Before the explosion of reinterpreted Indian restaurants that we see dotted around London today, there was one fine dining Indian restaurant which was well established and regarded amongst the connoisseurs of Indian food in London: Bombay Brasserie. My London family introduced me to BB pretty much as soon as my plane landed in Heathrow! 12 years later and I must say visiting this place brings back fond memories!
For those who are not aware (unlikely), Bombay Brasserie do an exceptional Sunday Brunch. It is equivalent to our Sunday roast, part tradition and part reason to get together with family and loved ones! Many generations of families celebrate special occasions here, whether be it birthdays, anniversaries or festivals. The layout is flexible enough to accommodate parties of various sizes without spilling over onto each other’s private space; you can have an intimate brunch for two or a big gathering of twenty. They also have a private dining space which can be booked exclusively for larger parties.
Part of the Taj Group of Hotels, Bombay Brasserie is located in Kensington, literally seconds from Gloucester Road station. The interiors (designed by Design LSM) are sumptuous and opulent; an authentic representation of the bygone colonial era. The circular entrance with its intricate flooring and back-lit curved walls are punctuated with lanterns in niches creating a welcoming space.
The formal bar has the feeling of a gentleman’s club crossed with a library.
The tastefully designed main dining hall is a visual showcase of their collection of photography from the colonial past. If you look up, there are two spectacularly stylish chandeliers adorning the ceilings. Beyond the more traditional, formal dining area is a more relaxed and casual conservatory space, flushed with lots of natural light and indoor greenery.
The brunch is served in the conservatory; the dishes are served buffet-style, with dedicated food stations for each course. The menu changes constantly, which means no matter how many times you visit, there is always something new and exciting to try.
The gastronomic journey starts with the ‘Chaat‘ section, the original street food of India. A server can rustle up your favourite savoury snacks in a myriad of combinations or you can also DIY. Whether you like Bhelpuri or Paanipuri, you name it they have it!
You can also treat yourself to some succulent tandoori-chargrilled chicken and fragrantly spiced prawns which are terrific. I always end up going back for second helpings. Be prepared to queue as this is undoubtedly the most popular station!
The main course is a array of hearty curries, home-style daals and warmly spiced biryanis, all beautifully cooked. The spice level is medium and there are plenty of milder options available if you are not too keen on the heat. There are a few regional specialities as well and vegetarian food is very well catered for; in fact, you will find some of the best vegetarian food options in London here. They serve Basmati rice with the curries but if you fancy Indian breads, you can always order some Naan or Rotis which arrive freshly prepared to mop up your plate! All the food is served piping hot and continuously topped up.
To compliment your mains, you also have a selection of fresh salads, yoghurts and chutneys to choose from.
If you still magically have some room left in your stomach, you can turn your attention to desserts. They are all fresh spins on old classics, from decadent to light and fruity, served in bite sized portions so you can sample a variety of them (and go back for more refills).
Bombay Brasserie have a fairly exhaustive wine, cocktail and whisky menu. They have some unique and specially curated classic cocktails with an Indian twist, served in impressive glassware. On my last visit, I had this enticing Rose Bellini, specially prepared for me!
The service is and always has been exceptional. The staff are well-dressed, attentive, polite and efficient. You will be well-looked after here, especially if you are a regular.
Having gone back after aeons, I am pleased to see that Bombay Brasserie remains as iconic as I remember it, with the quality of food still exemplary. Some things are best left untouched.
More information can be found here.
N.B. All photos and opinions are mine. This is not a sponsored post.