Bombay Bustle is opened as a sister restaurant of Jamavar, a Michelin star-awarded Indian restaurant. It is located in Mayfair, tucked away at Maddox Street, which is right off Regent Street in Westend London. It has a humble exterior while the inside showcases a tiffin tin carrier-inspired interior. It’s almost like you have stepped into a dimly lit train and were hopping from one carriage to the next one.
The restaurant started with the Bar carriage, which has the bar and the cloakroom. Then it moves onto the Carriage section where there are table booths that resembles train booths. Next is the Dining Room carriage, when the decor turns a bit more elegant, with tables lined up neatly.
We booked a table for 8pm on a Saturday night. The restaurant was looking busy but it didn’t seem to be full house. Upon arrival, we still had to wait for a bit before the table’s ready. Little did we know there was also a downstairs area which offers a slightly more private setting.
As we sat down at our table at the downstairs area, we’re given only the drinks menu. So pretty much you must order drinks before you can start considering actual food. The drinks menu offers a good variety of cocktails – Herbal Harmony and Bombay Bustlers, and an extensive alcohol list for those who drink. For non-drinkers like myself, there are a couple of mocktail options, soft drinks, juices, coffee & teas.
Mango & Pistachio Lassi £4.5
The lassis are included on the mocktail list. There are multiple flavour combo to choose from. Options include Apple & Cinnamon, Cumin Coriander & Chilli, and Mango & Pistachio. The girls went for the Mango & Pistachio one.
You know how pistachio desserts and drinks can be like a gamble sometimes? By that I mean having real nutty pistachio flavour versus the almond powder taste. After their first sips, unfortunately the girls gave a face that meant it was the latter. The almond taste did put them off a bit but it seems to get covered up after some strong flavours from the food. But even so, the mango wasn’t particularly fresh and the girls did find it disappointing.
Bombay Cutting Chai £3.5
It was a cold miserable rainy day in London so I couldn’t wait to have a warm drink in my hand. The chai was served in traditional cutting chai glasses (translating as half a cup of tea in Mumbai). I thought the chai was underwhelming. I was expecting it be punchier but it turned out really mild. It’s still warming but lacked the punchy yet soothing effect of chai.
Small Plates & Starters
Mirchi & Pyaz Bhajia £5
To kick start the meal, we thought we would start with some bhaji. The dish includes Green Chillies and Red Onion Fritter. They are made to small bite-size and fried to a golden colour. The coating was fried to a beautiful crispy texture and it was a really great nibble. We enjoyed the onion one more, which has a good kick of spice in it. As for the green chillies, it wasn’t spicy but interestingly has more of a bitter taste.
Rarah Keema Pao £8
Having pao is always a delight (read how much I loved Indian paos from this post). In this dish, a spiced goat mince is served with buttery buns and some chopped red onions on the side. The mince was really savoury and saucy. When scooped onto the buttered buns, it just gives a luscious sensation. The chopped red onions on the side helped immensely to add texture to the mince. The mince was cooked to a very fine texture, which I appreciated but would personally prefer a chunkier texture. All in all, it was one of the favourite dishes from the girls but I personally expected more.
Kolhapuri Spit Chicken £18
From the Tandoor menu section, we managed to pick out this roast chicken as one of our main dishes. It’s not like you get to order a whole spit roasted chicken all the time at every restaurant so we’re for sure super anticipating for it.
There is always a ‘risk’ ordering whole chicken as it can easily get dry and tough. But Bombay Bustle has nailed it right. First of all, the skin was roasted to perfection. We loved the subtle touch of spice and a lemony tangy touch. The flavours played very nicely on your palate though we hoped for a stronger punch. The skin was lightly crispy and the meat was juicy – especially at the thigh & drumstick area. We were all very delighted to find the breast area reasonably moist and tender as well. It is in overall a satisfying and delightful one.
If you fear of getting too messy, the waiter would kindly offer to cut up the chicken for you on the table.
Seafood Tawa Pulao £18
After a long debate on whether to get a Biryani or Pulao, we finally settled with the Seafood Pulao. The Seafood Pulao includes Sea Bass, Scallops, Prawns, and Squid.
This one’s my personal favourite at Bombay Bustle. The seafood was absolutely delicious. I was especially happy to see such fleshy scallops and ‘meaty’ sea bass in there. The pulao has a good kick of spice in there. It’s flavoursome and palatable. There’s also a distinct tangy hit to the dish which I really enjoyed. Despite how much I enjoyed it, I don’t think I would pay that price tag for a rice dish again. It is worth trying it but more of a one-off.
Nalli Nihari £16
Last but not least, we got the Lamb Shank Curry. And of course we ordered some plain naan (£2) to go with it.
The curry was decent. I was waiting for the spices to hit, but it didn’t really come through. The lamb shank was very tender and tear easily off the bone. It’s a tasty dish in overall but lacked punch and depth. On the side note, the naan was extremely crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – we loved that.
To sum it all up, it had been an enjoyable meal at Bombay Bustle. I liked the concept and it has a nice dining atmosphere. Food was decent, some more outstanding than others, but pleasant in overall. The menu isn’t super expensive, but it’s certainly on the pricier end. We would be expecting some exquisite flavours with that price tag but there’s still room for improvement on that.
Halal Status: Chicken, Beef, Lamb & Goat are Halal