Cafe Bombay is one of those places I have been to a few times but never got around to writing up for this lil’ ol’ website of mine. Well today that changes! I brought Adam along for his first experience at Cafe Bombay (or Bombay Indian Bistro, depending on which side of the restaurant you are looking at.
This is the biggest indian (and related cuisines) buffet we have discussed here (actually, the biggest I’ve been to), larger than Panahar, Calcutta Palate, and Purnima, though I’ve not been to the buffet at Himalayan Spice, so I am not sure how it compares.
I was reasonably kind to myself on this particular venture, but I did make a point to cover the vast majority of the dishes available. I’m fairly certainly the only things not pictured on my plates are two of the three types of rice, a lentil soup, and salad. The dishes do rotate out here at Cafe Bombay, so some of my favorites were not available but I did get to try some new things.
The tikka masala sauce here is what made me a tikka masala person, and I prefer it to the less tomato-y, more creamy versions you find elsewhere. Not that this isn’t creamy, just not overly so. Since the chicken tikka masala was present, I wasn’t surprised that the paneer tikka masala wasn’t, but I was a bit bummed to not see the saag paneer, because that is my all-time favorite. Oh man, so good.
This trip was my first time trying the baingan ka bharta which I found to be absolutely delightful, and it easily vaulted into position as my third favorite dish at Cafe Bombay. Spicy, bright, and flavorful.
Somehow, this was also my first time trying chicken 65. It’s a dish I’ve seen around but never ordered (probably because it has such a generic american name, though it turns out it is from India after all). I did like it though! It’s basically spicy boneless chicken tenders, what’s not to love? I probably enjoyed it more than the tandoori chicken, but that might have been partially due to not having to deal with bones… I’m such an american.
Dessert was also a first. I love me some gulab jamun, but this time there was a very unique looking dish out on the bar instead. I have tentatively ID’d it as sweet bonde/boondi/boundi. Honest-to-goodness it reminded me of Fruity Pebbles or Froot Loops or some other sugary cereal product. Despite boondi’s distinctly different form from the vast majority of desserts I have made acquaintance with over the years, it was a fun, palatable surprise and I would definitely have them again. The coconut laddus were wet in the middle, which was a surprise as well. The rice pudding was quite soupy, which may very well be traditional – I have no clue – and I find that I prefer my rice puddings with less moisture.
Overall though, it was another very successful meal at Cafe Bombay. The daytime cost of the buffet was $12.12, middle of the road in our experiences, and a good value for the quality and variety of dishes available, not the mention very nice atmosphere and the high level of service… there are a number of servers watching the diners like hawks and sometimes my glass was refilled or my plate whisked away almost before I had finished drinking/eating.
Adam and I are very much looking forward to the opening of Masti in Toco Hills by the Cafe Bombay team (replacing the so-so Osteria Cibo Rustico). 4 stars.
2615 Briarcliff Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30329