Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bombay Brasserie, Indian dining in London

Location: Courtfield Close, Courtfield Road (opp Gloucester road tube station), London, SW74UH. Ph: +44(0)207 370 4040 www.bombaybrasserie.co.uk

Sandwiched between two premier hotels of the 'Millenium' group, and opposite Gloucester road station, this fine treasure's prime location is just one of 'the good things going for this restaurant. Given the plethora of eateries in this magnificent city, not to mention the 'authentic' Indian joints which are either called 'Raj Tandoori' or 'Raj Mahal', it can be very confusing as to what Indian food actually is, and whether that on offer is any good. The age old adage 'you get what you pay for' does seem to hold true when it comes to excellent Indian food in this city.

Bombay Brasserie is expensive. But it is worth every penny you pay. The environment changes dramatically from the doorstep into the main foyer. You find yourself in a bar furnished in old colonial style. The sights and sounds of the outside are already a distant memory. I recommend that you enjoy the bar before dining, its plush seating and the regal black and white photos of a bygone era.

It is surprisingly big inside, once you step into the dining room. An electronic and automatic piano plays popular tunes softly, as we are led to our table for ten. The service is impeccable.
My husband chose an entree of Goan halibut, which was not hot, but wildly aromatic. Creamy coconut and chillis made this a superb dish. My choice of Prawn Balchao was equally delicious, but hot. If you like your food nice and hot, this is the classic to go for at the Brasserie. Succulent and juicy, I could also taste the undertones of mustard and ginger which were married so successfully with the heat.

The wine list is extensive, and even has a wonderfully crisp Indian sparkling wine by the name of Omar Khayyam. It complemented our choices beautifully.

We spent about three and a half hours enjoying our meal, and never felt rushed. The friday evening had the place buzzing, but attentive waiters always checked in with us periodically. The only criticism I would have is the portion size, which is on the smaller side. However, somehow, the flavorful dishes seemed to distract me from this. Who needs large portions when the food is this exquisite? The bill including service, wine, starters and dessert came to about 60 pounds per person. As I said before, it was worth every penny. Definitely an establishment worth revisiting.

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