Taj Dubai’s Bombay Brasserie
Last week VeggieBuzz reviewed Tesoro, Taj Dubai’s Peruvian inspired restaurant, so we were definitely looking forward to trying out what Bombay Brasserie had to offer. As of now, they are only open for dinner, so I head there with my brother one evening.
At the entrance of the restaurant, we are greeted with a cheery ‘namaste’ by our Ukranian hostess; it’s an interesting and somewhat amusing touch. The interiors have a trendy, contemporary design with a black and white palette and spot lighting. An open kitchen in the center surrounded by bar stools adds to the very modern vibe. Some traditional flourishes complete the look with the use of richly colored seating, rustic-looking designs on the floors, and a mural depicting Indian artwork.
Our hostess leads us to a series of dark wooden tables flanked by bright blue couches, with a direct view of the Burj Khalifa. I notice that the cushions on the couch have some Indian artwork on them as well. Almost immediately, we receive warm greetings from the manager on duty and our server.
As expected at any Indian restaurant, there is no shortage of vegetarian food. Once we are done placing our order, rice based fried papads are placed on the table along with rhubarb ginger relish and papaya marmalade; both relishes have a more complex flavor than is immediately apparent. Shortly afterward comes an amuse bouche: small wedges of granny smith apple with black chat masala and a beetroot relish. The tart flavors dance on the tongue, whetting our appetites for the meal to come.
We start off with a selection of vegetable kebabs. I’m most interested in trying the Bhatti Ki Subzi, a combination of grilled asparagus and avocado. I’ve never much cared for asparagus, and wonder if an Indian-spice rub can add some excitement to it. The normally bland asparagus does have a bit of a kick, and a nice firm texture. It's my first time having grilled avocado, and it leaves me wanting more.
The other kebabs consists of Bhatti Aloo, a grilled potato that has a tart, creamy cashew and cranberry stuffing, and Peeli Mirch Paneer, a delicate cylinder of cottage cheese partly stuffed with a chili mixture such that one half of the kebab lets you taste the paneer and the chili together, while the other allows you to enjoy the paneer by itself.
For the main course, we have Baingan Bhartha, served in an eggplant-shaped container that creatively uses the top of an actual eggplant as the lid. Baingan bhartha is notable for its strong smoky flavors, however I struggle to find that flavor in this dish. The taste of sautéed onions and various spices come to the fore, but no smokiness.
Martabaan Chole also has a fairly unique presentation. A maratabaan is a clay jar that’s normally used to preserve Indian pickles. In this case, the jar is used to cook the chickpea dish, and is also used as a serving vessel. It’s a very robust dish, with a slightly sour flavor that tickles the taste buds.
Paneer Sirka Pyaz is a paneer curry with pickled onions, along with a tomato-based gravy. While the onions do add a slight tang, the overall dish doesn’t taste very different from paneer dishes I’ve had before. The small bowl of Daal Makhani that accompanies the main dishes has that classic hearty flavor.
We’ve also got a nice selection of breads. The layered parathas are flaky and buttery, the sun-dried kulcha makes its presence felt with a strong and pleasing taste, and the seeded multi-grain roti is tasty, with a more crisp texture than the other breads.
Finally, there’s Lucknowi Subz Biryani, a dish of rice, mixed vegetables and spice, that’s been steamed in a glass pot specially designed for the Taj Hotel Group. The basmati rice has a slight sweetness to it and the vegetables are perfectly cooked.
Our server checks on us often and, much like at Tesoro, I’m very impressed by the level of care and knowledge displayed by the staff. It’s not surprising, however, given the Taj’s reputation for having impeccable service.
At last, we get to dessert. Though we’d have been happy with just one, we’re sent a trio to sample. Gulab Juman, a milk-based dumpling, is topped with a rose jelly that imparts it a subtle floral flavor, but is otherwise fairly average. The Anjeer Shahi Tukda is a bread pudding topped with discs of caramelized figs, which is a delicious unique spin on the traditional dessert. My favorite is the Quinoa Kheer, a sweet and tangy dessert of orange-infused quinoa soaked in milk.
Bombay Brasserie presents classical Indian dishes in a modern way, with an occasional touch of quirkiness. The food is quite good, but it’s the service that really elevates the experience and makes it an enjoyable night out.
Veggie Friendly: ✔ Vegan Friendly: X
Pros: Trendy interiors, great view, extremely friendly and attentive staff
Cons: Some of the main courses need improvement
Price: $$$ (200 - 500 AED)
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