Kadhai Aloo (NT$320)
with Naan bread
Chicken Zafrani (NT$450)
with garlic Naan (NT$70)
-- By Claire Tyrell
Translated by Vivian Morgan
6, Alley 5, Lane 70, YanJi St
Hours: 11 am-2:30 pm, 5-10:30 pm
Weekend lunch buffet 11 am-3 pm
Credit cards accepted. No smoking section.
10% service charge.
ZhongXiao/DunHua exit 2
At Indian favourite Aaleja you
can be sure you are dining on authentic, and now
prize-winning, cuisine. In 2006's national restaurant
and food companies competition, Aaleja received
two certificates of excellence, and a special
gold award for the Chicken Tandoori. This success
is testimony to the pride owner Mr. Choudhry takes
in his restaurant, and his keenness to introduce
new Indian and Pakistani meals to Taipei.
We tucked into the Chicken Zafrani
(NT$450) and Kadhai Aloo (NT$320). The special
Zafran spice is hand-picked from the flower, and
gives meals a unique fragrance. Its distinctive
nature makes it expensive even in India, and this
is the only meal on the menu that uses it. Added
to the succulent chicken leg, and other seasonings,
it's certainly a flavour-packed hit.
The eye-catching Kadhai Aloo uses
potatoes steamed for two hours, to retain flavours
and nutrition. With peppers, onion and tomato,
all served in a melange of spices including turmeric,
saffron and cinnamon, it is deservedly a winner
and especially enjoyable with warm garlic naan.
Mr Choudhry has two restaurants
in Pakistan, and explains how spices are key.
Slight variations completely change a meal, and
he has tried over 100 different kinds to find
the exact combination for each perfect dish. He
also points out the benefits to the body of the
natural plant origins of the spices, even more
of a reason to enjoy the beautiful, delicious
food, he says enthusiastically.
Appetizers are aplenty, such as
the Masala Papad (spiced lentil wafer with vegetable,
NT$100) and the "Mmmm" worthy Aloo Tikki
(spiced potato and pea fritters, NT$130). Main
dishes feature mutton, chicken, beef, seafood
and all styles of vegetarian, and don't miss the
The tantalizing weekend lunch
buffet (NT$399) contains appetizers, tandoori,
biryanis, veggie dishes and all meats, with tasty
northern dishes and coconutty flavours of the
south. They also introduce dishes not on the menu,
so for a taste bud adventure, just bring an empty
Appetizers Masala Papad (NT$100) and
Aloo Tikki (NT$130) - spiced potato and
green pea fritters.