Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Shalom Bombay Restaurant Review

I've been craving a particular Indian dish for months and months now, chicken kheema, looking on the menus posted outside all the Indian restaurants I see, and Shalom Bombay on Lexington Avenue is the only one I've found so far that has it.  So, I ate there this past Sunday.

  I picked this restaurant for that particular dish, not because it's a kosher restaurant.

Overall, I was disappointed in the food.  Chicken kheema isn't a common dish, so there's no "standard" to it that I know of (in fact, my in-laws' three kitchen servants all make it distinctly different enough that I can tell which of them made a particular batch, and there's one, Ashok Singh's, that I like much better than the other two...) but Shalom Bombay's was relatively flavorless, though I asked for "medium" when the waitress asked how spicy I wanted it.  The methi in it was the strongest flavor.  There wasn't much oil or gravy to bind the ground chicken together very well, so it was hard to pick up with naan.

While I was waiting she brought out a plate of complementary pakoras.  A nice treat, except they were room temperature and soggy.  Not at all the way pakoras should be served, hot and crisp straight from the street-side frier...

  (my favorite pakoras are from the food vendors up on top of Sinhagad, an old fort in the hills outside Pune)

The rice that came with the chicken dish was sticky, one big lump, and had no basmati smell at all.  It was just as generic as rice could be.

The service, however, was fantastic.  My server, Roma, was attentive, but not pushy or annoying.  When the chicken was taking a while to finish cooking she came by to assure me I wasn't forgotten.

Eating alone, one entree with rice and naan was plenty filling, so I didn't indulge in dessert, as that would've just left me uncomfortably full.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and the restaurant was not crowded, the atmosphere was quiet and pleasant, with soft music playing.  Not a bad place to sit for a while.

Anyway, maybe some of their more standard dishes are better than their chicken kheema?

Still, at 20-30% more in price than most of the other nearby Indian restaurants and very disappointing food, I'm not really in a rush to return here.


  1. Hey Kevin hope you are doin great, today after long time I recalled your amazing blogs and visted it. Came across this blog related to Kheema and got back to that discussion we had about Kheema you use to havein Aundh, not tried it but for sure would give a shot shortly. Also Sinhgad pakora (Bhaji)is the best one can ever have --- Yogesh

  2. Hey Yogesh,

    In Aundh it's the Peshwa Hotel you should go to for chicken kheema... Very good there... It's right at the corner of Parihar Chowk. I remembered the name when I saw it in November... I was in Pune for a three week vacation to visit my wife, since her U.S. visa is taking longer than we expected...

    Anyway, I'm doing okay... I miss India now a lot more after being away and then going for a short vacation of relaxing. But New York City is fantastic.