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The Bombay Brasserie

Louise Elgin joined the Silver Jubilee at this super Indian

Twenty-five years is an anniversary worth commemorating. To mark this auspicious occasion The Bombay Brasserie, one of London’s most talked about and respected Indian restaurants is having a year-long celebration. A new executive chef joins the team; Jaspal Singh Arora, who after much success working with the Taj Group in India now plans to unveil a new and inventive menu. He brings with him a vast knowledge of authentic Indian cuisine, updating and modernising dishes with his unique touch, whilst promising to retain the soul of this legendry establishment in order not to upset devotees.

The restaurant is split between two large rooms, one set in a conservatory style environment with plenty of green plants and an airy, spacious feel, the other being of a more formal setting. Both rooms were very busy on the night we visited but the service seemed professional and efficient at all times

We began with a selection of starters that included Sev Bata Puri, (small puris topped with cubed potatoes, garamflour straws, sprouted lentil covered in mint, tamarind and chilli) which, due to its popularity, has remained on the menu for 25 years. As soon as we tasted it we could see why: this is truly inventive Indian cookery at its finest. The only way I can describe it is as a fantastic taste explosion and a must have if you dine there. We also had some very good Khatta Mitha Titta, which was very tender and boneless good quality chicken, marinated in a manner of all good things and served with a zingy dip. Our other two starters, crispy fried shrimps and baby spinach served crispy, topped with sweet yoghurt and tamarind chutney were good without being exceptional. I have never thought of India as a wine-producing country, but there were several to choose between both of the red and white variety so we had to try one. We selected a Sauvingnon Blanc, which was well priced, fresh and original, suiting the subtle spiciness of the flavours on the plate.

For our main course, we shared a fabulous fish curry and rice, which was moist and subtlety spiced, a chicken Xacuti (pronounced Shakuti), and with its dark sauce and dense flavours it offered something different and interesting. We also tried a prawn masala, which didn’t particularly stand out against the other two dishes. To accompany our main courses we tried a house speciality, crispy fried okra tossed in spices which was crunchy and very more-ish, and some spicy baby aubergines which were rather too oily for our palate. When I eat in Indian restaurants I normally have Naan bread with my meal but on this occasion we tried a Roti – a Laccha Paratha, which is doughier in consistency and made for a refreshing change.

For pudding there were a whole host of Indian sweets, which I sadly had to pass by in favour of a wonderfully refreshing trio of sorbets – banana, mango and passion fruit. My guest indulged in a bitter chocolate sorbet, which she said was a very rich and satisfying conclusion to her meal. I left to travel home feeling well fed but not overly so, which after such a big meal is always a sign of good cooking

A menu for two with wine and water is around £60 a head.

From 26th June the 25th Anniversary Celebrations commence and run through the year with a host of exciting upcoming events taking place, including the new menu, visiting guest chefs, give-aways and even a fashion show. Check their website, address below.

Louise Elgin. June 2006

The Bombay Brasserie Courtfield Close, Courtfield Road 
London SW7 
Tel: 020 7370 4040


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