A FLASHY JOURNEY OF SMALL PLATES.
With decor inspired by Indian trains Bombay Bustle brings to focus little nuances of the renowned Indian carriages, without going theme-park crazy. But this is London Mayfair and the look is more opulent Orient Express rather than rough-and-ready Indian Railways.
Even the passengers are more decked up. It is early Saturday evening, and the lively restaurant is almost full with a heady mix of diners — the theatre goers, the romantics, the smart families and the savoir-faire friends. It’s a carriage full of beautiful, well turned-out and well-scented people. Eager to sample the Maximum City street food and tandoori delights in a glamorous setup.
A Bollywood-meets-Hollywood bar — it’s curvy form only rivalled by the majestic twirled moustache of the handsome bartender — sends out a gleaming invitation. The smart and contemporary cocktails were definitely not-to-be-missed and the perfect way to start this journey.
Our next stop was the art deco dining room downstairs, this was drenched in warm ochre and orange tones. The timber panelling, dark-coloured seating and dim lighting was quite different from the upstairs’ decor of soft pinks and light greens. The design contrast between the two floors forms a picturesque chiaroscuro.
The samosa papdi chaat was spot on — spicy, tangy, indulgent, full of textures and fresh with the minty green chutney. The other excellent highlights were the crispy and peppery Koliwada squid, and the trio of duck dosa which were perfectly formed mini pancakes filled with spicy meat. All the above small plates were priced between £10-13.
The other highpoints included the beautifully scented stone bass tikka (£20) and the charred broccoli marinated in an umami creamy-spicy marinade (£12). Both cooked to perfection in a tandoor and rated 9/10 by my dining partner. All dishes were accompanied by some glorious heart and soul lifting chutneys, of authentic consistency and remarkable flavouring. From the broccoli plate, the soft cheese with a dusting of tomato powder and green chillies, or the ‘Indian pâté’ as it was introduced, had me holding my plate back when it was time for the next course.
At which time I also got reminded of the very start of our food journey, the petite glasses of lovely warming masala chai that were offered when we walked in that cold evening.
The service at Bombay Bustle was friendly, cheerful and timely. We ordered a bottle of Gavi Cristina Ascheri and it turned out a fantastic fellow passenger.
Bombay Bustle is worth more than one visit, especially given the fantastic location. Go there to perch yourself at the lush cocktail bar or to devour the small plates. My recommendation is to go for the dishes straight from the hot tandoor, doused in those tantalising colourful chutneys.
29 Maddox St, Mayfair, London, W1S 2PA
020 7290 4470
Nearest Tube Station: Oxford Circus / Bond Street
Article By: Manisha Khemka