Bombay Borough Dubai – Review
DIFC or Dubai International Financial Center is a place meticulously designed for the big wigs and people in suits, however, when it comes to dining it’s a whole different sphere: offering multi-cuisine, award-winning restaurants and bars attracting everyone – for business meetings, family day out or a night out with friends. In the midst of this bustling dining scene, enters Bombay Borough offering delectable Indian cuisine to cater to almost everyone’s tastebud.
After many months of staying at home due to the pandemic, Dubai eased up for the residents and the visitors, and the newly opened Bombay Borough Restaurant and Bar DIFC is the first place I chose to visit.
As I walked into the restaurant the ambiance was bright & pleasant. With checkered floor, I found myself nestled in teal-colored comfortable sofas and wooden furniture with a slightly colonial feel. The bright and relaxing ambiance was enough to help me settle and feel pretty much at home. I immediately dived into an extensive menu delivered to me on the table, and while my churning stomach was pushing towards the ‘hunger games’ I had to remind myself that besides the desire to eat I have a job at hand to uncover the flavors and experience Bombay Borough promises to offer. So I selected items that covered a variety of flavors.
The starter began with Fiery Thecha Prawn – a Maharashtra inspired gluten-free prawn dish with freshly grounded ( crunchy not powdered) green chili chutney mixed with peanuts. I like the idea of having prawns as a starter. One they don’t fill you up immediately and secondly, they are more convenient to eat, due to which you can start a nice conversation with your partner, setting the mood for the rest of the course to arrive. I was also served with a delicious Pink City mocktail to keep the taste buds balanced for more exciting food to come.
The restaurant’s menu presents a culinary journey from the entirety of India, which is not an easy feat to accomplish, considering the massive selection of regional flavors and dishes. However, this is the actual concept of Bombay Borough to present all the best flavors of Indian cuisine from different places within India under one roof. When you pick a certain type of food that belongs to the street, it’s not easy to replicate the same and then make it better. Since street food in India is a quick grub for millions looking for something that is filling, tasty and easy on the pocket. Bombay Borough kept all these aspects in context to create a menu that also offers the true taste of the Indian streets with the exclusivity of an exquisite restaurant located at the heart of Dubai’s elegant business center DIFC. The secret to achieving this was shared with me by Robin (the restaurant manager), who’s free-spirited yet passionate and excited about the restaurant. Robin elucidated to me that Bombay Borough not only developed their own authentic recipes but they went a step further to make propriety of their authenticity.
While I was toying with the delicious glass of mocktail making it last a little longer, the next course arrived: visually stunning Rajputana Murg Soola – a dish from the street grills sections. A nicely decorated skewer of chicken tikka kebab served on the grill and for a dramatic street effect, the skewer is then flamed to perfection with an electric torch on the table to enhance the experience. I found the chicken nice and tender and with the hint of smoky grill flavor. The masalas/spices used were balanced – not too overpowering – made the dish very palatable and juicy.
As we enjoyed the grill, our discussion moved towards the more common grounds of cricket. Robin’s eyes lit up with the topic and he shared his best memories of providing catering services to the International cricket teams. He told me about his feeling seeing the ‘Sultan of swing’ Wasim Akram during one cricket match lunch break, where Bombay Borough happened to be catering. While our discussion continues and I could see customers flocking in and most of them more were choosing outdoor areas which of course is the best place during a lazy Friday afternoon in January enjoying a softer sun and clear blue sky. Our discussion on cricket was abruptly halted by the introduction of Kheema dum biryani – a Hyderabadi specialty, slow-cooked minced meat biryani. It was wrapped or I should say traditionally draped in the chappati, which was fascinating to dig into. The moment I cut open the petal of the chappati the waft of the delicately spiced aroma filled the entire table, oozing with steamy soft white and saffron rice and spiced mince meat. Yes when you have Kheema biryani unlike mutton or chicken biryani where you have to take a portion of meat with every bit, this biryani is a rather liberating experience, for you get both meat and rice in every bite, served with traditional delicious raita.
On the subject of biryani, I am very sensitive for all South Asians take their biryani seriously. I shared my views with Robin, that when I am told by an eatery that their Biryani taste ‘Authentic’; I more so often have my reservations. That’s enough for me to know that Biryani tastes like anything but authentic! for there is no proper definition of authentic biryani. Robin agreed with me and explained that Hyderabadi Biryanis are renowned for their unique style of cooking (dum / steamed and wrapped with roti/flour dough) hence they stand out as unique and the best-tasting biryanis. This explanation wasn’t a miss as the Keema dum Biryani boasted a delicacy of flavor that’s not achievable by most of the restaurants claiming to be selling Authentic biryani.
As we continued to explore and share our culinary likes our next course came in. This time it’s Bombay Dabba Gosht – a dish inspired from the Bohra community and presented in Bombay Borough style served with chur chur paratha. Once again Bombay Dabba Gosht is reconnecting the people and reminding them of unique tasting graving made up of marinated lamb with yogurt and sprinkled with mixed cardamom set it with a pressured cooked egg on top. The succulent lamb meat was absolutely tender and tasted delicious with the swirly paratha.
I also noticed that the serving of the food was ample. These dishes that I’ve tried can be easily shared with a partner, perhaps only in the case of Chur chur paratha, a separate paratha need to be ordered. In a very courteous and obliging manner, the waiting team came and asked if water can be replenished in the glasses or if there’s anything else I needed.
There’s, of course, a lot to experience from the menu as everything offers a unique flavor with delightful indulgence: I went for the final course – Amritsari Kulfa. The scented kulfa (traditional South Asian Ice cream) was generously placed on layers of feerni and falooda. As the creamy kulfa starts to melt permeating into the falooda and the ferni -the taste is divine! It takes you to the very streets of a bustling city of India where sweet memories of laugh and happiness are formed. the Kulfa was undoubtedly a trip down memory lane for me.
Overall I had a lovely experience at the restaurant and I can imagine the diverse footfall on weekdays and the busy weekends as Bombay Borough has a lot to offers. From the famous street food to their own selected dishes spanning all across the Indian region, as big as India – it’s not an easy feat to cater to everyone’s taste buds. Surprisingly Bombay Borough does it incredibly well, evoking a sense of India through the fragrance and the taste before your eyes just by lounging in the restaurant.
Here’s a list of the Dishes we tried, recommend, and scored! Bon Appetite!
Fiery Thecha Prawn – 9/10
Rajputana Murg Soola – 9/10
Kheema dum biryani – 8/10
Bombay Dabba Gosht – 8/10
Amritsari Kulfa – 10/10
Pink City mocktail – 9/10