauce. 🙂
Another appetizer we ordered was the Chicken Kathi Roll. This is like Peking Duck wrapped in pita bread, but the filling that was used is chicken. The filling is savory. This is one of my favorites in Legend of India.
The Hakka Noodles is not really an Indian cuisine but it shows the fusion of Chinese and Indian style in cooking. You can compare it to the Filipino Pancit Canton but saltier. This one is really good and can be shared by 3-4 people.
For our drinks, we decided to have the Lassi. The Indian feast isn’t complete with this one. Lassi is yogurt in India. This isn’t your typical off-the-shelf yogurt so don’t expect Lassi to be like it. I love yogurt, therefore, I love Lassi! I preferred the Sweet Lassi but Mango Lassi is good too.
We’re actually almost full towards this part of our feast so we struggled to still try the remaining dishes. For our main dishes, we ordered Mutton Biryani and Chicken Tikka Masala. The Mutton Biryani is good fo 3-4 people. I loved their Biryani. I can taste the different spices on it and it’s not overwhelmed with meat.
Chicken Tikka Masala, is one of the most popular Indian dishes lately. I remember seeing this in popular Facebook games such as Restaurant City and others. Legend of India boasts that this is their most popular dish in the menu so they made us try this. To be honest, I was a bit disappointed on this. The curry taste was very strong and it overpowered the whole dish. I’m not sure if it’s just me and my Filipino palate but I felt that it’s too strong. My suggestion would be to lessen it a bit. But in general, the dish was okay and I appreciated that there is an abundance of chicken meat.
Naan is also one of the popular Indian food. Naan is leavened bread made of white flour and baked in tandoor. Instead of just ordering the plain one, it was suggested that we should try the Garlic Naan. Honestly, this was the best Naan I’ve ever tasted. Naan is best eaten when it’s freshly baked. It’s really a good thing that it was served to us fresh. The Garlic Naan smelled good because of the garlic. Yummy!
Now this is the most exciting part, the desserts. In India, their sweets are called Mithais. I’ve noticed that most of their desserts have milk in its composition. This is probably because milk neutralizes the palate. The Mithais that you see above are not the actual size when you order from the server. They are usually bought in kilograms. So if you want to order, just let them know how many grams you can eat. Here are the specific names of each Mithais that you see above: Kaju Katri (cashew, diamond shaped), Pista Mithai (pistachio, green), Gajiar Halwa (orange) and Kalakhan (fresh milk). My most favorite among them is the Pista and the Kaju Katri.
Gulab Jammun @ Php 60 (1 pc), Php 120 (2 pcs)
The Gulab Jammun is probably the most unique dessert I’ve ever tasted here. It’s made of fried powdered milk with rose water syrup. Interesting huh? The fried powdered milk is just like pastillas but the rose water syrup made this dessert one of a kind. This may be common for Indians, but for a Filipino like me, this is something new!
To be honest, it was quite hard for me to describe Indian food for the very reason that I can only compare it to a few restaurants. I was very excited when I was eating and was trying to decipher how to translate the taste to you. But if I will base this on my Filipino (but adventurous) palate, this restaurant is definitely a must-try for people who have adventurous taste buds. The whole dinner was an adventure to me, and also to Karla, because we are both discovering the basics of Indian cuisine which we know is “near-authentic”. As for their prices, they are in the common range for Indian restaurants here. It would be preferred to go there in groups because most of their dishes are for sharing. Budget per person would probably cost around Php 400 – 500.
Their chefs are from India so you can be assured that they are serving the real thing. If you have Indian dishes in mind that is not in the menu, feel free to ask the server and they can ask their Indian cooks if they can prepare this for you. My tip for you guys who are afraid of spicy food, order their lassis so your palates will be neutralized or ask your friendly servers to lessen the spiciness a bit ;).
Legend of India
114B Jupiter street Bel-Air 2
(632) 836 4232