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Bombay Brasserie



Living in Dubai, a place whose development over the last 100 or so years owes much to the influence of the sub-continent, it’s perhaps easy to forget that the elevation of Indian cuisine to a globally respected culinary art form is still surprisingly recent. It was only 2001, for instance, that Atul Kochhar’s Tamarind and Vineet Bhatia’s Zaika, both in London, became the first Indian restaurants to receive a coveted Michelin star.

Mercifully, while the rest of the world is still grappling with the perception that Indian food is a late night, low-cost full-stop to an evening’s entertainment, the UAE was becoming a home for the finest purveyors of the art. The aforementioned Atul Kochhar (Rang Mahal at JW Marriott) and Vineet Bhatia (Ashiana at the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel and Indego by Vineet at Grosvenor House) have opened restaurants here, while chef, entrepreneur and TV personality Sanjeev Kapoor’s Dubai empire includes Signature by Sanjeev Kapoor at The Melia, Options by Sanjeev Kapoor at the Movenpick Hotel and Khazana at Al Nasr Leisureland.

Judging by the dishes produced by Bombay Brasserie, located in the newly opened Taj Hotel in Business Bay, executive chef Jitin Joshi certainly warrants a mention in the same company. The former head chef at Benares in London, which he guided to a Michelin star, his CV also includes working for Gordon Ramsay at Maze and a recent stint as executive chef with At.Mosphere in the Burj Khalifa. If he isn’t better known on the Dubai food circuit, it’s about time he was.

The evidence was clear from the first plate that something a little out of the ordinary was being served up here: a delicate shard of mustard sea bass, with a slightly sour, nostril-flaring tang, was accompanied by a prawn chargrilled to perfection beneath a sharp spice rub that never overpowered the soft fleshy interior.

The delights kept coming. A moist parcel of chicken tikka cooked with basil and Tellicherry pepper from the Malabar coast in Kerala was only marginally overshadowed by Chef Joshi’s take on chicken chaat, a moreish pile of sticky, spiciness with sweet bread peppers and surrounded by a paratha pastry hoop. The sundried tomato kulcha added to the street-food feel.

We could have happily made a meal of repeat portions of the above – any size, any combination – but the main course was a fitting culmination. A lamb curry, martabaan ka meat, in a pickling spice jar with plenty of the sour notes to offset the soft, sweet lamb was paired with rich, buttery grandma’s chicken curry and a Lucknowi gosht biryani, which offered the more aromatic, mellow flavours of clove, cardamom and ginger. By this point, attempts to vocalise our appreciation were reduced to low, full-bellied moans.

We did have dessert, a fine bread and fig milk pudding, but its purpose was more to soothe the tastebuds than offer a rival to its predecessors.

Importantly, Bombay Brasserie also a place that invites you to linger. Its lounge-like decor, subtle lighting and drawing-room upholstery – there are throw cushions galore – means you can push back the chair, ask for a refill and discuss what you’ve just eaten. At length. It’s almost doing this place a disservice to pay and leave while the chefs are still working.

At Chef’s Mercy
Many of the best dishes prepared by Chef Jitin can now be sampled at their new Friday brunch, which, as the name suggests, places you at the mercy of the chef. Some of the highlights include:

Pani puri
Fried puff pastry, mashed potatoes, spiced water, tamarind juice.

Bhatti prawns
Chargrilled prawns, robust spice rub.

Gilawati kebab
Aromatic lamb patty, spiced foie gras, kumquat.

Martabaan ka meat
Lamb curry in a pickling spice jar – with a chickpea variant.

Chicken tikka masala
The popular favourite, served with pickled onions.

When: Fridays,12:30pm-4pm
Price: AED295 soft drinks, AED495 bubbly and house beverages

Business Bay



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