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panther

indian resto ( if you could call it that )

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panther

I tried to reply to udofanni write up of an indian resto he was praising but for some unknown reason the thread is locked .well anyway here in bacolod we decided to try out his recommended resto ,well first impression was it looked like a greasy spoon cafe in the east end of london ,all 6 of us piled in and the place was nearly full thats how small it was how they can call themselves a resto is beyond me .plastic chairs plastic tables that were wobbly ,plain white walls so zero points for decor straight away in fact I don,t know why I did,nt just walk back out again .well I thought since we are are we,ll give them a go .we all had a mix of stuff to try out and i,m sorry udo you got one thing right ,the price everything else was plain ordinary .The naan bread was flat as a pancake and cold the rest was just not what I expected .my guests were all philippino and first timers at an indian and were not impressed either .Its a pity that is the only choice of indian in a city of half a million residents ah well just have to wait until I get back to good ol blighty for a decent indian meal. 

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udonthani

here is the review again http://www.livingincebuforums.com/topic/54295-i-may-have-seen-the-future-of-indian-food-in-the-philippines/

 

if you had actually read the review properly, you would have known not to expect anything like what you would expect at an Indian resto in the UK. The praise I heaped on it was nothing to do with the quality of the food which I agree is rather ordinary (though I only ate alone there once). It was because I thought the guy had pitched it right. Good simple easy to understand menu. Good, cheap pricing. I could just imagine it getting him a living by ordinary Filipino couples for whom even 200 pesos is quite a lot of money to pay for a meal turning up. Which indeed it seems to be doing as it has now been open for a year.

 

.Its a pity that is the only choice of indian in a city of half a million residents ah well just have to wait until I get back to good ol blighty for a decent indian meal. 

he is, unless he is an idiot which I doubt, not interested in foreigner customers like me or you. They are irrelevant to him. There are hardly any in Bacolod. As for Indian food usually being a bit of a disappointment, every Brit expat always says that. They always make a beeline for an Indian even when they live in the US, which usually has a much superior restaurant scene to the UK. US Brit expats always say they never seem to have an Indian meal in the US that is as good as they can get in the UK, even at expensive places.

 

and you don't have to go all the way to the UK from the Philippines, for a decent choice of Indian food. Malaysia is only a couple of hours away by plane, though again it is nothing like the kind of Indian food that is available in the UK.

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Alfred E. Neuman

Maybe it's just a simple eatery whose owner happens to be an Indian national.

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udonthani

Maybe it's just a simple eatery whose owner happens to be an Indian national.

that may be what it is. He appeared to have a Filipino 'manager' - not every foreign national that gets it into their heads, to open up a restaurant or eatery goes to the bother of previously marrying them. Simple eatery, not too bad, and novel. One thing I said to the guy was that I did like the name INDIAN SPICE. Very good name and very easy to understand. The customers in this eatery are just looking for a bit of a change, but not too much because many Filipinos are rather conservative in their eating habits. Literally a bit of spice. For which they might be ready to pay 20% more, than at the pinoy place.

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David_LivinginTalisay

I like 'The Maharaja' when it existed in Cebu Plaza, but it closed down along with the the Lebanese Restaurant 'Cadamus'. The Owner had Indian origins, and that place could have become Indian Cuisine also (or maybe he has opened one elsewhere?).  
Cadamus @ Cebu Plaza  ended up becoming an Irish Bar (taking over the Lease), and that too has relocated Mango Ave I believe).

The owner of 'The Maharaja' has set up the 'Taste of India' @ Country Mall, Banilad.  

Totally different concept  - more of a Fast Food version of an 'Indian'.  Small portions at very reasonable prices and very tasty.  Like the Maharaja, one can ask for dishes to be made hotter (more spicy) and possibly 'boneless' (I don't like chewing on chicken, with it all covered in curry sauce, ones fingers get all sticky - (the exception is eating such in a Restaurant in London, called 'Sticky Fingers' where the food is served to you by sexy girls and you get to lick their sticky fingers - not sure if it was the one owned by Rolling Stones member Bill Wyman. ).

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dark knight

here is the review again http://www.livingincebuforums.com/topic/54295-i-may-have-seen-the-future-of-indian-food-in-the-philippines/

 

if you had actually read the review properly, you would have known not to expect anything like what you would expect at an Indian resto in the UK. The praise I heaped on it was nothing to do with the quality of the food which I agree is rather ordinary (though I only ate alone there once). It was because I thought the guy had pitched it right. Good simple easy to understand menu. Good, cheap pricing. I could just imagine it getting him a living by ordinary Filipino couples for whom even 200 pesos is quite a lot of money to pay for a meal turning up. Which indeed it seems to be doing as it has now been open for a year.

 

he is, unless he is an idiot which I doubt, not interested in foreigner customers like me or you. They are irrelevant to him. There are hardly any in Bacolod. As for Indian food usually being a bit of a disappointment, every Brit expat always says that. They always make a beeline for an Indian even when they live in the US, which usually has a much superior restaurant scene to the UK. US Brit expats always say they never seem to have an Indian meal in the US that is as good as they can get in the UK, even at expensive places.

 

and you don't have to go all the way to the UK from the Philippines, for a decent choice of Indian food. Malaysia is only a couple of hours away by plane, though again it is nothing like the kind of Indian food that is available in the UK.

 

 

That’s not the future.

 

Indian food, because of the import duties one pays to import spices, is relatively expensive to make in the Philippines.

It may start out inexpensive in Mumbai or Singapore but by the time it reaches Manila or Cebu, its cost has tripled. This fact, more than the slim

palettes of the locals, is the main roadblock.

 

Even Mr India runs into this problem and his family operates a store importing these goods. His answer was to offer cheap meals and modest portions and to go for volume. He has more or less done what this Bacolod chap appears to have done and there are lots of foreigners here in cebu.

 

 

But it is not working well because the consistent volume is just not there. He has a branch open now near the hospital and he will try to get the medical crowd.

 

The only way for it to make it worth your while is to pursue fine ,or at least finer dining, and perhaps a buffet for lunch. Discard and marginalize  the budget meals, the students and the tight wads. The 49 peso crowd only pays the bills at carenderias and fast food, again, because of the high volume.

 

The alternative way to do a budget Indian is to self-source a sufficient amount of those spices, dals, and masalas yourself ( or find a way to bring them in  cheaply and therefore illegally).

 

And then you’d still have to convince a population who is pathologically afraid of spices, of  veg, and of change,  to wake up and suddenly smell the chai.  You would probably have better luck convincing a group of indians of the appeal of whole roast pig. Recall that the Indians tried to get Filpinos on board a long time ago and their curry was turned into kare-kare and today has none of the original south asian ingredients.

 

 

It is still better to go for the well-traveled elite and those foreigners who are looking for authenticity and will pay for it.  More

and more average people are traveling out of country and palettes are slowly changing. But go to Singapore

and you will still find furloughed Pinoys clinging to Jollibee.

 

 

 

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udonthani

 

 

 

It is still better to go for the well-traveled elite and those foreigners who are looking for authenticity and will pay for it.More

and more average people are traveling out of country and palettes are slowly changing. But go to Singapore

and you will still find furloughed Pinoys clinging to Jollibee.

 

 

 

I don't agree with this nonsense at all. The numbers of foreigners are so small, they matter not a jot. Thinking that they (really, YOU) matter, is just classic deluded Saint Amerikano Syndrome.  In Thailand every large food court in malls in the big cities now has a little section that sells basic Indian food - and which was not there, say 15 years ago. The Indian food is simple, nothing fancy, is definitely not aimed at either white foreigners, or Indians, and has a price tag about 20% higher than the average Thai fare sold alongside it - because compared to Thai food, for Thais, Indian food is seen as 'exotic', they can get away with charging more.  In the long term, I do not see any reason why the Philippines might not follow this.

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dark knight


 

The Indian spices are already there in thailand and those that are not can be brought overland for a reasonable rate. Thus it
is cheap to produce and still in range of locals even without high volume selling.


 

Also present is a dining public that has no more problem embracing modern Indian food
than their ancestors did absorbing aspects of ancient Indian food centuries ago.


 

The 2 way synergy is there and has always been.

 

Even in present day india, thai food is embraced , except for the curries, which are universally disrespected
as being cloyingly sweet.

 

None of those conditions exist in the Philippines today and will only come in to play through years of intermixing via travel,
and mutual visitations. Indians are here, as they are in most places. but remain a tiny slice, even as it gets bigger with more Indian call centers
arriving. The only locals going to india are the celebs for the obligatory shot in front of the Taj. Trust me, they stick to the hotel food.



 

So to bring real Indian food to the Philippines, the Indian restaurateur must cater to the only people both capable of affording
it and appreciating it. And you are right, it is me and while we are relatively few, collectively we are more than capable of supporting those places that do it the right way.



 

But it is not you, because while you show some basic UK-centric appreciation for Indian food, you lack the
understanding of its supply chain in this country, which lead you to false comparisons and force you to pen a complete misunderstanding of the Filipino palette, which we both know to be false.



 

And because you simply cannot afford it.



 

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udonthani

you are making the mistake, of thinking that the Filipino pallette is constant and never changes ever.

 

if that is the case, then why is there a shwarma and felafel stall in every single shopping mall, however large or small, everywhere in the country?

 

it is because millions upon millions, countless numbers, of Filipinos have lived in the Middle East at some point or points in their lives, and got used to the food there. This is definitely NOT some 'well travelled elite', but ordinary blue collar working class Filipino people.

 

what would have happened, if you had said the word 'pizza', to an ordinary Filipino, back in say 1980?

 

the response you would have got, would have been 'huh? Pizza? What is that?'

 

now you can get pizza, not just in every supermarket freezer in the country, but in the market, served as a on-the-go snack, in even tiny towns. Not just shopping malls. It has penetrated the cuisine.

 

so if you think the Filipino pallette never changes - well, you had better think again. They might be conservative in their dietary habits. But not so conservative, as all that.

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