I went on a quest to try every Indian restaurant I could find in Cebu City. First was Zayka along Juana Osmeña Street (which had mysteriously disappeared last time I checked...where could it have disappeared to?), then Indian Curry House in the backroads of Mabolo, then Firozian Indian Tea House near Cebu Doctors Hospital, and now Mr. India in Gaisano Country Mall. Why this itch to check out every Indian restaurant in the city? I could say it's because I am turning vegetarian, but I would be lying. Truth is, I just want to.
Mr. India tried to make me feel like I was in India. The restaurant's background music—when the TV wasn't showing Bollywood movies or Indian music videos—was Indian music. The walls were painted in the nation's flag's colors: saffron, white, and green. Pictures of buildings and scenes around India adorned the walls. The owners, both Indian nationals, manned the counter. One thing was missing. I think they should change the staff uniform to a sari.
Mr. India's menu is filled with choices with reasonable prices: snacks (Php49-99), rice bowls (Php49-59), meals (Php49-120), biryani (Php119-159), grilled specials (Php79-250), desserts (Php39-60), and drinks (Php20-59). Mr. India also has non-veg options.
Veggie Samosas (left) and Aloo Tikki (right)
The first time I tried Mr. India's veggie samosas was when my boss, who is Indian (I think that should be an indicator that this is something good), brought some to the office. It was yum at first bite and second bite and third bite, until the last bite. The veggie samosas were stuffed with spiced potatoes, onions, peas, and carrots. Aloo tikki are veggie patties. To me, it tasted like the samosas without the pastry shell. Both Veggie Samosa and Aloo Tikki are served with green chutney and sweet chutney sauce.
Veggie Thali (left) and Keema Paratha (right)
The veggie thali (thali means plate) is a set meal which includes, clockwise from upper left: kheer, a dessert made with rice and milk (tastes like sweet rice porridge); vegetables; dal (lentils); naan paratha; papadam (the thin round, crisp cracker); and rice. The keema paratha is paratha filled with minced chicken, though I could not really taste the chicken. The keema paratha comes with papadam.
The quarter leg of tandoori chicken comes with rice. A tandoor is a clay oven. Tandoori chicken is chicken marinated in yogurt, seasoned with spices, including chilies, and cooked in a clay oven. This dish is a bit spicy. I think you can request them to turn down the spices.
Veggie Curry Rice Bowl
The veggie curry rice bowl is the best veggie curry I have tasted. The vegetables were soft, just the way I like it. I asked for this to be mildly spicy, and not their regular level of spiciness, which I think would be too fiery for me.
Mango lassi, a mango-flavored yogurt drink. This was too sweet for me. Maybe if I had eaten something spicy, I would have appreciated its sweetness (I had this drink when I ate the veggie thali).
I have been to Mr. India four times, thus the six different dishes above. Having it all on one go would render me in a coma.
Ground floor, Gaisano Country Mall, Banilad, Cebu City
(032) 260 1833
How Mr. India made Mr. Mustachio an Indian food lover:
Thali (set meal) Php 99
Tandoori chicken (quarter leg) Php 79
Veggie Samosas (2 pcs.) Php 49
Aloo Tikki (2 pcs.) Php 49
Veggie Curry Rice Bowl Php 49
Keema Paratha Php 59
Mango Lassi Php 59