Monday, June 6, 2011

Hot and Cold at Bombay Beat

Bombay Beat Indian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

While treating my friend at Maurya Indian Cuisine, she mentioned being very impressed with Bombay Bhel in Burnaby, and that's where we went the week after.

On the way in, I noticed a notice that Bombay Bhel gift certificates were no longer being honoured. Which I thought odd, until I saw that we had walked into Bombay Beat (4266 East Hastings Street). Apparently the restaurant had changed management about three months ago. Everything looked the same, ran the same, and it had the same menu -- just a name change.

At around 5.30pm Saturday, it was surprisingly dead quiet that day. In fact, the entire neighbourhood was, except for a couple of pubs. It was hockey night and the hometown Canucks were on game 2 of the Stanley Cup finals, playing the Boston Bruins.

We ordered a cold appetizer platter to start, and I had the Goan curry with basa fillets.

The cold appetizer platter was very large, and a meal unto itself if you had it alone. There were basically two parts to it: A heaping mound of puffed rice (bhel poori, "a scrumptious mélange of puffed rice, peanuts, fine crispy
noodles, potatoes and onions mixed together in our tamarind sauce
and garnished with fresh coriander
") and some crispy rounds filled with creamy sauce (dahl poori, "hollow crispy shells filled with chick peas, potatoes, and our special blend of spices, all topped with yogurt and our tamarind
I'd never had a cold Indian appetizer before, and it was delicious and very different! I highly recommend you look for it next time you're in an Indian restaurant.

When the server took my order for the Goan curry, she said the "normal" way of making it was "mild" -- apparently Goan cuisine is typically not very spicy, though there definitely is a delicious mix of spice and coconut in it. Wary of too much bitter spiciness after my last experience at Maurya Indian Cuisine, I asked for "medium".
The very red curry had large cubes of fish that was a bit on the rubbery chewy side, but too much. The curry sauce/soup was thick with ingredients, predominantly what appeared to be fine shavings of coconut; and quite sweet, much more so than hot/spicy. I picked naan over rice for the side, and the one round of naan bread wasn't quite enough for all the curry, though together it already made for a filling meal, especially after we had shared the large cold appetizer sampler plate.

For dessert, my friend and I shared a chai crème brûlée. The flavour of the chai in the custard below the caramel top was subtle, which my friend liked but which didn't pique my interest so much.

The in-restaurant menu has many items that didn't make it into the online menu, so if you are browsing online first and looking for your favourite dishes, you may want to give the restaurant a call if you don't immediately find something you're keen on.

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