Not for the faint-hearted

I’VE been curious about this small no-air-conditioned restaurant for months now, but since it’s an area that I just pass through sometimes on my way to and from the office, it was not within my immediate consciousness. That was until friend Chester posted a photo of him and his friend having lunch there and saying the food was good.

As I still haven’t had lunch on that day, I decided to have a very late lunch at Pankaj Indian Cuisine along Aurora Quezon Street (Roxas Avenue end). That was not the best idea… The sun was scorching, the heat was at its most uncomfortable and the food was… all spicy food any restaurant offers in this part of the globe pales in comparison. Take it from someone who eats labuyo. Their food redefines hot and spicy to a Pinoy.

I got what I was told was spinach, it looks like a dip and is thankfully not spicy. That was it. The mutton curry was yummy but not recommended to people who cannot eat slightly spicy food. This is spicy at its best… at least that was what I thought it to be. I also got what looked like braised tofu. It was good. I paired this with two pieces of butter naan (the leavened flatbread). It was too much for one person, and there were more left to taste.

On the lookout for a few victims, Kristelle and David were the most likely ones. Deng is definitely out, she can barely take black pepper hot. Imee, while she says she likes Indian food, I doubt because she also has a low tolerance for spicy hot food. Kristelle and David were saying they miss eating Indian food. Victim locator, locked!

We agreed to have dinner instead, having learned my lesson that noon time isn’t the best time to burn your tongue.

I again ordered mutton curry because I liked it a lot. We also got the shahipaneer (delicious tofu thingy), and… the innocent looking vegetarian kofta (bola-bola made of vegetables). We had the cheese naan to go with them.

Kristelle loved the paneer, David was busy wiping the curry sauce with his naan. I was gobbling on my share of the mutton and proceeded to get a spoonful of the kofta’s sauce. Burn. Like major BURN!

That was when David said the kofta was not hot, at all.

“The spice is in the sauce,” I said. He tried the sauce… and was ready to cry. Poor baby.

Honestly, the hot spicyness was not like I’ve ever tasted before, it burned even the sides of my tongue. But it was good….

Behind us, like when I was on my own that first day, were South Indians enjoying their meal.
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