Going back to roots but with a touch of modernity – quite sums up the new, refreshed menu at Bombay Brasserie, the award-winning at Taj Dubai. In a day and age when restaurants are going the whole nine yards with experimentation of Indian cuisine, mixing and matching ingredients, cooking techniques and flavours, BB has, thus far, stuck to its roots. However, this time there is a bit of a change. Nothing too radical but just enough to satisfy the experiment-lover and not shock the puritan. Tastefully plated and authentically prepared, the menu has a small twist despite retaining the classic flavors. It’s like the modern Indian man or woman who loves global tastes but roots for his or her culinary heritage.
The meal began with the Aash soup (almost like Paya), a slow-cooked lamb broth with Indian spices, perfect to whet your appetite for more. What we loved was how mild yet flavorful it was – soothing to the taste buds, to say the least! The twist came in dishes such as the Wild Rice Tuna Salad, the Kale and Smoked Cheese Kebab and even the deconstructed samosa chaat. The former doesn’t sound Indian at all but it certainly tasted like it with the lightly seared tuna coated with a coriander and cumin crust! An interesting salad indeed especially considering it also had Canadian wild rice and rucola! Frankly, the salad would be an acquired taste for some but the Kale and Smoked Cheese Kebab should face no such problem in appealing to all tastes. The superfood, under chef Vikas, gets an Indian infusion in the form of a delicious aloo tikka and pear chutney. However, the samosa chaat, though nicely crunchy and delicious, seemed a big incongruent in the larger scheme of things. A chaat item may always find takers but to us, it didn’t really blend with the rest of the menu which was tied by the thread of rich flavours and unique presentation.
Never mind though, for what came next took us straight back home to the streets of Delhi or Hyderabad. The Pathar Ka Ghosht is a famous dish, handed down generations, comprising meat marinated in vibrant spices and grilled to perfection. We believe this has to be the star recipe of Bombay Brasserie’s new menu; approved by the Nizams of course!
Pathar ka Ghosht
Similarly, in the main course, we loved the Smoking Rib Eye – meat cooked Indian style, with Indian spices but presented with a bit of drama in a fragrant clove smoke. Soft, succulent and infused with perfectly balanced spices, this was a labour of love and it showed! The feast hadn’t ended yet as the rice dish – Bamboo Chicken Biryani – paying tribute to the much-loved North Eastern tradition of slow cooking rice and meat in hollow bamboo sticks – arrived in style with the server pushing the rice off the bamboo log on to the plate. The biryani, to be honest, didn’t have the smoky, woody flavor as much as we would have expected but the rice and chicken combination was quite smooth and complemented the Bamboo prawns (prawns marinated in spices and gravy, covered in bamboo and cooked in tandoor style) well.
Ending the meal on a sweet note were the flavoured kulfis – too much of a good thing never hurt anyone, did it?
In a nutshell, the new menu does not have any audacious or eye-popping dishes one may expect but what works beautifully is the harmony in which it has been created. Dishes that take inspiration from the past but travel to the East, West, South and North of India – while not being hesitant to incorporate international elements, be it in culinary techniques or in the way it’s presented – lie at the core of this hugely satisfying gastronomic experience. Indulge!