Jillian Is Your Friend

{ramblings & chronicles on food x music}

Nepal is in Indonesia: Bhai Shaab Punjabi

Ay te ngaa wala Indonesian food haw?! Diba ang Nepal sa Indonesia?! (Why isn’t there any Indonesian food?! Isn’t Nepal in Indonesia?!)”

Innah, KR & my eyes widened at this clearly mindscrewed lady who was a screaming know-it-all at the Indian restaurant we were visiting today. I do not mean to stereotype, but this woman was obviously a loudmouthed OFW who wants everyone to know she worked outside the country. Aside from her manic talking that disturbed the peace, we definitely had a good time at Bhai Shaab Punjabi. Finally! A legit Indian restaurant in Iloilo!

A high school teacher of mine tipped me off that this place existed since I am one of the few people who look for Indian cuisine in this city. We found it in Villa & amidst the hot weather, we decided to brave the non-airconditioned eatery — not to mention the spices used in the food. We arrive at Bhai Shaab & are immediately greeted by Filipina waitresses with Filipina hospitality. Then the woman goes “Ngaa waay kamo ga Arab?! Diba taga Nepal kamo?! (Why aren’t you talking in Arab? Aren’t you from Nepal?)” After concluding that her geography (and mind) is indeed unstable, we ask the waitresses to bring us their house specialties since we were new to the place.

We order servings of Iced Milk Tea (Php30) first & I happily sip the spiced drink which is reminiscent of a Chai Tea Latte which I love so much. Then arrives our Chicken Korma (Php95) — a rich & mildly spicy curry of sorts which was delicious although I had to take gulps of my milk tea to soothe my screaming tastebuds. The Chicken Curry with Egg (Php120) was more or less the same with the curry but was more creamy because of the egg yolk. Both dishes were perfect with the long grained steamed rice (Php45) which was spiced as well. My favourite among the three was the Tandoori Mixed Grill (Php85) — clay cooked chicken cuts with peppers & onions. So, so tender & flavourful which would have been perfect with either rice or chapati. “Ngaa wala filling inyo chapati haw?! (Why isn’t there filling in your chapati?)” screams the woman. By this time I am staring daggers at her ignorance of flat bread but continue to enjoy the food anyway.

Chicken Korma, Chicken Curry With Egg & Tandoori Mixed Grill

Iced Milk Tea & Potato Samosa

The menu is well-equipped with a very good variety of dishes:

Appetizers such as spring rolls, momos (dumplings) & pakoda (sweet & sour dish) within the range of Php16-120; Chicken such as tikka (buttered) & masala (spiced) within the range of Php90-120; Mutton such as aloo (minced & served with potatoes), rogan (curry) & bhuna (boneless & cooked in dry sauce) within the range of Php85-130; Seafood such as chili prawn or fried noodles with prawn within the range of Php70-120; Tandoori-cooked (marinated & oven cooked) dishes like kebabs of lamb, fish & chicken for prices within Php75-240; Vegetables like dal (lentil curry), eggplant curry or spicy potato balls within the price range of Php45-65; Basmati Rice of all varieties such as lemon or saffron rice all good for 1 within the price of Php45-140; Indian & Nepali bread like chapati, roti or naan for Php12-35/pc.

Aside from milk tea, there is an interesting range of drinks: lassi (yoghurt), Masala tea & your usual softdrinks & beer. Also, my visits to Indian restaurants are never complete with my search for samosa & thankfully they had potato ones (Php16/pc). I got them to go & relative to it being misshapen & a little oily for me, the taste was authentic & not to mention delicious. The Nepalese cook & owner really brought the flavours of India & Nepal to Iloilo.
Indi ko kainchindi ngaa wala Malaysian food diri! (I cannot understand why there isn’t Malaysian food here!)” As we pay our reasonably priced bill, we roll our eyes at the woman & Innah rants in her breath “Te pa InterContinental Manila ka nalang, girl! (Then just go to InterContinental Manila, girl!)” And we laugh but leave in high spirits because of the good food & hospitality. We already have a list fo what to have the next time we come around.
Bhai Shaab Punjabi is a little carinderia type eatery located beside Winner’s Gym in Villa, a little red & white aluminum shack. It is best to visit during lunch time or early merienda time.

12 comments on “Nepal is in Indonesia: Bhai Shaab Punjabi

  1. ayabaw
    October 19, 2011

    Perfect. I love this post.

    Danyavaad, Jill! 🙂

    And I love the hangag lady.

  2. Punjabi Friend
    November 7, 2011

    Thanks, Jill! Tried this few days after I saw this entry.

  3. Gary Sia (@iamthegarysia)
    December 27, 2011

    do u know what time they open???

    • jillianisyourfriend
      December 28, 2011

      The Nepalese cook said lunchtime so maybe around 11? Haha I’m sorry for incomplete details. We went there around 12 NN to 1 PM though 🙂

  4. Ble Zzy
    March 22, 2012

    where is this?

  5. Christine Antonette
    April 2, 2012

    I googled bhai shaab (heard it from a friend) and came across your blog. thank God for that..now I know where to start on my food trips across town.

  6. jedi
    March 6, 2013

    hi.do you happen to know if they are still at arevalo/or did they move.benn craving for indian food

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This entry was posted on October 19, 2011 by in Food.
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