Restaurant Feature: Elegant Indian dining at Bombay Brasserie

by Karisa

A really elegant, special occasion type Indian restaurant experience is hard to come by in Cape Town… Well that’s at least how I felt, until recently that is. My mind was changed thanks to an invitation to review the new-look Bombay Brasserie at the Taj Cape Town in Wale Street.

After a rather large renovation that brought a fresh, new look as well as a bit more space, the new restaurant interior reminded me of a beautiful peacock fanning out its colourful feathers for the world to see. In fact (and I honestly only realised this when I was editing my photos), you’ll spot quite a few peacocks along the walls of the main dining area.

Let me give you a quick look around:

The main dining area…
The Bombay Brasserie Bar where you can enjoy a pre-dinner or after-work drink. Their selection includes an extensive range of cocktails, beers, wines and some of the finest whiskies and brandies around.
Getting a glimpse of all the kitchen action…

As far as the menu goes, they largely kept it the same, but did add 8 new dishes, including Baingan Bharta (a clay oven smoked Aubergine crush with crumbled feta) and Tikka Masala (Charred Tikka, fenugreek, onion and tomato sauce).

As we perused the extensive menu, we snacked on a selection of papadums which the Bombay Brasserie definitely serves in style:

Could have happily finished another portion of these. They were really good.

If you’re struggling to decide on what to order, they do have vegetarian & non-vegetarian set menus which range from R425 pp to R650 pp and includes an amuse bouche, a selection of starters & mains as well as dessert. My friend Kim and I decided to rather share a couple of dishes, that way we could try a few different things.

This was an amuse bouche from the chef… can’t recall the name, but was an interesting mix of both sweet & savoury.

I was immediately drawn to the “Small plates” section on the menu which is a take on Indian street food but with a fine dining twist. If you’re not up for a big meal, the selection of small plate dishes will be perfect for you. It’s also great as a snack if you’re sitting at the bar or even just as a starter. We actually ended up choosing 2 of these small plates as our starter dishes.

We went for the Confit Duck & Battered Spinach Chaat (R115):

This was my favourite dish of the night. Everything about it was perfection. If a person could marry a dish – I would most definitely marry this one. 😉

And the Karoo Lamb Shikhampuri (R140):

This dish is described as a kebab, but in fact is more the texture of a fish cake, but made with finely minced lamb. Make sure you get enough of those two accompanying sauces with each bite because that’s what makes this dish pop.

Then for mains we went for the seared prawns (R195) & the Chicken Tariwala (R195) from the signature mains selection. We paired this with some steamed basmati rice (R50), a garlic naan (R50) and the black lentil Dal Makhni (R65):

The prawns were very simply done with butter, garlic & some black pepper. Beautifully cooked, we just felt it was quite a small portion for R195. The chicken Tariwala was the star dish, almost like a butter chicken, but way more fragrant. Also a small portion when you first look at it, but still very filling.

Then finally for dessert, we tried the not-so-exciting sounding Steamed Yoghurt (R85) as well as the Nougat ‘Kulfi’ Ice Cream (R115):

This steamed yoghurt, even though boring sounding, ended up being my favourite out of the two. It’s super creamy & just the perfect way to end a heavy, curry-based meal.
The nougat ice cream was lovely too, especially with the pieces of fresh fruit. As a chocolate dessert girl at heart, I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed both of these desserts.

Overall, this was a really lovely meal with the standouts being the Confit Duck & Battered Spinach Chaat, the Chicken Tariwala & the Steamed Yoghurt. Would happily have that exact combo as starter, main & dessert again and again.

The only slight negative for me would be the pricing, as most of the portions are on the smaller end & with the mains you still have to order your sides separately. So that’s something to keep in mind. If you’re wanting a real bang-for-your-buck kind of Indian experience, this is not going to be it. For me this would class more as a special treat, particularly if you’re looking for an elegant and/or romantic setting that’s going to impress.

Other notable mentions: The service is friendly & attentive and the atmosphere is relaxed, even though it is a very sophisticated space. I would highly recommend the Bombay Brasserie as a hot date night spot that will earn you aaaaall of the brownie points. ** gentlemen take note **

For all these reasons I’m going to give the Bombay Brasserie the following solid score on my Miss K Kiss-o-Meter scale:

And I’m hoping to make my way back there soon for that duck!

They are open: Monday to Sunday – with the bar open from 3pm to 11pm & the restaurant open from 6pm to 10:30pm.

For bookings you can contact them on: (+27) 021 819 2000

And you’ll find them at: Taj Cape Town, 1 Wale St, Cape Town City Centre.

I’m very happy that I finally got to pay them a visit, particularly because they’re only a 5min walk away from where I live. I mean fine dining Indian, right on my doorstep? Didn’t even realise…


** This was a PR invite & therefore the meal was on them. **

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