Bombay (also known as New Bombay)
There used to be a Bombay beneath Jems, more or less opposite 7Days 7Ways. See our review of 'Taste of India' to see what happened to that restaurant. A new Bombay opened over the road in a multi-restaurant building called 3 Choices, joining a steak House and a Chinese. The building then became 'Asia House and had 2 restaurants, the Bombay up one flight of stairs from street level and above that a nearly identical Chinese and Thai restaurant called the Beijing. When Luxor was quiet, the Beijing closed and all menus were available from the Bombay. Now the Beijing has closed altogether leaving just the Bombay and above it, where the Beijing used to be, a cafe called 'Moods'.
Initially the Bombay was managed by an Egyptian owner and served a very wide range of meals, based on the variety typically available in the 'west', although we were not convinced about the quality. In September 2009 the Bombay was taken over by an Indian couple with previous experience of running an Indian restaurant in the middle east. The meals changed from a typical western version of an Indian takeaway into authentic Indian cuisine. The menu changed drastically, too. The range became much more limited. The main course list had barely a dozen choices and there was just one choice of dessert. The menu only showed Indian fare, including Indian beverages. Other beverages, including beers, were available, but you had to ask. Similarly, the menu did not list Indian breads or rice although they were available. Anyone who visited at that time and who found the menu a little restricted and secretive, will be glad to know that things have changed again.
There is no change to the general appearance. The Bombay is still very well decorated in varnished bare brick with terracotta ceiling and highlights, and windows well dressed with matching heavy fabric. The tables are set with burgundy over white table cloths. Lighting is quite low but well balanced: low enough to provide atmosphere but high enough to see. The Indian background music that was introduced in 2009 appears to have been abandoned and there are no longer any staff in Indian dress. The waiter was dressed casually in western style.
The main change is the menu, which has reverted to the list of choices that will be more familiar to most people. Vindaloo, Korma, Sag etc, all listed with chicken, lamb or seafood options and mostly in the LE40 - LE50 range: the exception, as usual, being prawn-based meals which have a LE10 - LE15 premium and vegetarian meals, which are cheaper. Starters are mostly LE10 - LE20, rice LE11 - LE15 and breads LE7 - LE14. Soft drinks and fresh juices are LE10 and LE12 - LE15 respectively. Beers and wine are also available.
As well s the Indian menu, there are a few international choices - pastas are LE20 - LE25 and grills LE40 - LE50. A welcome children's menu has a couple of options, including chicken nuggets at LE20.
Before the relatively recent changes we liked the appearance of the restaurant, we liked the food and the staff were efficient enough but we thought the food variety and clarity of menu at a Taste of India would be better accepted by visitors who eat their Indian food outside the Indian sub-continent, and are more familiar with western-style Indian takeaways and restaurants. Now that the menu at the Bombay is being presented in a much more familiar way you have the best of both worlds for a while - dishes that are easier to understand and authentic Indian cuisine. The problem no is that, since the reduction in the number of tourists, and because the Bombay is not in one of the main restaurant roads, the owners appear to have had to cut back. They have done this by limiting the range of meats they stock, so you might not find lamb when you want it, for example, and you may have to wait too long, especially if you are in a big group or if the restaurant happens to be busy.
Which of the two main Indian restaurants you prefer - the Bombay or the Taste of India - will depend on what you are looking for. The Taste of India is lighter, brighter, and since the reduction in tourist numbers has tended to have a better menu range, for both Indian and international meals. On the other hand it's environment is of a tourist restaurant that happens to serve Indian meals. The Bombay tends to have a more limited range available (even if what you want appears to be on the menu it is not necessarily in the kitchen) but it does have a more authentic Indian cuisine and an Indian restaurant atmosphere. If you a popping out for an Indian, and you want Indian food rather than the full Indian experience, you will probably be happier at the Taste of India. But if you want more atmosphere and if you are flexible with the meal choice you may want to try the Bombay. If you do, check that they have what you want before you order your drinks or commit yourself to the restaurant, just in case your choice of meat is the one they are not stocking that day.
Phone: (01) (095) 284381
Review updated April 2013
Prices at April 2013