My wife and I love Indian (and Pakistani) food but as far as we knew there were no Indian restaurants in Iloilo City. When we were planning on visiting Boracay, a friend of ours told us to be sure to dine at Crafty’s Rooftop Restaurant in Boracay. What a good recommendation it was! We did so and were not disappointed. Crafty’s had a tandoori oven which produced nan as good as we had in Montreal or New York. Unfortunately the oven was not always fired
up, so nan was not always available. We tried the whole wheat chappatis as a substitute and they too were excellent. Actually everything was good. We met the Pakistani chef, Vincent, and asked him where he buys the ingredients for Indian cooking. He said he buys some in Manila but, to our amazement, said he buys much of it at the Sikh Temple in Mandurriao, Iloilo City. Craft’s Rooftop Restaurant in Boracay is located on the fourth floor of the Craft’s supermarket building which is at the intersection of the trike-filled Main Road and the southerly d’Mall trail. After we got back to Iloilo City we found the Temple by the old Iloilo airport in Mandurriao. The address is 113 R. Mapa. To get there cross the Carpenter Bridge and head toward the Mandurriao Plaza. The Temple is on your right. Inside the Temple compound, but outside the Temple itself, you’ll find at least two vendors selling all sorts of Indian staples; Basmati rice, various dals, garam masala, whole wheat flour for nan or chappatis and so forth. When we said that we yearned for an Indian restaurant in Iloilo, we were told that we could go into the temple and have a free meal, that whenever the Temple is open a free meal is available. We peeked in and indeed a row of men were eating. We had just stuffed ourselves at Peppy Thai so we were not able to accept this generous offer. When I asked about chappatis we were given a big stack of still hot chappatis . They would not accept any payment. What a treat and what kind people!
UPDATE: The Indian food stalls have been moved from the temple itself and into independent food shops nearby. Raja Merchant is just across the road from the temple. We were delighted to learn that this shop makes and sells SAMOSAS every day. We bought a dozen, paying P10 each. They were excellent. You call call ahead to Yogi Jalaf 0915-575-1384 to order samosas. The other Indian food store is to the right as you exit the temple. It had some items not available at Raja.
Indian/Pakistani groceries and spices are available in Manila at the Assad Ali Minimart, UN Ave, near Paco Park. Phone 02-526-1349 or 02-526-5034 Bon appetit! Subsequently, we used the whole wheat flour we bought at the Sikh Temple to make whole wheat pancakes. They were teriffic!