Bombay MahalJul 03 2012 · 0 comments · Dining Out
Situated in what one could call the Little India of Montreal, Bombay Mahal is at the centre of all the commotion. Competition is fierce for customers craving Indian food in the area, with the likes of Curry House right across the street and places like the Chand Palace, Punjab Palace, Moti Mehal and India’s Oven (the list goes on) beckoning on every street corner and nook and cranny of Parc Extension. With the scent of curry, naan bread and garlic in the air we made our way to Bombay Mahal. It was a tough decision – we had Curry House in mind too. Swayed by Twitter responses to our query on which we should patronize (it would have been our first time to either) and friends’ recommendations, we chose Bombay Mahal this time. Curry House will have its turn, eventually.
Somewhat dingy, Bombay Mahal doesn’t exude cleanliness. Straying towards the practical with minimal decor, you don’t go to Bombay Mahal for necessarily the greatest environment. You go for the food. I will say that the food here goes well above and beyond what you would expect from the appearance restaurant itself. As the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its over. I know, super cheesy, but it’s true. It’s worth it to note that they do not, I repeat, do not hold back on the spice. So for those of you who are more sensitive to the spice level in your food, make sure to ask your waiter for suggestions of milder dishes or eat at your own risk.
After ordering, our dishes came fairly quickly which suited us just fine as our stomachs were growling. Starting off with an onion bhazi – deep fried onions in chickpea paste, garnished with a mix of Indian spices and fresh coriander – the outside was slightly crispy and the inside soft, moist and hot. Accompanied by a hot green dipping sauce, these two went perfectly together. My mouth is watering while I write this. Honestly.
Next came a medley of dishes that comprised our main meal. Baingan bharta, an eggplant mash mixed with garlic, onions, cumin and coriander, is something I order at almost every Indian restaurant I go to. Can’t get enough of this stuff. This version of the dish was good, but I felt there was a little something missing. I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what, but I felt it would have done even better with a touch of extra spice or something. Another aspect of this dish that was worth noting was that it was huge. A generous portion that I won’t soon forget… I dream of baingan bharta. All day long.
The shrimp jalfraizi. Where to begin with this one. It was spicy as ever. So much so that my eyes were watering, my lips were burning and palate near numb after a hearty bite of this. Thankfully, it didn’t last too long. After shoving a few pieces of naan down my gullet and frantically eating a couple spoonfuls of biryani, I was okay again. The shrimp was well cooked and came with a sliced bell peppers and onions. Both were nice and crunchy. The one thing that did come to our attention that shrimp seemed small for a shrimp dish… The quantity was enough but the quality? Could use a little improving here.
The lamb in yogurt and coriander was just perfect. Coming in a thick, creamy sauce that was a touch sweet, the lamb in it was tender and well cooked. The sauce double as a good dip for the naan and to pour over the rice. Mmm.
We don’t usually order biryani with our meals unless it’s the main focus as the rice does a good job of filling you up quickly. For some reason, we did this time. And we finished it all. Clearly it was a good thing in this case. Coming with tomatoes, peppers and chunks of lamb, this was nothing to be messed with.
After finishing our meal, we walked it out around the neighbourhood. We checked out the surrounding competition, and visited a couple local Indian and Greek bakeries and even bought a couple treats for afterwards… I’m telling you, this place is dangerous! Too much good food around here, especially at Bombay Mahal. Overall, we were more than satisfied. Not only was the food good, the prices were reasonable and the BYOW feature makes this restaurant an clear winner. This deal couldn’t get much better.
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