Pass the Samosas

Aug. 31, 2006, midnight | By Rachita Sood | 17 years, 9 months ago

Bombay Bistro offers authentic Indian dining experience

From cities lining the coast of the Arabian Sea to small villages in the northern state of Punjab, the unique food of India varies with every mile. Tucked away in Bell's Corner just outside of downtown Rockville, Bombay Bistro captures this delectable cuisine with its large menu and delicious food.

The restaurant creates the feel of an authentic Indian dhaba, a small eatery that is found all over India, while also maintaining a classy atmosphere. Fans twirl lazily from the ceiling and three-dimensional clay tiles depicting life in India hang from the walls. On one side, a colorful display of broken bangles attached to a sand-colored paper adorns the wall. Though plentiful, the decorations are not overdone and work well with the lightly playing flute music to create a relaxed dining experience.

A meal at Bombay Bistro begins with a choice of appetizers. Along with traditional Indian snacks such as samosas, bhelpuri and chaat, the restaurant offers a special appetizer called Mussels a la Bistro, an exquisite portion of steamed mussels. Other seafood dishes such as rockfish, tandoori salmon and tandoori king shrimp can be found in the restaurant's daily specials. Specials are a bit pricey and cost between $14 and $17, but are well worth the damage.

The restaurant's real appeal is in its wide selection of moderately priced vegetable dishes and dosas. Dosas, traditional dishes in southern India, come in a variety of flavors and are essentially crispy crepes filled with vegetables. Bombay Bistro's masala dosa, a very popular type of dosa, exceeds expectations with its tangy, paper-thin bread and its warm and flavorful blend of potatoes, tomatoes and onions inside. Another Indian favorite that the Bistro's kitchen deliciously prepares is dal makhani, a rich and buttery dish of soft black lentils in a creamy soup.

Meat lovers won't be disappointed by Bombay's non-veggie menu, though the prices leave a bit to be desired. Lamb, chicken, fish, and beef can be found in flavorful curries or in dishes cooked in the restaurant's own clay oven "Tandoor." The chicken tikka makhani is one curry consisting of boneless chicken pieces in a thick tomato based gravy. The dish is served with class in a small bronze pot heated by a candle, but beware: the chicken is tough and lacks any real flavor. The food is consumable, but for $11 fails to match up to the cheaper and more succulent choices on the menu.

For an inexpensive taste of Indian cuisine, the restaurant features a daily buffet for $7.99 on weekdays and $9.95 on weekends. The buffet consists of crisp salads, flavorful chicken and fish curries, multiple vegetarian dishes, fluffy flatbreads, miniature dosas and a sweet rice pudding for dessert.

Bombay Bistro truly lives up to the expectations of any Indian restaurant. With its plethora of choices and authentic ambience, Bombay Bistro is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the unique food and culture of India.

Bombay Bistro is located at 98 W. Montgomery Ave., Rockville. To contact the restaurant, call 301-762-8798 or visit their website at ""

Rachita Sood. Rachita Sood wants you to tell her a joke. She probably won't get it, but she'll laugh anyways. In the little free time she has, Rachita enjoys jammin' to ROXANNE, dressing in earth-toned clothes and munching on Peeps. More »

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