I'll assume you pressed "1" on your keypad and are looking forward to an exciting journey through my memory of Bombay Indian Cuisine in Hillcrest.
First and foremost i want to state that the restaurant itself is very very pretty. The decorations, the large open entrance doors, the comfortable booths, the wonderful arrangement of the buffet are outstanding! It almost makes up for the B grade quality food!
So last week my friends and i decided to venture to a lunch buffet at Bombay Indian Cuisine. Even though i suggested Ashoka the great, their hearts were set on the "glamor" of Hillcrest. (did i mention i dont like Hillcrest at all? pretentiously indy, i think to a fault). The buffet itself clocks in at around 10$ a person.
Before we actually get to the buffet line here, my favorite part of Indian buffet's is the fact that i can have all i can eat Naan bread. I could probably eviscerate the Indian population's (mighty large last time i checked) supply of Naan in one sitting. The good thing about Bombay is the fact that they offer TWO (yes two!!! for freee!!!!) types of Naan bread. Garlic and Regular Naan.
Here we have pictured the Garlic Naan bread. Its good, it has a strong Garlic flavor (plenty of garlic) and its just this giant giant piece. I would have preferred if it was multiple smaller pieces but hopefully everyone washed their hands before digging in =).
The only problem is that the garlic flavor is almost too strong if you eat more than two pieces at a time. So i found myself substituting between the Garlic and the Regular Naan between pieces.
The naan itself is a thinner almost crispier naan. I have a personally preference for the thicker bread like naan but my lunchmates rather enjoyed this version.
The first stop at the buffet was the "salad bar"
There was the basic salad on the left, a lightly sweet cucumber like sauce in the middle, and your typical blend of vinaigrettes and vegetable salad. (Red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers). There was also a yogurt cream that most Indian restaurants have, but my phone camera is only so wide. Everything in this section was easily forgettable. I ate a little of it to cleanseeeee my palette.
Here is the vegetable Samosa, which were very large, i dont have any great love for them so i didn't try them. What i did try were their "sliced" onion rings and breaded califlower. Fried items like that shouldn't be left for so long in the little cooking trays. Horribly soggy, no flavor what so ever!
They also had two types of rice, i'm a big fan of the yellow rice, i like long grain rice, good flavor and you can stuff a whole bunch in your mouth at the same time with just a little bit of whatever curry sauce is handy at the time. haha.
They also had two different types of soup, a chicken lentil soup and a vegetable soup. I didn't try either cause someone forgot to replenish the bowls! Can't drink soup on a plate no matter how hard i try!
Also pictured is a potato blend, not really a curry cause it doesn't have that spice to it. If i had anything other than my 2megapixel camera phone we might be able to read the signs they posted. Since i dont actually like potatoes i'm going to say the flavor was fine but needs less potato =P
Somewhere along the transfer from my phone to my computer was the digital kidnapping of the picture of the meat section in the buffet. LUCKILY i took a picture of one of the desserts and it had some of the dishes on it!
First you will see the Tandoori Chicken on the right. It was sitting there for a little while (lukewarm) but the meat was still tender. It had a good texture to it. I would have preferred if it was a lil more fresh but beggers can't be choosers at buffets.
Pictured on the far left is the Nav Rattan Korma. My favorite FAVORITE vegetable dish in indian Cuisine. It has a slightly sweet yogurt taste to it with a mixture of carrots, calliflower, zuchini, and lima beans. I could eat this all day. In fact everytime i go to the mall and i see Indian food i pretty much always order this. But this version was eh. Very So so. It wasn't sweet enough, and it had a pretty dull taste.
This and the non-pictured chicken tika masala. Your standard indian chicken dish. Think of it as the orange chicken of Indian Cuisine. Not spicy, just a good rich flavor. This was probably the one good dish here, which is kind of sad considering its a buffet =(
Finally the giant thing in the middle would be one of the many desserts. They had rice pudding, strawberries, and this mango creme.
It was surprisingly light, sweet and with a really nice mango flavor to it. If i was a bigger fan of "creme" desserts when there's no ice cream involved i think i would have very much enjoyed this dish.
So if you want to overpay a little and bask in the ambiance that is Hillcrest feel free to venture over to Bombay. But you'll find me at Ashoka the Great's Lunch buffet =P
p.s. my friends liked this place alot. So give it a shot and come back and tell me how you felt =)
Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India
3960 Fifth Ave
Hillcrest, CA 92103