Eat Here: Bombay Palace, MaryleboneBy Angelica Malin
You heard it here first: Bombay Palace isn’t just another curry restaurant in London. Oh no, it’s so much more. The food is exquisite – well-balanced, tasty, full of ingenuity – the service is polite and efficient, and the vibe is professional and high-end, without taking itself too seriously. Read on to discover why Bombay Palace is going to be your new favourite Indian restaurant in London:
Bombay Palace has recently re-opened after an extensive refurbishment; the restaurant has a new look and feel, with contemporary chandeliers and modern art gracing the walls. It’s a quiet, understated affair in Connaught Village – one of my favourite areas in London, which is turning quite the foodie hub with the presence of Kurobuta, Abasto, Pardis and Salt Honey Bistro all in the area. Bombay Palace’s Head Chef, Harjeet Singh, is the man behind the magic in the kitchen, who has been at Bombay Palace since 2000, having worked at the restaurant’s Kuala Lumpur branch. And while the restaurant’s design is nice, the food is really what you come here for – and boy, what food it is.
There’s so many great dishes at Bombay Palace, you’ll be totally spoilt for choice. We started with one of the stars of the show here: Tandoori Soya. Expect juicy soya chunks subtly spiced and grilled, which positively melt in the mouth. A great vegan option, the soya chunks are lovely with their homemade breads and chutneys, such as their cracking lime pickle. We also started with the Paneer Tikka – grilled cubes of cottage cheese marinated in mint, yoghurt, ginger and spices – which is equally lovely. Paneer can often be bland and disappointing, but the cheese here is full of flavour and heat from the spices, with a really full-bodied taste to it – you don’t want to miss it. The grilled veggie delights are served with homemade mint and yogurt sauce, and rolled up roti bread – totally delicious.
For mains, we had an absolute veggie feast. My personal favourite dish was the Baigan Bharta
– smoked aubergine hashed and cooked with spices, which is perfect with fluffy phulka. The smashed aubergine creation has a really rich, smoky taste, and reminds me of some of the amazing aubergine delights in Persian cuisine. Another highlight, and probably the best dish of the whole evening, was their Malai Kofta. This is one of my favourite Indian dishes – expect hashed vegetable dumplings simmered in a mild curry. The dumplings are soft and delicious, with the warming taste of saffron, and a thick, creamy nut-based sauce to accompany them. Heaven.
If you’re a meat-lover, their Murgh Tikka comes highly recommended by the chef, who says regulars come week on week to enjoy the chicken dish. Expect morsels of chicken marinated in yoghurt and spices, char grilled in the tandoor, until they are totally succulent and full of melt-in-the-mouth deliciousness. Their Paneer Mutter – coarsely chopped cottage cheese cooked with green peas, spices and fresh coriander – is also divine, and well-worth trying.
For a meaty curry, the Nalli Gosht – a speciality of Lucknow, where slow cooked lamb shanks are served in a delicate saffron curry, is apparently one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant. Right on.
We enjoyed the beautiful veggie curries with a selection of delicious side, including paratha, flaky layered bread baked plain, with fresh mint or a stuffing of potato, and cucumber raita, yoghurt topped with shredded cucumber and coriander. The mint paratha is one of the most delicious things you’re likely to try this year – you must order it. To finish, we sampled the Gajar ka Halwa – a traditional Indian dessert, made here with the Chef’s own recipe. Can you go wrong with carrot fudge, loaded with nuts and dry fruits? Probably not.
There’s a decent selection of wine from around the world, as well as classic cocktail list. I say: when in Indian (via Connaught Village), enjoy something truly Indian. They make a killer mango lassi, perfect to wash down all the tasty curries. Yes, please.
Bombay Palace is the kind of place you want to eat at again and again. You can really taste the quality in the food here; the curries are light, fresh and delicious, and you’ll come away feeling totally satisfied and happy, as opposed to weighed down with a bucket load of creamy korma. For veggies, too, it’s totally fantastic – we were really impressed with the range of Indian vegetarian dishes on offer, and you really don’t feel like you’re missing out not eating meat. I’ve sampled no finer Malai Kofta in London – take my word for it, the curries are simply divine.
Bombay Palace is at 50 Connaught St, London W2 2AA – for more information and to book, see here.