Take Your Crash Course In Indian Food at This Colorful Kapitolyo Restaurant
The Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala is a must-try!
Unit 1, D-Strip, 20 United Street, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
Open daily from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
(SPOT.ph) Kapitolyo is a haven for foodies who want to discover hidden eateries for their peculiar cravings—that is, if you know where to look. For those scouring the Metro for Indian cuisine, Naan has relocated to an unassuming, restaurant-dense commercial building along United Street.
Previously tucked inside the United Alley Food Hub, this lively joint named after the Indian-style flatbread can sate hankerings for good South Asian food or introduce the uninitiated to the underrated but rich cuisine known for its bold flavors and strong spices.
You immediately know you’re in an Indian restaurant once you get a whiff of those thrilling aromas. At Naan, you are greeted by bright interiors—from the minimalist art on the mustard-yellow wall to the colorful chairs and wooden blinds—and peppy music.
Because most Indian restaurants are situated in central business districts like Makati, owner and chef Aldrin Suprosa wanted Naan to make the cuisine more accessible and affordable. “Filipinos are more willing to try different cuisines, so Naan eases them into Indian cuisine without the intimidating menus and steep prices,” he says.
Naan prides itself in making the classic Indian snack, Vegetable Samosas (P150/four pieces) from scratch—it has a crispy, golden exterior filled with spiced potatoes and green peas. Their sweet yet tangy tamarind chutney is a light complement to this empanada-like treat that is very satisfying but leaves you wanting more.
One of the more interesting chaat or savory snacks is the popular Dahi Puri (P150). There is a lot going on in this dish, which is characteristic of Indian food, says Aldrin. The fresh kachumber (a mix of cucumber, tomatoes, and red onions) and kick of the spiced chickpeas inside the small, crispy flatbread cups are topped with crunchy sev (chickpea flour), pickled onion, parsley, homemade yogurt, and tamarind chutney—a blend of punchy flavors that just hit the spot.
Salted Egg Curry
And because Naan adjusts its menu to the Filipino palate, they offer a lip-smacking Salted Egg Curry (P220), a tomato-based curry with salted-egg yolks topped with hard-boiled egg halves.
Lamb Shank Korma
The Lamb Shank Korma (P595) is 400 grams of braised lamb in korma or curry with fine bits of cashew nuts and served with papad, a toasted flat bread reminiscent of tortilla. Its nutty curry sauce is also somewhat close to the texture of kare-kare.
Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala
Of course, we cannot forget Naan’s signature dish, the Grilled Chicken Tikka Masala (P300), which is a set meal served on a thali or metal plate. The generous serving of grilled chicken thigh, spicy Tikka Masala curry, turmeric rice, naan, kachumber salad, and homemade yogurt sauce with lemon juice on the side is worth every peso. It even includes a gulabjamun, a classic dessert made of milk solids soaked in sugar syrup.
With Indian food not as mainstream as other cuisines yet (at least in the Philippines), Naan is a great find, with traditional dishes that won't cost you an arm and a leg. You can order different dishes with your friends as you down a couple of beer bottles after a long day at work, and take your taste buds on a trip through India's vibrant flavors.
Photos by Marikit Singson