Sherman's Food Adventures: Bombay Kitchen + Bar (Commercial Drive)

Bombay Kitchen + Bar (Commercial Drive)

If you haven't noticed, we've been invited to try out quite a few Indian restaurants (predominantly Punjabi) all over the Lower Mainland.  Not sure if this by coincidence and/or Indian restaurant really like us.  However, we sure aren't complaining because we all enjoy Indian cuisine!  The latest dinner happened to be at Bombay Kitchen + Bar on Commercial, located in longtime former spot of The Reef.  They have completely renovated the place and similar to many of the higher-end Indian restaurants in town, the decor is appealing with a bougie bar.

So with such a nice bar, we had to get some drinks including the Mango Mojito, Strawberry Virgin Mojito, Sexy Bombay, Lime Soda and Mango Lassi.  The theme of these drinks were definitely fruit and very drinkable.  Hence, they were also dangerous as you can down many!  I loved how the ones with alcohol were balanced and not crazy strong but at the same time, you could definitely tell it was there.

Off the food, we started with the Bombay Mixed Platter featuring veggie samosa, veggie pakora, paneer pakora, and fish pakora.  Things were deep-fried perfectly in this dish as the pakoras were all crispy and not heavy.  The fish was flaky and moist while the paneer was appealingly squishy.  Veggie pakora featured wilted veggies that weren't mushy.  Pakoras sported a crispy outer shell that wasn't greasy.  Inside, the filling was well-spiced.

To get a taste of everything we got the Tandoori Mix Grill consisting of chicken, prawns, chicken tikka, lamb chops & fish.  This was another winner with nicely charred meat.  My favourite was the bone-in chicken tandoori as it was flavourful and super moist.  The fish was also good being flaky and buttery (from the ghee on the bottom of the cast iron plate).  Lamb was in smaller pieces and was also good.

Next, we had the Vegetable Chili Momos that were bathed in a tangy and spicy sauce.  It was very flavourful and could've been eaten with plain rice.  However, it was there to flavour the momos.  That it did.  It ended up soaking into the dumpling skin.  The result was a soft and very delicate dumpling wrapper as it was quite thin to begin with.  Inside, the veggies were soft, but not mushy.

If you haven't heard about Chicken 65, then you need to hear about it.  It is a flavourful fried chicken snack that originated from the Hotel Bruhari in 1965 (hence the name).  This one was a good version with medium-sized pieces of chicken that sported a crispy coating that was spiced by red chilis.  It wasn't actually spicy.  Rather, it was more balanced.  Inside, the chicken itself was moist and almost juicy.

One of the most surprising dishes was the Chili Prawns.  You see, we asked for mild dishes because not everyone could handle spice.  Personally, I love spice, so it was a nice surprise to see that the heat from the chili prawns was significant.  It caused a lot of coughing at the table.  For me it was perfect as it made up for the delicate flavour of the meaty prawns.  There was also equal parts savoury and sweetness.

Moving onto the mains, we had to get the default dish in the Butter Chicken.  This was quite creamy and smooth with the balancing tang from the tomatoes.  Beyond that, we could also taste the spices with a slight kick and earthiness.  Unlike many other version where they use tandoori chicken breast, they ended up opting for tandoori chicken thighs.  Therefore, the meat was juicy and tender with much more natural chicken flavour.

So the butter chicken was very good, but honestly, the Coconut Chicken was the table favourite.  Sporting the same tender and juicy chicken thighs, the sauce was the real star of the dish.  It was creamy and rich with the aromatic and tropical flavour of coconut milk.  It was further enhanced by the tang from the lemon and bite from the ginger.  However, the dish as a whole was on the sweeter side and definitely needed rice or naan for balance.

On the topic of sweet, the Kerala Fish Curry was equally sweet with some of the same flavours as the coconut chicken.  One of the key differences, other than the protein, was the addition of shallots and garlic, which made for more aromatics.  Also, the green mango provided just a slightest background tanginess.  Of course we need to talk about the pieces of fish as they were delicate and flaky.  So much so, we had to be careful spooning it out of the casserole dish.

Going in a totally different direction in terms of flavour and protein, we had the ever-popular Lamb Rogen Josh.  This was truly rich and comforting fall flavours from the cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. There was also the sweetness from the onions as well as the earthiness from the cumin.  Classic flavours and definitely impactful.  The big chunks of lamb were fairly tender, but it was somewhere in between firm and soft.

Going for a veggie dish as our last curry, we had the classic Palak Paneer.  This was also rather creamy and rich with the slight earthiness from the cumin.  I also got the bright sharpness of the ginger that helped break up the heaviness.  Hidden within, we found little cubes of paneer that were squishy in a texturally-pleasing way.  Not sure if this was necessarily the healthy veggies we were looking for, but it was tasty nonetheless!

Onto the breads, we had a wide selection including Garlic Naan, Cheese Naan, Spinach & Paneer Naan and Lachha Paratha.  On looks alone, these looked on point and in fact, they were with the garlic naan being nicely blistered and crispy.  On the inside, it was chewy and slightly fluffy.  The stuffed naans were softer with crispy edges.  The fillings made them good on their own.  Lastly, the paratha was crispy with a pleasing chewiness while brushed with plenty of ghee.

We also had one rice dish in the Chicken Biryani.  Yes, we know that plain basmati rice should be the compliment to all the curries, but we just love biryani and had to get it.  Turned out to be a great decision as it was prepared very well.  The rice was chewy and moist without being wet.  It had soaked up all the flavours and had a nice spice level.  The morsels of dark chicken meat were tender and also well-spiced.

We ended up trying all of their desserts including Gajar Ka Halva, Ras Malai, Mango Cheesecake and Stick Kulfi.  For me, I love the carrot dessert as it was sweet with raisins while soft and warm.  I also love all things kulfi and this was not exception as it was creamy and rich with cardamom.  Surprisingly, the cheesecake was excellent being rich and firm but not too heavy.  Yes, these desserts were sweet, but not so much that it was overwhelming.  All-in-all, this meal at Bombay Kitchen + Bar was fantastic and well-portioned.  Prices are very reasonable and the decor is welcoming.  A solid spot on the Drive and I would definitely come back.

*Food & beverages were complimentary for this post

The Good:
- Solid eats
- Reasonable-pricing
- Welcoming dining space

The Bad:
- Parking is always difficult to find on The Drive
- Restaurant is relatively small and can fill up quickly


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