Khana Bombay Café – a new Indian street food restaurant in Headingley – opened its doors on Thursday for the first time, so I went down to check it out. As an avid Bundobust fan I was sceptical – was this just going to be a copy of my favourite Indian street food bar?
While Bundo is a bar which just happens to serve the most delicious veggie street food, Khana Bombay Café is certainltly a restaurant, which just happens to do a range of amazing drinks. On arrival we were welcomed into the building, seated and chose from the extensive drinks menu immediately.
There was a great selection of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks available, including a few gins (a personal favourite). The cocktail menu used a variety of different spirits and had quite a few Asian twists on classic drinks such as an Old Fashioned made with orange and ginger marmalade and a pomegranate Mojito. We were also brought a ‘chai masala’ each, which is an Indian based tea, with cinnamon, fennel seeds and Indian spices, much like a chai latte.
From left to right: Mango Daiquiri, East Indian Cocktail no.3, Ophir G&T
The food is served much like tapas. There are a range of small plates, curries, biryani and sides to choose from. We started with a few small plates to share between us. We were warned they would arrive as and when they were ready, which was great as it meant the dishes were all freshly cooked and meant the table wasn’t too crowded with plates.
All the small plates we chose were vegetarian, but there was the option to have meat in some of them if desired. ‘Okra fries’ are always a winner and the ‘samosa chaat’ was also enjoyed thoroughly. Being cheese fans we chose the ‘pakora chilli’ which is not for the faint hearted – they blew our heads off! From the small plates a firm favourite was the paneer ‘kathi roll’, the best way to describe it is India’s answer to the quesadilla.
Left: Vegetable Samosa Chaat. Right: Pakora Chilli.
As we were starting to get full we ordered only one curry, ‘pau bahji’ (a vegetable curry served with two buttered pau buns) and one chicken byriani to share, along with two different types of paratha (Indian flatbreads). They were all delicious, but rather filling.
There was a choice of traditional desert including ‘kheer’ (Indian rice pudding) and ‘khulfi’ (Indian ice lolly), but instead we opted for a mango lassi – a yoghurt based drink. Just like the rest of the meal at Khana Bombay Café, it tasted amazing.
Pau Bhaji – Cauliflower, Potato, Peas, Carrots and Spices served with two buttered Pau buns
Khana Bombay Café really delivered on authenticity. If you’re looking for a Bundobust style food, but in a more restaurant-type setting, then I would definitely recommend giving Khana Bombay Café a try. Over the next couple of weeks if you book online you get 50% off your food bill.
The flavours of the dishes and especially the drinks have inspired us to bring back an old favourite to our drinks menu – the Spicy Chai Latte!
Written by Helen Tennant