Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to Bombay Beat

Bombay Beat Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Somehow I ended up back at Bombay Beat last Friday for another curry dinner. This time, on a first-time date (is that a good idea? -- taking a date to a curry dinner?).
It was my very first non-scammer Craigslist date, and during our correspondence over e-mail, she had mentioned two restaurants that she liked: Curry King Café and X-Site Grill and Bistro.
I initially suggested we try Curry King, but she rescheduled and we ended up at Bombay Beat, possibly because I had mentioned I found the food good and it had curious cold Indian appetizers.

I think my date was interested in the cold appetizers too, but was turned off by them when she found out the underlying crunchy pooris used were deep fried.
So, on to the mains!

My date ordered a Lamb Sabaz Curry, primarily because it was the only item on the menu that included "fresh vegetables". No fresh vegetables were in sight when her order came, although the broccoli was still crunchy inside the curry, suggesting that they might not have been cooked together.
It was mild, almost bland for me, but hot enough for her.

I went with a Lamb Vindaloo, which I had expected to be spicy-hot as vindaloos are supposedly famous for that trait. However, it too was rather mild (for my taste) and also somewhat like a Malaysian rendang. It was very tasty (though not quite as good as the goan fish curry I had before and remembered to ask for it spicy), but next time I'll have to remember that Indian restaurants take it easy on North American customers and default to "mild".

I also got an order of Paneer Naan, which was basically naan with the paneer (Indian cheese) grated inside, between the fold. This made the naan almost soggy, and in any case the paneer didn't have a strong enough flavour, so the whole thing was more of a novelty than really adding anything to the order of naan.

For dessert, we finally settled on ras malai, which came as two flattened cakes of paneer. The flavour of the pistachio wasn't particularly strong, but neither was the cardamon (which can be kind of yucky, like having too much star anise).
Overall, this was the least-sweet Indian dessert I've ever had, which was rather surprising as Indian desserts and sweets tend to be a shot of sugar rush. If you're not looking for super-sweet, then this dessert for two might be a good option.

Hockey season being over, the restaurant was quite buzzing that night. Service was uneven, but in part I think it was because the waitresses ended up all over the place, so it was nice that front desk staff and management came by when they were occupied to take and serve our orders. That said, we did sit outside of the main dining room, close to the windows looking out on Hastings -- far from the noisy buzz of a busy dining room, where we could talk privately.

$13.95 x 2 curries, $3.25 paneer naan, $5.25 ras malai, + tax = $40.77 before tip.

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