What I like most about Bombay Talkie is the non-traditional atmosphere. Located in Chelsea, I like that it looks like it could be any currently trendy restaurant in that area. This trendy feel further extends to the menu in that they have an extensive cocktail menu and the food is divided into creative categories. The appetizers are called “street bites” and the entrees are labeled “from the roadside.” It certainly gives an otherwise more or less traditional Indian restaurant an interesting flare. But I guess ultimately that was my issue with Bombay Talkie. The atmosphere and décor offer the promise of a more cosmopolitan and unique Indian experience, but really what I found was nice, fancy plating of rather traditional Indian food. I think the appetizer was by far the most innovative. At the end of the day Bombay Talkie is really good. If I lived in Chelsea, I’d probably order my Indian food from here all the time. But I don’t, so I’m not sure I would necessarily go out of my way to seek out their specific Indian food.
Papdi Chat: These are crispy flour purses stuffed with potatoes and chickpeas with a tamarind and yogurt sauce. While these were really good, I thought there may have been too much sauce for the size of these little potato/chickpea pockets. Thus, I preferred cutting them rather than trying to eat the whole pocket in one bite. I’m not sure I’d order them again, but I thought they were really creative and with some fine-tuning could have been really great.
Homestyle Chicken: This dish consists of white meat chicken in a tomato-based sauce lightly spiced with turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, & cardamom. I eat a lot of Indian food, so I wanted to go with something that was different and special to Bombay Talkie, rather than the more typical and common Masala, Korma or Vindaloo. Ultimately I think that was a good decision because this dish was really good. The sauce was very addictive with a nice sweetness and spice. But while it was delicious, it didn’t necessarily blow me away. I didn’t think the dish was really all that unusual. So while I’d order it again, I don’t know that I’d specifically come back to Bombay Talkie just to eat this.
Baigan Bharta (left): This is tandoori smoked eggplant with ginger, coriander, cumin and chilies. I think this was my favorite dish of the night. In fact, I oftentimes find myself preferring vegetarian dishes when it comes to Indian food. I feel like the vegetarian dishes are usually thicker and better absorb the spices and flavors of the sauces, which is really what makes Indian food so great. This was a thick puréed eggplant that started off flavorful but mild and got spicier as you ate it. Though it was also a really great dish and specifically went well with the Homestyle Chicken, I’m not sure there was anything incredibly unique about it.
Garlic Naan: This is a standard garlic naan.
Umrao Jaan Cocktail: All of the cocktails had creative names and the cocktail I ended up going for was the one titled “Unrequited Love.” It contained Bombay gin, lime juice and saffron syrup. Ultimately, I thought this was only okay. It was actually incredibly strong, which I might be looking for if I’m looking to get drunk, but not so much when I’m having a cocktail with dinner. I probably should have heeded the “Unrequited Love” label; something named such is bound to be a little hard to get down.
Good Food. Good Drinks. Good Karma. I really liked the receipt holder.
Bombay Talkie: 189 9th Avenue New York, NY ($$-$$$)