“I think that a restaurant’s environment can heighten the customers’ dining pleasure and food flavors,” says Chillies’ Indian owner Minesh Valand, who has recently done just that at all three of his restaurants (2 in Taichung, 1 in Hsinchu), making them arguably the most attractive Indian eateries anywhere in Taiwan.
His original CunZhong branch, launched in 2015, reopened in February after a complete makeover that includes custom-made, intricately hand-painted furniture and a collection of beautiful colored-glass lamps, all from India, a laser-cut wooden Indian-motif wall mural, attractive Indian art and other touches.
Complementing this physical upgrade are a host of new dishes that Minesh and his team of Indian chefs have added to his already extensive menu of northern Indian cuisine. These include hard-to-find modern and traditional Indian dishes, like Tandoori Scallops (NT$390); Egg Curry (NT$300), with boiled eggs arranged flower-like in a masala sauce; Punjabi-style Lamb Do Pyaza (NT$390) and Fish Dish Pyaza, both made with onion-based curries; and Bengali Chicken Rezala (NT$360), cooked with a ginger, garlic and yogurt-based curry.
A good new sampler is Mixed Tandoori Cuisine (NT$480), a platter filled with various tikka-style and other meats and fish baked in a traditional Indian oven. Chilly Paneer (NT$350) features big cubes of Indian cheese mixed with soy sauce and fried with chilies and onions, Ghobi 65 (NT$350) has big chunks of battered cauliflower fried with chilies and onions, and Salmon Masala Curry (NT$390) is the first time I’ve ever seen this fish used in Indian cooking.
Some tasty new sides are Aloo Tikki (NT$190), disks of fried mashed potatoes mixed with spices; the unique, more complex Butter Laccha Naan (NT$75), resembling a Chinese scallion cake; Chocolate Naan (NT$75); and Royal Mango Lassi (NT$160), served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Although the “Chillies” name might conjure up images of flaming-spicy cuisine, Minesh stresses that he cuts back on spices, oil and salt to make his food more wholesome. The health-conscious yoga instructor also notes that he only uses top-grade ingredients for his fresh-made sauces and dishes.
淇里思印度餐廳 Chillies Indian Restaurant
西區存中街47號 (04) 2377-0007
Chillies 1: 47, CunZhong St, West Dist
西屯區朝富路156號 (04) 2251-7111
Chillies 2: 156, ChaoFu Rd, Xitun Dist
週一至五午餐/Lunch Mon-Fri 11:30 am-2:30 pm,
週六、日/Sat-Sun 11:30 am-3 pm;
週一至四晚餐/Dinner Mon-Thu 5:30-9 pm,
週五~日、假日/Fri-Sun & Holidays 5-9:30 pm