Bombay Borough, Colombo

Located at: Ground Level, One Galle Face Mall, 1A Colombo-Galle Road, Colombo 02, Sri Lanka

Visited on: 15 August, 2022

Bombay Borough Indian Bar & Eatery at One Galle Face Mall is one of three of the restaurant’s international branches. The other two are located in Bangalore, India and Dubai, UAE. One of the first things you notice upon entering the restaurant is the bright and contemporary interior that draws more than a touch of influence from Bombay’s Portuguese occupation – from the mosaic-like floor tiles, to the wicker lampshades and seating, the marble-esque table tops and the Portuguese-style plates scattered among the ornaments that line one wall. Eye-catching. And we were keen to try their food!

Let’s talk about the beverages first. They looked vibrant, and their presentation (I noticed others that were coming out of the bar, too) was on point. The Watermelon Juice (LKR 720) was super fresh, and the Rickshaw Refresher – North Indian traditional lemonade with fresh lemon and mint (LKR 650) was truly refreshing. The third drink you see in the image below is a Nagpuri Santra – orange and basil with vodka (LKR 1,420) which went down easy, too.

Fresh Watermelon Juice, Rickshaw Refresher, Nagpuri Santra

I think it’s fair to say that Bombay Borough’s appetisers blew us away. First to arrive at the table was the Goan Squid – semolina crusted fried squid with homemade tamarind (imli) sauce (LKR 1,920). This was so hot and crisp on the outside, and the squid rings themselves were wonderfully crunchy. Perfectly done. They were fine by themselves, but the imli sauce certainly jazzed the dish up a bit.

Goan Squid

Then came the show-stopper. Fiery Thecha Prawn – prawns tossed with fiery mirch ka thecha (LKR 1,920). Mirch ka thecha, as I learnt later, is a Maharashtrian green chutney that is typically eaten with a particular type of roti (no wonder I kept thinking it would be great to scoop this up with some naan!). It is a dry-ish chutney with a green chilli and garlic base, upon which several variations have been created. This particular one had chopped peanuts and some coconut shavings, as well as what we assumed had to be green gram, perhaps some cilantro, and pine nuts. It was impossible to tell, but it felt like a party on the palate. An Indian party, to be specific. It had a bit of a chaat flavour to it, and felt rich and filling. In our thirty-plus years of tasting a variety of dishes from different parts of India while residing in Dubai, we somehow hadn’t come across this unique and interesting flavour profile. And it was a wonderful encounter. The prawns were jumbo-sized and there were about nine or ten of them in the single portion. Like the squid, the prawn, too, was crunchy and nicely seasoned. A winner of a dish.

For the mains, we ordered a mix of naan and paratha. We tried their specialty Chur Chur Paratha – a flaky masala paratha (LKR 380), which was smoky from its preparation in the tandoor (cylindrical clay oven run using charcoal), mildly spicy and beautifully flaky.

Chur Chur Paratha

Their Plain Naan (LKR 310) and Butter Naan (LKR 340) were both topped with black sesame seeds and were served warm and crisp on the edges – always the best way to have naan! Again, you could feel the flavour of the tandoor on these perfectly thin breads.

Plain Naan

The Chicken Tikka Butter Masala – a.k.a. our family-favourite dish, butter chicken (LKR 1,840) was top-notch. The gravy was just the right viscosity and had a delicious flavour to it. So much so that I was enticed to have another piece of bread – just to enjoy more of the gravy. Kudos to the chef!

Chicken Tikka Butter Masala

Finally, we tried their Malai Chicken Roast – chicken kebab marinated in creamed yoghurt and rubbed with Tellicherry black pepper butter (LKR 1,850). What can I say? There was nothing to fault about the food at this place. The chicken was tender and the seasoning was just right. To top that off, the accompanying mint and tomato-based chutneys were fantastic. Fresh and full of flavour. Another good one from Bombay Borough.

Malai Chicken Roast

We rounded the night off with their Masala Chai (LKR 450) which they serve with a couple of light, mildly sweet and slightly buttery bread biscuits and sugar on the side. The masala flavour was very much evident, but not overwhelmingly so. I was glad to know that the sugar came as an option and not already added – lest it was made too sweet. We truly had no capacity for dessert after that meal, but the chai was a fitting end to an evening of delightful Indian cuisine.

Masala Chai

Yummy Rating: 4.5 / 5.0

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