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The Bombay Brasserie – Indian fine dining at it its grandest

Over the past few years there has been a spate of new fine dining Indian restaurants. These establishments stand head and shoulders above the run of the mill neighbourhood curry house. This is not to denigrate the curry house, there are many toiling away unrecognised, undiscovered and really good. But “many” is a relative word, taken in the context of the UK’s nearly nine thousand restaurants with links to the Sub-Continent. Most of us in England have been brought up on Indian food prepared for the English palate, but this doesn’t necessarily have to be an entirely bad thing. Some aspects of the “fusion” of Asian and European culinary practices have brought forth an enrichment of skills. Colonial influences, now fashionably excoriated in these politically correct times, are nevertheless to be seen in a grand restaurant like the Bombay Brasserie.  Designer Camellia Panjabi used the wonderful space to create a canopied tent along one side, filling the huge crescent shaped conservatory with exotic plants and finding wonderful old photographs of old Raj ceremonies to decorate the walls.

The Bombay Brasserie has been at the forefront of the Indian fine dining experience since 1982, when the restaurant was opened by the Taj Group, who run some of India’s most prestigious hotels and restaurants. In 1997, Vikram Sunderam took over as Executive Head Chef, and he has been an innovating force behind the Brasserie’s constant drive for perfection and innovation.

The menu is based on Bombay regional cuisine, but other regions of India are also represented. Although many ingredients such as exotic vegetables and spices are specially imported from India, proper account is also taken of English seasonality. So in the winter, expect to find some interesting game dishes – don’t forget that many of our game birds derive originally from Asia. 

In our local tandoori curry house there are six fish dishes – all of them prawns - the only difference being the sauces they are drowned in. Here you will find all sorts of different fish, cooked in many excitingly different ways. When I visited recently for lunch, there was a fish curry whose delicate saffron spicing provided the perfect match. Talking of lunch, there is a grand buffet set out with great silver chafing dishes with fish, lamb, chicken and all sorts of vegetables. A rich deep green puree was reminiscent of spinach, but was made from a different and yet more flavoursome leaf. 

Indian desserts are rather unusual to most Westerners, unless, like me you were brought up in a school where the cook had done a stint out East. Many lads of my generation were exposed to sago, tapioca and so on – and of course we hated them, they would have been unrecognisable to an Indian. At the Bombay Brasserie on the other hand, I felt a reappraisal was necessary, and I believe I am acquiring a new enthusiasm for such puddings!

I can’t wait to return to try the full a la carte menu in the evening.

By the way, the sister restaurant is Quilon, the strikingly elegant, totally modern dining room. Quilon may be located in Victoria, but there’s no trace of the old Queen there. Or her Raj, whatever that may be. Read Deepak Sharma’s review of Quilon

The Bombay Brasserie,   Courtfield Close, Courtfield Road, London, SW7 4UH

Location: Just opposite Gloucester Road tube station and only a ten-minute walk from Knightsbridge



Reservations:         020 7370 4040

Fax:                          020 7835 1669

Opening Hours:      Daily

Restaurant:             Lunch:       12.30pm-3p

                      Dinner:       7.30pm-Midnight

Bar:                          Lunch:       Noon-3p

                                 Dinner      7.30pm-midnight


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