The summer session for the culinary School at Ivy Tech started a few weeks back. Their first offering was a Spanish tapas buffet. I had plans on going but I was unable at the last-minute. So when I saw their Southeast menu online I knew Pat and I had to go.
One of the reasons this place is so unique is that you can get a 3 course meal for $12. That is what you would pay for a burger and fries at a lot of restaurants. Pat opted for the spring roll appetizer and the stir-fry entrée, and a cup of Cherry tea; in his own little teapot.
For the sake of presentation they abbreviated the dipping sauce by making it a concentrated squiggle. Pat even got a choice of shrimp or pork in his roll.
I decided on the Pho appetizer and the Pad Thai as my main course.
This was a nice bowl of beefy broth filled with meat and noodles. The aroma was a good indicator of the taste to come, even though the presentation made the eating of it a bit problematic.
Notice the 2 spoons. One was filled with Hoisin sauce,the other with Sriracha. You can see the predicament. They decided to condense the presentation by replacing the traditional “toppings” with the 2 sauces. A bit awkward at first but everything worked out.
This was such a fun dish.Loaded with vegetables and noodles each bite was a tasty surprise.
At the end of lunch they gave us a choice of deserts. A dish of fresh mango with whipped cream or sweetened black rice with coconut cream. We got one of each.
Notice the eatable flower. Now many joints do you go to that use eatable flowers for garnish?
This was nice and light,and I am sure it is healthy as well.
The rice dish was really good. It had a slight tooth and very reminiscent of rice pudding, a dish I really enjoy. I think that was my favorite of the two,and the grilled pineapple slice was a nice touch as well.
I am not sure how long the summer session runs but they serve lunch Wednesday and Thursday from 11 to 12:15. They also have a dinner service on Thursday nights. Something I have not been able to get to yet. After their Southeast Asian tour they go back to Classical French. And as always any tips go to a general scholarship fund.
One more thing that is special about this place is the view of Indianapolis.
This place is in a strip mall next to 3 in 1 Restaurant we reviewed some weeks back. At that time we put it on our list. I did my due diligence in research, considering Pat’s issues with onion. I told him it was doable. Fortunately he agreed. Let’s have a round of applause for the self-proclaimed “…plain kinda’ guy.” stepping out of his comfort zone and trying something different.
The space is a good size, clean and well-appointed with comfortable and attractive furnishings. If you came to be entertained by the decor or “ambience” then you came to the wrong joint.
Jiallo’s is about food, in an attractive setting, serviced in a gracious manner. Our server was just that; gracious. I neglected to ask her name but when Pat told her about his onion issue she made repeated trips to the kitchen to get all the details. She was very knowledgeable about the menu and more than happy to answer our questions.
They offer 2 different types of rice with their lunch specials. White rice or red beans and rice. The white rice is a small-grained African rice cooked down. Nothing fancy just a nice rice bed. The red beans and rice is a Jasmine rice cooked in red beans liquor with thyme, rosemary, red beans and onion added. So Pat opted for the Jerk Chicken with white rice and plaintains for $8.95.
I wanted to keep it simple so I ordered the Curry Chicken with red bean rice and plantains for $8.95.
Now this dish was crazy. If you see a little “ghost” in the pic that is the steam coming off the dish. I could see it in the view finder. In my dish they used legs. They “Frenched” the bones of the drumsticks. That means they cut away anything on the leg, below the knob of meat. Then they chopped off the bulbous end of the drum sick; in order to expose any marrow to the cooking liquid. In this case a curry sauce. The sauce was not a spectacular curry sauce it was a good curry sauce. Both sweet and slightly spicy with a wondrous aroma. The chicken appeared to have been braised in the sauce,and they were perfectly cooked. Fall off the bone tender with a great flavor. Marry that with the red rice and beans and the sweet plantains and you have a winner. Every time.
On Urban spoon this particular joint has over 200 check ins with a 90% like. The only bad comments has been about the “slowness”. I noticed that on the reviews and our Super Server said the same thing. She is the only server that works there. Lunch and dinner. So…for what it is worth. Folks take a look around any joint you enter. If it is busy and the wait staff seems light. Reevaluate.
Well all I can add is this joint has some good food. I have to go back. They have some stuff I haven’t eaten yet.