My exposure to Indian restaurants has always been limited to Brick Lane in London where I insisted on eating Chicken Vindaloo to impress the boys I lived with. Ultimately backfiring, I spent most of the evening wiping my eyes and trying to look like I really enjoyed sweating while eating. Following that, there was many a Sunday morning when I woke up hugging an Onion Bhaji which I had evidently bought on the way home from the local 24 hour takeaway.
My Indian food expectations were at an all time low and I was interested to experience an authentic Indian restaurant. For those who have yet to visit Bombay Blues, let me paint a picture for you. First there were actual Indian diners everywhere which I consider a very good sign. Second, there were two Indian managers with actual Indian names. (And very cute too). In fact, I was so busy staring at the man a mere meter away from me, that my partner gave me a swift kick under the table. When they ran us through the endless menu I tried to appear knowledgable and asked: ‘Any Vindaloo?’ and got my second under-the-table kick for the evening.
While I had hours of fun trying to pronounce Murg Makhanwala and Adla Gosht, my partner did not utter a word while he worked his way through his Raan Bombay Blues and Jhinga Goan curry. Not familiar with most of the dishes, I was told that while Bombay Blues offers all the favourite Indian dishes, it also caters for Indian people from different areas of India. Not being sure which part of India I was from, I ate everything and am happy to say should you visit India, no matter what area you’re in, the food is sublime. Dare I say something as cheesy as ‘an explosion of flavour’ and a ‘spice sensation?’ Whoops, just said it.
Two hours later and eleven (small) dishes down (when I began convincing myself that the butter chicken that was completely off the Indian charts was definitely calorie-free) they offered us dessert. I am not a dessert person, usually because I can’t stomach any more food, okay and also because of the calories. Ironic since I had just consumed my body weight in stupidly-delicious naan bread. Turning down dessert always makes me seem somehow restrained and in control and as my body’s way of saying thank you, cancels out any previously-inhaled calories. The Indian hottie was having none of it and we found ourselves being introduced to Gulab Jamun and Phirni. Who knew something so small could make a person so happy? While trying to ignore the fact that Gulab Jamun was shaped like balls (and failing miserably), I was completely and utterly in Indian dessert heaven.
For a truly authentic Indian evening, surrounded by naan bread, poppadoms and unique Indian cuisine, I recommend Bombay Blues. For a couple of hours you truly believe you are in Mumbai. It’s only when you walk out you realize you’re in Rosebank, Johannesburg and don’t have change for the parking guard and begrudgingly offer him your doggie bag.
Bombay Blues was reviewed by Baglett. Read her tea-snortingly funny blog here.