Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Bombay Restaurant (Glorietta 3) and Chariya Thai Kitchen Restaurant (168 mall): A taste of India and Thailand I'd like to revisit

New Bombay Restaurant

I have passed by New Bombay Restaurant enough times to finally try the place. Its interiors are intriguing. The place has elaborately designed chairs and tables that reminded me of Indian royalty. I thought to myself, someone this creative visually must also be adventurous with their food. So when I stepped in one lunchtime, I expected the unexpected. And since I don't have a clue what to order I asked the waitress what their bestseller was and she replied that it was their Chicken Tikka Masala.

And to accompany this dish, I also ordered their flavored rice that had sweet dried fruits and herbs in it. I thought if I was going to be adventurous, might as well also try it with my rice selection. Going back to the Masala, I heard somewhere that this word meant Curry in India. I half-expected that it would look like the usual Filipino inspired chicken curry that we serve. But the masala brought to me was almost drowned in red sauce. The chunks of chicken breast was submerged in it. It didn't look appetizing but since its my first time in what looks like an authentic Indian restaurant, I tried to keep an open mind.

And so I tasted the Masala, all the while thinking that this is just another curry I can make in my own kitchen. But I was wrong. There were different herbs and spices that were used to marinate the chicken and infused in the sauce. And this resulted in a synergistic combination of flavors that made me want for more. I tasted the sauce again and again to get an idea what spices were used because I was amazed. How could something look so ordinary taste this good? And then I remember some of the Indian cooking shows I watched in the past, I know the secret is in the spices and herbs. One must be very familiar with each of these to come up with a great flavor. You must know how to balance the heat of the spices and mintiness of the herbs. So I'm guessing that there must have been coriander, cumin, maybe yoghurt, tomato sauce, red curry and other spices unknown to me.

Overall, I really liked it and just so you won't burn your tongue, request them to keep it a little mild. The rice also tasted authentic. I love the play of color and the texture you get with the nuts. And since the Chicken Tikka Masala is their bestseller ( now I know why) maybe they can enhance its presentation a bit.

The picture above came from the New Bombay stall in Glorietta foodcourt. It seems that here, they re-named the Chicken Tikka Masala as Buttered chicken ( taste almost the same but the flavor is a little milder) and the rice is called biryani rice (replaced dried fruits and nuts with vegetables)..If you want it more authentic, try their restaurant near Bibliarch also in Glorietta)

Chariya Thai Kitchen

The 168 mall known by almost all Filipino bargain hunters is one of the least places you'd expect to find a culinary treasure. Like New Bombay, I often pass by Chariya Thai Kitchen while scouring the different establishments in the 168 food court. I was not sure if the food will taste like real Thai food. And that's a laugh since I don't know what it tasted like anyway without having been to Thailand myself. So one day after jostling my way from the side streets of Divisoria and meeting up with my husband in 168 foodcourt, I finally decided to try this Thai food I was putting off. I was envious of him gobbling down his beloved ramen that I said to myself if it tasted horrible, I'll just chalk it down to experience. So I ordered their Red Curry Chicken (okay, I admit, I'm a sucker for chicken curry). And I was glad I took the leap.

Chariya's Kitchen Red Curry Chicken had a good combination of spiciness and sweetness. And even if it was the milder curry version I requested, I can still taste the hint of spiciness which was good. The sweetness of the small bits of ubod in the dish was a good complement to its spiciness because together it was delicious. And because I loved their Thai flavor, I also ordered their Pad Thai. Unlike the Pad Thai I make at home, the Filipinized version (translation, sweet), theirs were a little bit on the sour side. And I guess this is the more authentic Pad Thai because I know it usually has tamarind stock and sugar in it.

Plus, I also love their Thai Iced Tea. The right mix of the tea and milk was similar to the Thai Iced Tea I had in a Thai restaurant in New York. It complemented the Thai dishes I had. Its sweetness counteracted the spiciness of the Red Curry Chicken and the sourness of the Pad Thai. I can't believe I was exposed to this array of flavors in one unassuming stall in 168 mall. Next time I'm in that area, I'll make sure to check out their other dishes too.

No comments:

Post a Comment