Mouthful Delights: Indus Marries Sumptious Indian Cuisine with Contemporary Design - LA Wine & Dine

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One of the newest players on the local dining scene is Indus. It is located right in the middle of cosmopolitan Bonifacio Global City, in an area surrounded by both upscale apartments and offices.

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Indus looks different from any Indian restaurant I’ve ever been in. The contemporary décor has as its showpiece a modern chandelier. The walls are in muted yellow and gray geometric print, with tables in dark marble.

The only obvious nod to anything from India is the domed shape above the entrance, and the semi-private rooms named after Indian rivers: Ganges and Yamuna (and the restaurant itself, Indus).

To see the rest you must understand a little bit about India’s history and culture, like the beveled-edge glass wall that pays homage to classic Indian architecture, and a giant photo of an Indian man on horseback during a game of tent-pegging.

There is an anecdote connected to that photo: during a game between Indians and the Irish, the Indians got the Irish so drunk the night before, they were barely useful on the field during the next day’s game. So if you were to take shots of alcohol at the bar inside the restaurant, you will be drinking the same size shots as the Irish did.

The day I ate at Indus, the chef was not there to meet me. General manager Aviegail Alberto mentioned that he was in India, and he would be back next week. According to Alberto, he periodically makes these trips to the homeland, bringing back with him spices that are yet to be locally available in the Philippines.

Today’s meal was the tandoori set, which started with an amusebouche, plated on a roti chip. This bite-sized serving had the effect of instantly brightening the palate, a refreshing zing that served as a reminder that I was going on a culinary adventure.

As I waited for the next serving, I was given a glass of mango lassi. Lassi is the regional name for buttermilk, a yogurt-based drink with water, spices, and fruit. As the name implies, I ordered the version mixed with fruit. Topping the drink was an edible paper with a mandala pattern printed on it. Alberto jokes that first-time visitors usually ask, “Is this a coaster?”

Following this was the paneer tikka, homemade cottage cheese marinated with cream and spices. I am a huge fan of paneer: my favorite Indian dish is palak paneer, which is cottage cheese enveloped in the spinach puree. This is also on the menu, but for this particular set, they serve the paneer without the puree.

In quick succession, plates with chicken malai tikka, tandoori prawns, and lamb chops were served. I did not think that lamb chops would go well in an Indian restaurant, but it was flavorful, with the meat being tender. It was one of the most enjoyable dishes I had.

The dal makhani and butter chicken was next. As a huge fan of curries, these two were probably my favorites. Each dip of the naan and roti (you can’t eat at an Indian restaurant without naan or roti) into these savory bowls, quickly eaten, was a sensorial experience. The mushroom galouti was quite enjoyable, too, a quiet star in its own right.

Indian desserts for me are often an afterthought: I am always too full to enjoy them after a sumptuous meal like this. But alternating bites of their dessert platter gave a triumphant ending to my Indus experience.


This story first came out in the June 2022 issue of Lifestyle Asia.

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