Review: Bombay Talkie
I visited this enjoyable and sparkling little restaurant in Chelsea on 9th ave. between 21st and 22nd the other night. The decor is graceful and refreshing, filled with a few booths and a long, communal style table seated with high chairs. This latter is backed by a large mural: a halcyon Indian scene, with villagers watching a lady dancer. At the other end from the door is a bar boasting fusiony concoctions like the Bombay Talkie egg cream.
I started with a Papdi Chat: a set of small thin puff pastries, spherical, and filled with a combination of tamarind, yogurt, potatoes, and chickpeas. They were easy and fun to just pop into my mouth and they went down smooth.
For the main course, I ordered a malai kofta, which are a kind of mashed vegetable ball in a slightly sweet cashew gravy. They were aromatic and pleasant, but a touch stingy with the gravy. Portions, too, were a little disappointingly small.
The onion naan bread that I ordered was soft and fresh and light and went down awfully smooth. It had a hint of some kind of spice to it that added an extra dimension. My only complaint (not even a complaint really -- more of a puzzlement) is that it seemed to lack very much onion... perhaps that was intentional, though.
The dishes generally are clearly a bit americanized: they lack some of the fire and overpowering combination of flavors that characterizes the more standard versions of these North Indian dishes. But they were more gourmet than the norm, too. The dishes were cleanly presented, and the flavors stood out nicely.
All in all, a happy experience. I'll be back.