When You're Craving Indian Food in Boracay, There's Only One Place to Go

IMAGE LITTLE TAJ

Like many other businesses in Boracay, Shria and Patrick Florencio’s restaurant business Nonie’s was heavily impacted by the pandemic. They remained open and kept themselves afloat by offering their dishes for delivery and take out. One day, Shria, who has Indian roots but was born in South Africa and moved to New Zealand with her family, made samosas and offered them to members of the online groups islanders created at the height of the pandemic. The delicate pastry was a hit, to put it mildly, which gave the couple the idea to open an Indian-themed restaurant. 

The new concept started out by sharing space with Nonie’s on Station X, but good feedback and a steady stream of patrons eventually led to a standalone restaurant in a retail space wedged between Boracay hotspots Epic and Aria. The other, more popular Indian place—the island institution True Food—had closed down during the lockdown period, and the couple knew it was as good a time as any to start a new restaurant focusing on the lively cuisine of the subcontinent. And that's how Little Taj was born.

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Working with consultants to develop the menu for Little Taj, Patrick says the restaurant offers traditional Indian favorites in a modern setting. There is a colorful mural on one wall, a long communal table in the middle, and a well-stocked bar at the end. The vibe is casual and inviting.

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Pani Puri

Photo by PJ Cana.

Fish Tandoori

Photo by PJ Cana.

Of course, it’s the food that’s the real star of Little Taj. A Plain Dosa (P300) is a recommended starter: a rolled flour crispy not unlike a thin crepe dunked in either sambar or a coconut chutney. There’s also a Paratha stuffed with either cheese or chicken (P250), which you can dip into a rich tikka masala sauce, and Pani Puri (P280) which is a popular street food made with puffed doughs filled with potato and chickpeas with tamarind water on the side. 

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The concept is street food so even if you order just these items, you’re set. But if you’re in the mood for some serious Indian fare, Little Taj doesn’t disappoint. The Butter Chicken (P400) is a must-try: the fowl is drenched in a rich creamy tomato-based sauce that goes well with a serving of plain rice. The Biryani (Chicken P450, Vegetable P350, Lamb P850) is a meal in itself: perfectly cooked rice mixed with spices, roasted cashews, and fried onions with a boiled egg and yogurt on the side.

There’s also Fish Tandoori (P450), which is small blocks of fresh fish marinated in spices and covered in spices and coconut milk.

Palak Paneer with Naan

Photo by PJ Cana.

Hyderabadi Lamb Biryani

Photo by PJ Cana.
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Order the Palak Paneer (P450) if you’re cuckoo for the Indian cheese staple and you like your curry green, thick and oozing with flavor. The paneer is coated in a tantalizing mixture of curry, spinach, onions, spices, and herbs. Whether you have it with Naan Plain (P70) or Garlic (P90), or rice, the dish is an easy standout and should satisfy any Indian cravings. 

While Little Taj serves customers as a casual restaurant all day, at night it transforms into a cocktail bar that serves classic and modern drinks. Of course, when the munchies hit, the kitchen is open 'til late, so you can get your fill of Indian cuisine as much as you want.

Drinks and a DJ at Little Taj

Photo by Little Taj.

Little Taj Indian Steet Kitchen is located at D’Mall in Station2, Boracay (in the alleyway between Aria and Epic) and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 12 mn. For more information and reservations, contact 0969-1490070 or visit the Facebook page.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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