Qilla Restaurant: A Stronghold of Good Pakistani/Indian Food
So I’ve been craving for Pakistani food for weeks now. =b
It had a lot to do with oncoming sniffles *aachooo and I so wanted to clear my nostrils by eating spicy food. I haven’t really gotten to it (meaning an Indian resto) yet when I got a message from a fellow food quester, Ms. Rani, about a new restaurant she just discovered. In a flash, I was browsing the photos on their Facebook page.
They had selections on their menu that I don’t believe I’ve tried yet and when I saw pani puri, eggshell looking munchies that I imagined would be extremely fun to eat, I resolved I’ll be eating dinner there tonight. Ms. Rani was in the midst of sending me enticing photos of the food they got and I guess she was a bit surprised with my “I’m on my way” reply. *teehee (Thank you very much for the heads up on this restaurant! What a find; I couldn’t resist checking it off right away.) (This sure reinforces my view that the Rimando-New Lucban vicinity is a haven for seeming otherworldly delicious cuisine. Yas! Because I live just a stone’s throw from it.)
We arrived at Qilla, the fortress. Although I’d like to think Race and I were pretty well versed with Indian dishes, we came across even more new names on the menu that we felt we needed guidance on. That’s exactly what we got with the owner who was happy to give a description of the dishes we didn’t know. He did it exceedingly well that all we could say was, yes, add that to our order please. =))
My main aim being at Qilla was the pani puri. =D As a starter of nice delicate great balls of flour, with garbanzos, minced onions and cucumbers, and a small dollop of a spice paste inside, we spooned in the cilantro-mint “water” into the shells, popped the whole thing in and closed our gobs on it. CRUNCH went the puri and then an explosion of refreshing cilantro and mint. It was so amusing to eat that we went through all 10 shells in a snap. A great summer snack, I’d say, what with the icy herby liquid.
Always and I guess forever, the seed-like feel of basmati rice will always be enjoyable to me. This plate, it was the kebab that brought taste for all the herbs melded with the meat. Time and again, there was a hint of sweetness in my biryani spoonful because of a stray cinnamon bark tossed in with the rice. We also added a nice drizzle of what seemed like almost pure garlic sauce for added flavor.
The potato samosa at Qilla is perfect, nicely packed with potatoes and even peas. Their cheese samosa was full of ooey gooey melted cheese. As if this wasn’t enough, the sauce wasn’t just a garlic sauce but also a tamarind sauce. Whoa!
The fort hummus seemed to me like a strict garbanzo and olive oil mix. X+1 kind of got it that the flavor profile at this joint is a bit on the light … and healthy … side. No biggie; that’s easily remedied with salt. =)
The spice and taste I was craving for, I found in their qeema matar. Weee! Probably the tastiest in the huge spread we got ourselves. Uber spices and ground beef, perfect for sandwiching in bread (pita, chapati, whatever) … perfect for rice, too.
When the aloo baigan piqued our interest, Mr. Nadim gave us a little warning about it, thinking there might be something in the flavors that would throw us. Hearing its basic ingredients were eggplant and potato, we were sold to the idea. I’m a potato head and Race likes that smoky quality to roasted eggplant = match made in heaven. *teehee It was, again, light on salt, but was nothing that a salt sprinkling couldn’t fix.
Everything we ordered, we washed off with lassi. No fruit accompaniment whatsoever, only yogurt goodness with just the right sweetness.
Same went for the dessert, a complimentary treat for Valentines, we finally got to try gajar halwa for ourselves, grated carrots with a bit of sugar and raisins. (“,)
X marks Qilla Restaurant for good food in Baguio. Their offering, many of which we’ve never tried before gives them a secure foothold as one of the strongholds of good Halal Indian fare in the City of Pines.
The owner asked me to tell my friends about Qilla Resto. This is me doing just that … to all my foodie friends here. ^^,
SAJJ Building (Look out for the red orange and gray building a few meters from Aura One Hotel)
Rimando Road, Baguio City
0915 781 7373
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X Marks the Spot for Good Baguio Foods is a personal blog. Everything posted in this blog is PERSONAL OPINION DERIVED FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE and since TASTE can be pretty SUBJECTIVE, should NOT be taken as THE NORM or the LAW OF DINING around in the City of Pines.
Its (prosaic =b) contents are meant to help with the question “san tayo?”/where do we go? in relation to eating out in Baguio, to ENCOURAGE EXPLORING (eatsploring) and TRYING NEW THINGS offered in the City of Pines.
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