Finally, an Indian Restaurant in Greenhills Worth Your Time and Money
Greenhills is a tough nut to crack. Timeless nostalgia cultivates its appeal, despite its modifications and evolution over the years. It’s this quality that fortifies the decades-old Chinese cuisine stronghold, unshaken even by the vast-growing competition.
But challenging these traditions is Ricksha, a new Indian restaurant on Missouri Street. Cyril and Pierre Addison uprooted their Kapitolyo hole-in-the-wall to a bigger, better-appointed space in Greenhills.
“It was just too small,” explains Cyril. “At 10 percent capacity during the pandemic, we could only seat about two people.” Despite a peak in their delivery and takeaway orders, there were also issues with parking, among other things.
Pierre and Cyril Addison
Ricksha Greenhills offers the best of both worlds. It can fit about 50 to 60 people, with sections that guests could close off for private functions, and it gives a bigger stage to Love, Pierre, Pierre’s curated wine collection. (She’s a master sommelier, by the way.)
Though technically the first Indian haunt in the area in practically 10 years, to call Ricksha simply an Indian restaurant would be reductive to the experience. Jewel-toned and tasseled, it does tick off a couple of the usual elements in more traditional haunts, but the minty-green beetle chairs, white walls, and modern line portraits by Marvin Bacinillo speak more of the Addisons’ cosmopolitan lifestyle.
No, Ricksha doesn’t aim to take you to India but into the couple’s own home instead. Despite the bigger space, a reservation remains an intimate seat at the Addisons’ dinner table where you can share memories of rogan josh, a specialty by Cyril’s dad, and dosas, the first Indian dish Pierre tried when she met her then-future husband’s parents. Even bits of Pierre’s childhood sneak into the menu, like her grandmother’s secret curry sauce in the Chinese-style curry noodles.
There is so much to love about Ricksha’s dishes—and fortunately, the menu is succinct enough for you to try a bit of everything. (“We don’t want to offer the same sauces on different things,” Cyril says.) The butter chicken is a definite must-try: boneless chicken thighs marinated for 24 hours before being grilled and pleasantly drowned in a tomato-rich sauce. It’s hot enough to matter but mild enough for you to lick the bowl clean, with or without biryani rice.
The pompano is cooked whole in the tandoor—a deviation from the family recipe by Cyril himself because he wanted to highlight the exciting things that can come out of their clay oven. It’s almost as if the wisps of smoke are beckoning you to eat it, and the fish’s delicious grilled-like taste is only made more pronounced by the side of pickled onions.
When Ricksha first opened, the bhel puri, crispy puffed rice in tamarind chutney, became an instant Instagram darling, but the pani puri gives it a run for its money. It’s a hollowed-out round flatbread that you fill halfway with tamarind water and then a scoop of spiced potatoes (the same stuffing they use for the samosas). The chaat is a crispy confirmation of how much one bite can reward you—rich, light, tangy, smooth, and crunchy at the same time.
Fish in banana leaf with biryani rice and marina beach sundal salad
South Indian dosa with dhaba egg curry and tandoori US choice ribeye
Rice is its own celebration at Ricksha. Cyril cooks it the dum style: in a clay pot covered in naan and finished off in the tandoor. Breaking off the toasted dough on top is almost as exciting as the fragrant and flavorful yellow rice underneath. Highlights are the paneer and shrimp varieties.
The Addisons emphasize not tradition exactly but simple, uncomplicated enjoyment. The dessert menu sticks with favorites, like gulab jamun, rice pudding (kheer), and ice cream—a cool extinguisher after a spicy meal.
Housemade lassi: mango, mixed berry, and cucumber
Ricksha Greenhills is the same but different. If the Kapitolyo original pulled you in with its rough streetside charm, Greenhills will tempt you over with its suave sophistication. But it’s the food, especially that pani puri, that will make you stay, for seconds and thirds.
Ricksha Greenhills is at 6 Missouri Street, Greenhills, San Juan