Restaurant: Bombay Se
Last visited: October 17, 2010
Location: Surrey, BC (Scott Road)
Address: 7500 120 Street
Price Range: $20-30
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
Food: 4 (based on what I had)
- Owner/Chef from premier Taj hotel in Bombay
- “Fine dining” Indian hotel food
- Moderately priced/expensive
- Somewhat authentic
- Some creative dishes
- Some rare/exotic authentic dishes
- Home cooked
- Very large portions
- Good for groups
- Constant Indian music/movies
- No beef/pork
- Vegetarian options
- Private party/banquet room
- Bar/Lounge room
- Mon-Thurs lunch Thali platter $10.99
- Wed-Mon: 4pm-10pm
- Closed all day Tuesday
**Recommendations: Dahi Puri, Goa’s Prawn Curry, Chicken Tikka Sizzler – pretty much everything I ordered was very good. Also recommended, but I haven’t tried are Malai Tikka and Chloe (chick peas).
Bombay Se in Surrey, BC is located on the second floor and it looks a bit dark and shady however it’s been there for a few years now at least. When it opened everyone loved it, but since then I think they’ve changed because I don’t hear much about it anymore.
Some of the food was traditional Indian, some was Westernized and some of it was Indian-Chinese fusion. I liked it, but I don’t know if Indian people would like it. From what I know, it’s not that authentic and I would call it contemporary (and a bit overpriced) Indian food. I can’t blame them for being different and the food was good.
The owner and executive chef used to run the kitchen in one of the premier hotels in Bombay so some items speak a little of “Indian hotel food”. None of the flavours were watered down and they weren’t afraid to make it spicy, medium was good for me though. On another note, some dishes I was very surprised to find on the menu because they were very authentic and exotic I haven’t seen them available at any other Indian restaurant. I would come back just for those.
The prices are actually quite expensive compared to most Indian places. The appetizers were around $11-12 and the mains are around $15-18 with a mango lassi at $5. However the portions are pretty big to make up for it so it’s best to go with 4 or more people. Most of the diners were bigger groups and there were a lot of Westerners which makes me question the authenticity. Nonetheless I still stand by what I ordered, and based on that alone I would come again to try more stuff.
The place is heavily influenced by Bollywood movies and that’s the theme of the whole restaurant. There’s about 6 televisions in the main dining room and another 4-6 in the bar/lounge area of the restaurant. If you like Bollywood music and videos during dinner than you’ll enjoy this atmosphere.
On the table:
- They were fresh, crispy and a little oily.
- It’s like an Indian spiced tortilla chip.
- Puffed puris stuffed with potatoes, topped with yogurt, chutney and savoury noodles $10.95
- I love these things! I haven’t seen them available at any Indian restaurant except for this one. The first and only time I’ve ever tried them was actually at Vansh Indian Restaurant in Malaysia and I thought I’d never have them again until now. I liked these ones even better too!
- This is very traditional Indian street food, but this was a gourmet version. It’s a cold appetizer and it’s huge! However they’re so light that eating 3 per person is no problem.
- They’re popular in India because it’s so hot there so this cold appetizer helps cool people down. It’s surprisingly refreshing and must be eaten immediately or they get soggy.
- The puris are from an Indian sweet shop, but they’re not necessarily sweet. It’s basically a very thin and crisp deep fried shell or hollow pastry cup that’s filled with lots of cooling sauces such as dahi or yogurt. They’re pretty much one biters because they hold so much liquid and as soon as you bite into the shell it’s just a big burst of sauces.
- They’re sweet, tangy, savoury and spicy and all the sauces go great together. It hits all your taste buds at once and the yogurt makes it not as spicy.
- The tangy thin yogurt and honey like sweet and sour tamarind chutney are most apparent and the noodles are almost like very thin dried ramen noodles. They’re very light and crispy and require almost no chewing. There’s maybe 2 very tiny pieces of diced potato inside each cup but they come unnoticed and add very little in terms of texture and flavour.
- Prawns cooked with curry leaves, herbs, spices and finished with coconut milk $14.95
- This was recommended for seafood. It was topped with coconut and the portion wasn’t that big, so I found it a bit pricey.
- There were 5 jumbo prawns in it and they were cooked perfectly so that made up for it a bit. The prawns didn’t absorb any flavour though and I think they were steamed and thrown in last minute.
- This was a very sweet curry and it’s mild. It’s very rich and creamy and quite thick with some tomato base, but predominantly coconut milk and cream. It was almost like a sweet and savoury gravy and it reminded me of a korma. It did have tons of fresh spices like mustard seed and cumin, but I also which it had some onions and curry leaves that I could see.
- Chicken tikka topped with cheese tossed in a garlic red chili sauce served with masala fries, vegetables and rice. $17.95
- The chicken tikka was delicious and it tastes really Chinese or Szechuan. They put soy sauce in it and the hot sauce tastes Thai. It’s definitely an Indian-Chinese dish and it tastes exactly like the sauce they use for Chinese Mapo Tofu. It had a sweet flavour as well as a tangy kick and I loved the sauce.
- It’s quite spicy and I ordered it medium. It’s best enjoyed with raita (but it was +$6 for a side here) so I ended up using the leftover yogurt from the dahi puris appetizer 😉
- It’s juicy boneless pieces of chicken stir fried with a spicy and sweet chili garlic sauce. The chicken is also marinated in yogurt first so it’s incredibly tender and moist.
- The rice gets crispy on the hot plate and those parts were my favourite.
- The vegetables were canned baby corn, onions and some bell peppers.
- It’s a massive potion, good for 2, but I could have used more chicken and less fries of course.
- Crispy fries served in special Bombay Se masala ($6.95 if ordered a la carts as an appetizer)
- Okay the fries are not Indian, nor do they do this in India; however there is some British influence there and they do offer this at the Taj hotel in Bombay.
- As cheap as it looks, I actually didn’t mind the fries. If only they weren’t frozen and from a bag this side would have been really good. It was very obvious and they were soggy too.
- It was almost like bar food and it tastes Asian. It tastes like a Thai version of chili fries and I just wanted some minced beef or beans on in too. It’s the same sauce as they use for the chicken tikka. I did want way more sauce and cheese as well.
- I appreciate the huge piece, it was the size of 2 at any other Indian restaurant.
- It did have real minced garlic but it was a bit tough and not crispy. They coat it with lots of ghee (clairfied butter) on top. I’ve liked it better at other places.
Roti (right) – 3/6
- Again it was a massive piece.
- It’s almost like naan but made with whole wheat flour so it’s healthier. It’s a bit tougher than naan because of this and this is the bread traditionally eaten in Indian homes on a day to day basis. This one was a bit tough and not crispy again.
- I haven never seen or heard of this before and it’s unique to Bombay Se. It’s such a novelty and I could totally see them serving this at hotels in India.
- It’s a huge piece of chocolate brownie with walnuts served on a hot sizzling plate and topped with two scoops of vanilla ice cream, sprinkles and scorching hot chocolate caramel syrup. I could have used without the sprinkles and maybe coconut instead for more of an Indian influence.
- It’s definitely worth trying for fun, but it’s definitely a novelty because the brownie ends up tasting a bit burnt since the bottom just burns on the hot plate.
- The brownie is dense and it’s almost like a chocolate cake with a chocolate truffle layer. It’s a bit dry but the truffle layer, chocolate syrup and ice cream help to hide it. I could have used way more walnuts because there wasn’t much in the cake.
- The chocolate sauce was like a caramel sugar syrup and it was really hot and took forever to stop bubbling. I burned myself twice with it.
- It’s not the best tasting brownie, but for $6 for such a huge piece and with the presentation, I’m not complaining.