I wasn’t expecting too much out of this place, which turned out to be a good idea. When you don’t have very high expectations, you tend to settle for what’s in front of you and that’s pretty much what I did when I ate at the Richmond Hill location of Bombay’s Chutney on Friday with my friend Sarah.
I hadn’t had Indian in a long time, so I was looking forward to some warm naan and spice. We walked into the establishment and was surprised to found out that the space was a lot smaller than we imagined. Each table was unique as there was a handmade painting of some sort underneath the glass top. They had some Christmas decorations up and I was surprised to see a selection of beers on tap. The staff were very friendly and the service was excellent. It was excellent to the point of them returning to us very, very frequently (almost too much) during our meal to ask us if everything was okay.
The first thing we had were some samosas — a vegetable one and a beef one since I wanted to try out one of each. Come on, total foodie here! How can you expect me to just pick one type of samosa when there are clearly two? 🙂 Anyway, the beef samosa was SO much better tasting than the vegetable one. I tried the vegetable one first and it was only warm and the inside was mushy and I couldn’t distinguish what was actually in it. The beef samosa’s shell was crispy and crunchy as I bit down on it. The inside of it was very hot and fresh. They must have left the vegetable one under the heating lamp for too long… The sauce that came with the samosas was cold and the flavour of it just didn’t go well with the samosas at all. I only dipped into it because I found the samosas a little dry.
I chose the Chicken Tikka Masala and Sarah had the Vindaloo with lamb. We also ordered a butter naan and a garlic naan. When the dishes arrived, I remembered why I don’t often have Indian cuisine: There’s only a bowl of exactly what you ordered; all the sauce and ingredients are mixed together into the bowl and the only other different substance is your rice or naan. To me, that’s a little boring. I like a lot of variety when I go out to eat, so even when the dish I order has, for example, chicken wings but has sides like broccoli and rice, that’s a lot more interesting. Anyway, I’m picky in terms of getting variety in food. :]
The Chicken Tikka Masala was creamy and reminded me exactly of how butter chicken tastes, but not as smooth. The boneless chicken cubes were big and they tasted okay. They were a little rough and not soft like I prefer meat to be.
I tried the Vindaloo with lamb and the masala was definitely spicy. The lamb tasted a little gamey but it was otherwise good. I’m glad that I chose a non-spicy dish that night since I felt that, after eating more than a couple of bites of the Vindaloo, I could feel the spice in my throat and needing to grab the glass of water in front of me. It’s definitely a good choice though if you want something spicy. 🙂
Lastly, I was disappointed with the naan. I’ve had the most incredible soft, chewy, and steaming hot nann at previous Indian restaurants before. Although the name “butter naan” sounds like it would be extremely soft and a melt-in-your-mouth kind of nann, it didn’t meet my expectations and it was rather hard. The bottom of the butter naan was very burnt around the edges; to the point where I tried to rip off the burnt black parts with my hands. The garlic naan was also just as hard-tasting if not more. I just can’t give a good review for their naan here.
So, my verdict for my restaurant is that it wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t very spectacular either. The restaurant itself reminded me a tiny bit of a cafeteria albeit with servers… I don’t know, something about the small space and the non-descript room. I’m still glad I tried out this popular chain. They have two other locations: one in Burlington and one in Mississauga.