Sometimes change isn’t all that good and we are glad that the promoters of Bombay Bungalow realised this. In its earlier avatar, it used to be called House of Curry, the USP of which was its gorgeous décor. Wrought iron chairs, huge faux trees right in the middle, colourful walls reminiscent of a Rajasthan palace and lovely chandeliers and to top it all, a beach view, made it a breath-taking venue.
Recently, it underwent a makeover but thankfully, the ambience was left untouched. So what has changed then? Well, the name, menu and ethos. The rechristened Bombay Bungalow has a spiffier, slightly more eclectic menu that fortunately steers clear of the overdone molecular gastronomy trend yet offers enough surprises to warrant more than one visit.
It begins with a raita tray where the server prepares a raita with yogurt, chilli, pomegranate among other ingredients in front of you. I found the exercise a bit overrated considering the raita tasted just like any other. But soon came the starters and they were really pleasant. The pani puri with guacamole filling made us drool (yes the combo worked!) while the roti roll prawns (fried prawns) had just the right amount of crispiness. The corn and sprouted moong chaat impressed with its simplicity.
The tikkas ticked all the right boxes. Tender chicken tikka whose flavour was enhanced with harissa spices and the super soft paneer tikka were supremely satisfying. What however, didn’t work were the accompanying sauces. The tahini beetroot dip served alongside the paneer was pretty but lacked flavour while the roasted garlic yogurt couldn’t match the punch of the chicken tikka.
However, the mains were very interesting. I guiltily gorged on two lip-smacking cheese naans (simply delicious!) while the zaatar and olive naan was infinitely less sinful though equally tasty. Alongside was served the specialty dish – buratta butter chicken, a rather odd combination of a blob of buratta cheese added to good ol’ butter chicken gravy. Did it work? Yes and No. Interesting innovation but didn’t add to the curry. The cashew crusted veg kofta was first rate – the sauce had a spicy sharp flavour that settled well with the naans.
Dessert wasn’t far behind and the choicest pick was the salted caramel infused ras malai. If you are looking for a change from the regular Indian food yet don’t want to go too experimental, Bombay Bungalow is perfect bang for the buck. The new avatar is just as swell.
INFO: The Beach at JBR, www.bombaybungalowdxb.com 800 692 8779