In a relatively ordinary work day and in a semi-solo food adventure, our very giddy department leader took us out for a team lunch at the Royal Indian Curry House.
From my past experiences, I never really held high hopes for great and authentic Indian food in the Metro after being disappointed several times (with the exception of Swagat Indian Cuisine), but I decided to suspend disbelief for the time being. After that, I safely attest that I was greatly surprised and satisfied here afterwards.
For this solo adventure, our team had the Chicken Korma, Mutton Rogan Josh, and Palak Paneer, with some Hydearabadi Biryani.
The Chicken Korma, like most Indian cuisine, was a flavorful mix of spices with a slight tang with each bite, plus aromatic to boot. While rather good itself, this had been perhaps my least favorite for this meal, only because I preferred my curry with a little bit more kick to it.
The Mutton Rogan Josh was, for the lack of a better word, simply heavenly. The clash and complement of spices such as ginger and garam masala left its mark on each tender morsel of mutton, and blended well with the rice and naan. My palate appreciated the balance of intertwined flavors and the heat that came along with it. The mutton was tender, the curry was sublime, and I was rather happy for it because it brought me back to my first forays into Indian cuisine in a foreign land.
The Palak Paneer, a combination of a smooth spinach curry and bite-sized pieces of cottage cheese, was what we needed to temper the strong flavors of the korma and rogan josh. Milder on the meal, but just as flavorful in its own way.
And lastly, the Hydearabadi Biryani was rather deceiving at first glance. It was served on a small clay pot and covered by some bread on top. But like a gift, once we opened the top, the steam from the basmati rice cooked within and the mix of spices, lamb chunks and rib made for a tantalizing call to lunch. It was also rather deceiving because the team of five people was full with only one order of this and a few piece of freshly cooked naan.
To sum up my entire experience at Royal Indian Curry House and how good my meal here was, I ordered extra naan and took the three leftover curries to school later that night for a hearty dinner.
Food Score: 5/5: Oddly, I may be picky with my Indian food, but Royal Indian Curry House beats most everything I’ve ever eaten before. It’s not easy combining several elements such as flavor, heat, and tender meat in one go, but they’ve really done it well.
Ambiance Score: 4/5: The place was a mix of a typical building set up in Manila with décor, embellishments, and paintings from and inspired by Indian culture and its neighbors.
Service Score: 4.5/5: Even as the only people on the second floor at the time, there was always a server or two ready to take care of our needs and follow up orders.
GERD Score: 4/5: Indian cuisine does have plenty of heat and spices which could set someone with heartburn off if they pick out the wrong choice. However, it is offset with the numerous menu items to choose from. In addition to that, the yogurt does help significantly to ease those problems.
Neurodivergent Score: 4/5: Some spices and seasoning combinations may not be so great for sensitive individuals. However there is rice for those who cannot tolerate gluten, lassi for those who need their probiotic fix, and a plethora of other foods to suit various neurodivergent sensitivities.
Team Glasses Score: 4.5/5: My experience here was great and would say that it should be worth a try with a slight caveat of needing friends to come along because of the nature of Indian Cuisine. But even then, Indian food is meant to be shared amongst friends, family, and loved ones.