Sudheer Ahmed, from Pakistan, traveled around the world in his younger years with a spirit of great adventure. He settled in Taichung at first and later opened the "Madina Pakistani & Indian Restaurant" in Hualien, which mainly serves Indian curries. Blending rich spices with fresh ingredients as well as handmade naan, the dishes are rich and flavorful. Madina is the first all-halal certified restaurant in Hualien.
His business opportunity comes from fulfilling actual demand: "I have enjoyed visiting and living in Hualien for more than a decade, but it is difficult to find a restaurant suitable for Muslims in the city. Therefore, I traveled across the ocean and brought grills, spices, and traditional curries back from my hometown, and took my two brothers on an adventure exploring the unknown in Hualien. Since then, I have put down my roots."
Madina's primary specialty is curry-based set meals that combine a mellow sauce with fresh ingredients, such as chicken, beef, lamb, seafood and vegetables. The recipes have been modified to accommodate the palate of Hualien locals. Naan and Indian milk tea are also served. Sudheer Ahmed recommends the naan, which is torn by hand into bite-sized pieces that can be eaten with curry. Sometimes customers will request naan to be substituted with rice but are convinced not to by Sudheer Ahmed, who explains that “naan is a crucial part of eating at an Indian restaurant," a mindset that most customers agreed upon. Indian risottos made from basmati rice, spicy barbecue, and lamb patties, etc., are also great choices for customers seeking to experience different flavors.
The restaurant is named after Madina, a city in Saudi Arabia. It a holy place for Muslims and is known by all who follow the faith. The three brothers invest great effort to inspect raw materials and handle ingredients in compliance with Muslim catering standards. The restaurant is halal-certified; thus, Muslim customers can dine at ease.
Sudheer Ahmed chose to settle in Hualien due to the beautiful mountain, ocean scenery, and the hospitality of its people. "I often drive along the Central Cross-lsland Highway up to Mount Hehuan, which has an elevation of over 3,000 meters. I also enjoy the magnificent gorge in Taroko, the marvelous Tunnel of Nine Turns, and the beautiful sights along the east coast where the mountains and ocean meet.” As he spoke, Sudheer Ahmed shared stunning photos on his phone of scenes that have mesmerized him with their beauty.
Madina Pakistani & Indian Restaurant
Address: 482, Heping Rd., Hualien City, Hualien County 970, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Opening Hours: 11:00–14:00 , 17:00–21:00