Indian restaurants in London… You are thinking one of two things, 1. Brick Lane and bright lights or 2. Quiet rooms and after eight mints.
This place is exactly like those…. in No Way what so ever. It is the exact opposite. This is like Day of the Raj meets night on the town. Welcome to the award winning Bombay Brasserie.
As soon as you walk in, you are greeted by the very cool, almost Raffles-esque Bombay Bar. Glowing walls and dimly lit corners emphasise the central fireplace, plush armchairs and incredible images of the Raj.
The cocktails are pretty punchy and I opted for the Lychee Martini (Bombay Sapphire, lychee liqueur, lychee juice) while my guest went for a Cosmopolitan … because we are bringing them back people. (I have even learned the flaming orange peel trick). If you don’t know what a cosmopolitan is, you probably shouldn’t be drinking it.
Also the Cachaca Express (Cachaca, Vodka, apple, mint, cranberry juice, elderflower) is on their signature list for those of you who prefer that little kick and a Queens Necklace (Vodka, fresh pomegranate juice, basil, cinnamon) for those of you who are drawn in by a fancy name choice…
The restaurant itself is split into two. The formal dining room and the more trendy atrium area.
Both are equally striking and have a live piano player, which is a pretty clever solution to the “But what do we do about music and atmosphere?” question.
Though I hate to admit it, when it comes to Indian food, I am fairly unwavering in my chosen dishes. (Spicy Lamb Madrass, Saag Aloo, Onion Bajhi incase you were wondering).
However, it was great to “venture out” with the chefs tasting menu of modern updated classics with a little extra refinery. As a side note, our fabulous waiter advised us at every turn and ensured that we tried some sides, other than the “same old”.
The starters included delicious bites of Chicken, Potato cake and Scallop, which had just enough kick to get my attention. Also popular is the Ambi soft shell crab (Mango ginger, raw mango salad) as a side starter
Also the Palak patta chaat (Crispy fried baby spinach, yoghurt, date and tamarind chutney). That is the one right there mere mitr (my friends). Despite being pitted against the scallop, the chicken and the potato cake, this came out victorious.
Other dishes on offer are the famous Seekh kebab of skewered minced lamb, because if you don’t like minced lamb, there is something wrong with you.
Also worth mentioning that while I quite like my food at the temperature of the sun, should you not, then the chef is always happy to make food to your palate.
The mains were a selection of Currys and Dahls with just about every side you could think of.
The A listers were the Chicken tikka makhani (Chargrilled chicken thigh, creamy butter sauce), the Dal makhani (Black lentils, tomato, butter, cream) and the Tandoori raan (Braised lamb shank, cinnamon, black cumin, vinegar), while the supporting cast was equally impressive with the Laccha paratha (ridiculously good), Peshawari naan, plain and saffron rice, saag.
The standout achievement award goes to the Masala sea bass (Pan fried chilean sea bass , spinach, mushroom) which comes with a caramelised outer crust while the inside is so soft that you could cut the fish with a wooden spoon.
Now, I don’t know whether you have ever tried Kulfi, but if you haven’t, let this serve as your FOMO catalyst. I love it. It is like Ice cream’s slightly creamier cousin (I know, it makes no sense in my mind either, but it will when you try it).
We had 2 scoops of this in Traditional milk flavour and a Mango fig kulfi falooda (Mango jelly, wild basil seeds, reduced milk, vermicelli). I loved it.
There have been a few Indian restaurants that have opened recently, but none do it with quite as much elegant style while still retaining the traditional dishes. Its the perfect “Bombay mix”.
Bombay Brasserie, Courtfield road, London SW7 4QH