I’ve been sick for the last several days with some sort of seasonal bug that’s hitting everyone in my neck of the Philippines. When everything is stuffed up, there’s nothing that makes me feel whole again quite as much as spicy food. So when one of my co-workers suggested that we go for dinner at the Masu Cafe on Saturday night, I happily accepted!
Finding spicy cuisine is a challenge in Iloilo City, but Masu Cafe always delivers. Our group has been there several times since our arrival in the country, whenever the craving for authentic Indian food hits. The owner has recognized us every time since our first trip, and happily greets us and chats away; though I’m guessing remembering a group of white Canadian guys around here isn’t a big challenge.
On this trip, we called ahead in advance to specifically request the tandoori chicken. Because of the special marinade process, you’re required to give them at least 3 hours to prepare accordingly. We ordered two chickens for the group of us, and it’s a good thing we did – my co-worker Eric nearly devoured a whole bird by himself!
Thankfully there was plenty to share for everyone. I ordered a couple of their vegetable samosas; which are cooked to a heavenly crunch on the outside, leaving a hot, soft vegetable interior. I ate one at the restaurant, and stashed the other one to eat later that night. Samosas are just as good later.
My favorite dish was the chicken Beryani, which we asked to have prepared with a little extra kick. It was just enough spice to help clear the sinuses, without losing any of its phenomenal Indian flavor. It also gave me an excuse to use my garlic naan as a make-shift mop, soaking up the excess gravy and rice.
The owners aren’t Indian, and upon speaking to them, have no direct ties to India. Instead, they are simply people who are passionate about cooking in general, something I admire. There seems to be something about Indian cooking that draws in anyone who’s got a little bit of flare in the kitchen. It’s universal comfort food, and when done well, nothing beats it.
Address: Delgado St, Iloilo City Proper, Iloilo City, Iloilo
Facebook: Masu Cafe