Tonight duck shikampuri (£10) was little duck cakes stuffed with red onions, yoghurt and mint, garnished with a mint chutney. The cakes had excellent depth of flavour, nicely spiced, with the yoghurt a useful foil to the spices (14/20). Palak patta chaat had crisp fried baby spinach leaves mixed in with yoghurt, date and tamarind chutney. This dish had just about the right amount of sweetness from the tamarind, the spinach leaves in place an unusual variation on the more common aloo papdi chat, which involves fried flour crisps, potato and chickpeas (13/20).
Chicken biryani was a bit light on pieces of chicken, but these were moist and the spicing was fine; the star of the dish was the rice, which had superb texture, as light and fluffy as you would wish for (14/20).
Monkfish was marinated with ground spring onion, coriander and lime leaves before being cooked in the tandoor. This was a very successful dish, the monkfish being a strong enough flavour to stand up to the spices in the marinade which was precisely balanced (14/20). On the side, tarka dhal had reasonable texture and a hint of smokiness (13/20), while bhindi had very carefully cooked okra, which avoided the sliminess that so often afflicts this dish (14/20). Naan bread was good (13/20).
Kulfi malai was made from scratch in the kitchen and was excellent, served at a perfect temperature and having lovely texture and plenty of flavour (14/20). Service was genuinely excellent, well-drilled and attentive. The bill came to £71 a head with just beer to drink. This is certainly not cheap, but reflects the higher quality ingredients being used here and the standard of the cooking, which was genuinely high. The Bombay Brasserie, perhaps because it has been around so long, seems invisible to the media (social and otherwise) but it is delivering some of the better Indian food to be found in London. Even in the absence of publicity, on this weekday evening the restaurant did 135 covers, a indication of its success with its customers.