A true blue Bombayite never passes up the opportunity to sample a good Indian meal especially when it happens to be on a cold and grey autumn evening in London in a fine dining Indian restaurant and a part of the Taj Group. The occasion? To experience fine dining Indian with the newly relaunched menu and fabulously refurbished interiors at Bombay Brasserie in the swank Kensington neighbourhood, with the Zomato London folks.
Bombay Brasserie has been around since 1982. Famous for their authentic Indian cuisine they have a menu offering the best of India’s vast and varied food with marked influences of various styles of cooking. The restaurant itself is set in a beautiful red stone building a few metres away from Gloucester Road Tube station in the posh South London neighbourhood. The beautiful Bombay Bar, the posh dining room and the newly done up conservatory area all have the same trademark elegance one would expect in any old world charming club with a distinct stamp of the British Raj. The huge modern chandeliers in the dining room fit surprisingly well into the decor as do the ceiling fans hanging from tall ceilings.
I was pleasantly surprised as am sure the rest of the guests were when we started off the evening with a tour of the kitchen and a quick session on the basics of marinating meat for kebabs.
Executive Chef Prahlad Hegde was on hand to show us around and while we marvelled the working of a traditional tandoor or clay oven which imparts the unmistakeable smoky flavour to naans and kebabs – grilled meat on skewers. ( there is nothing more that I dream of other than a fabulous kitchen but having an authentic tandoor where I can make mouthwatering kebabs – some day … fingers crossed!)
Executive Chef Prahlad Hegde and Chef and Director of Operations, Quilon and Bombay Brasserie Sriram Aylur have crafted a new menu and brought back old favourites like the Palak Patta Chaat which we sampled – one bite of that dish and there’s no going back – very moreish these little crispy fried baby spinach fritters are served with a tangy but cooling yoghurt, date and tamarind chutney.
Munching on soft buttery tandoori rotis hot off the tandoor we walked out of the kitchen into the beautiful conservatory. Walls hand painted in intricate designs mimicking a rare typical tribal art and a high glass ceiling heaving with foliage. What struck me most is the period furniture which brings back memories of all the beautiful vintage shops I visited in Pondicherry this January ….sigh…someone fly me back to Indian please? Like now!
The Tulsi chicken tikka and lamb sheesh kebabs arrived first with a selection of chutneys and mini-poppadums. In quick succession then we devoured the Adraki lamb chops and cripsy spinach chaat.
Before the main course arrived we had shots of pumpkin soup seasoned with truffle oil – absolutely amazing. The main course was a massive spread of chicken and lamb dishes with saffron pulao, olive naan and the traditional laccha paratha. I loved the olive naan with pesto – pairs surosingy well with both dal makhani and chicken makhani. The aloo roast – baby potatoes roasted were spicy but ireesistible and I had to set them aside to be able to go back for seconds of the Kasundi Monkfish – a melt in your mouth chargrilled monkfish dish seasoned with mustard and hence the name.
Sipping the red wine recommended I think is a great combination with all the spices of the main course.Dessert was a classy affair with artistically presented portions of a mini chocolate samosa, choco raspberry mousse and a ‘to die for’ mango and fig ice cream – definitely one of my favourites from the menu.
On our way out I was on a photo clicking spree – the interiors are an instagrammers dream, it was then that I saw it – the traditional ceiling fan -hanging from a high ceiling on a slender rod lending charm to its painstakingly created rustic ambience.
With a touch of class one would expect from the Taj Group, the Bombay Brassiere does itself proud with a good menu, excellent Indian food and superb refurbishment adding a touch of understated elegance reminiscent of colonial Indian gymkhana’s.
Why dine at Bombay Brassiere: For the ambience – superbly refurbished elegant interiors set in the swank Kensington area of London famed for its authentic Indian cuisine. The stylish Bombay Bar boasts of Bombay tapas to go with their cocktails and beer selection not to mention the Raj inspired framed photographs, the ceiling fans, plush armchairs and yes also a gorgeous central fireplace. A menu that is a great combination of traditional Indian classics and superb fusion dishes. And last but not the least to experience Indian hospitality at its very best.
Must- haves from the menu: Palak Patta Chaat, Kasundi Monkfish, aloo roast, olive naan, mango and fig ice cream. Jaljeera Negroni cocktail – potent and for those like Negroni in the first place.