Despite the mushrooming of Indian restaurants in Davao City, I never had dined at one.
However, Indian cuisine has always intrigued me. Every time I pass by Indian restaurants, my mouth waters with the delicious aroma coming from the food being cooked.
I found out about 5S Box Indian Restaurant from a Facebook post of one of the lifestyle columnists of SunStar Davao. She was also the on who talked about the restaurant the last time we met.
My first visit here was when I had lunch here alone sometime in January and the next visits were with friends. In all my visits, the food were all phenomenal.
The owners of the restaurant, Noreen and Pavreez, admitted that it took a while before the food they served was delicious because there were issues with the restaurant when it began. There was no consistency and their diners were not happy. Since they were based in Dubai, they decided to return to Davao City, Noreen’s hometown, to “fix” the restaurant. Eventually, the restaurant did a 180 and started serving authentic and delicious Northern Indian dishes.
Noreen said they do everything from scratch. This means that all components of the dish are being done after the order is placed. For example, they do not have packaged or pre-made sauces. Though it makes the serving time longer, the wait has always been worth it. She also said they use only the best ingredients for the dishes and are as authentic as it can be. Noreen said many of their spices are being imported. For example, the saffron they use are from Iran.
Their hard work paid off as our dinner here have always been a blast.
The interior of the 5S Box Indian Restaurant is as colorful as the culture and flavors of India.
I also like how they arranged the dining area to cater to groups and families.
However, I wish the place would be cooler because I find it to be quite warm. I tend to sit near the air conditioning unit because of how warm the place is.
While it is well lighted in the morning, I find the restaurant to be quite dim in the evening despite some of the lights being turned on.
To date, all the food I ordered here were delicious. I would like to highlight the dishes that were truly memorable from my recent visits here. these dishes are the Butter Chicken, Chicken Pops, Vegetable Biryani, Chicken Fried Rice, Vegetable Samosa, Butter Naan, Malai Kulfi, Mango Malai Kulfi, and Kesar Pista Kulfi.
The Butter Chicken (P350) was really delicious and a favorite of mine. It is marinated chicken breast cooked in tandoor oven with curry sauce mixed with butter, cream, honey, and spices. The chicken was tender and really flavorful. I just love the layer of flavors you get from each bite — spiciness, sweetness, and saltiness.
The Chicken Pops (P200) were small fried chicken bites that were just exploding with flavors. I love how spicy it was.
The Vegetable Biryani (P250) was delicious. I just love how herbaceous and spicy it was.
One of the biggest surprise here was the Chicken Fried Rice (P220). At a glance, the dish is just cooked rice that has been stir-fried in a wok and mixed with eggs, vegetables, and chicken. However, once I ate a spoonful, it was bursting with flavors. It was also very aromatic compared to the other fried rice I had in other restaurants.
The Vegetable Samosa (P80) is a great appetizer to start a meal here. Samosa is maida shell stuff with mashed potato, spices, and green chili. This dish is aromatic and very tasty. The flavors you get from a bite from the samosa will kick start your appetite for what is to come.
Of the naan I had here, the Butter Naan was my favorite because of how buttery it was. If you will be ordering naan, do not order rice. The naan is already enough to make you full.
One of the best things the restaurant has to offer is their Indian ice cream or kulfi. Compared to the regular ice cream that we usually get at the other stores, the kulfi is creamier and denser. The restaurant has three flavors — Malai Kulfi (P75), Mango Malai Kulfi (P120), and Kesar Pista Kulfi (P120).
The Malai Kulfi was creamy and milky.
Meanwhile, I love that sweetness and fruitiness coming from the mango in the Mango Malai Kulfi.
Lastly, the Kesar Pista Kulfi has to be one of my favorite desserts to date! The ice cream has layers of flavor from the saffron, pistachio, and milk. This has sweetness, bitterness, nuttiness, and creaminess. It was a play of flavors on your taste buds.
After a flavorful meal, be sure to cap it off with a Saffron Chai (P70), which is Indian tea with milk and saffron.
In my three visits here, the service was quite good. I find the staff to be attentive and ready to meet the needs of the diners.
It may be a small thing but I like how they are quick to refill your water when your glass is almost empty.
At 20 to 30 minutes, waiting time for the food here is longer than some of the restaurants in the city. As mentioned earlier, they do some of the components of the dish, like the sauce, after you order the food. However, I find the wait to be worth it. I suggest giving them a call or messaging Facebook to place a reservation and order in advance.
I also love how Noreen and Pavreez would explain the food they have at the restaurant. The more we know about the dishes, the more we were able to appreciate it.
The 5S Box Indian Restaurant is a great addition to the food scene in Davao City. They offer delicious and flavorful Indian dishes that will take your taste buds in an adventure.
The restaurant is located along Dr. Gahol Avenue near the Davao Medical School Foundation.