Although a self-annointed “denizen of the world” who is equally at home in Rome, Paris, Athens, Lisbon, New York or Vancouver, Bombay (or Mumbai as it is called today), occupies a special place in my heart. I was raised and spent over 20 of my formative years in this “Ville-Magnifique de L’Inde” - India’s quintessential melting pot that is accepting, progressive, happening, and conditions you to appreciate the “beauty in diversity” across India and the World. In Bombay, you shed all other identities based on your state of origin in India (Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu et al) and become first and foremost, a "Bombayite" (or its politically correct analog of today – the “Mumbaikar”) – every other identity, tag or cultural baggage pales into utter oblivion and insignificance!
This intrinsic eclectic milieu of Bombay is also mirrored indelibly in its cuisine. Besides the native Maharashtrian cuisine (Bombay is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, arguably the most progressive and unequivocally, the most prosperous state of India), this metropolis has also evolved its own brand of "Bombay cuisine" that includes the eponymous “Bombay Chaat” (check out my previous blog post on the finest Bombay Chaat establishment in the World, in my humble opinion) and also fairly novel creations like the Vada-Pav, Pav Bhaaji (ubiquitous street foods like the hot dogs in Manhattan, Chicago or Toronto), the Rawa Masala and Mysore Masala Dosa (adapted from Southern India), the Chicken Lollipop and Chicken Manchurian (Bombay style Chinese), Prawns and Pomfret Koliwada (seafood grilled with spices a la Bombay inspired by the Malvani cuisine of coastal Maharashtra), the Tawa Gosht/Tawa Murg and the Murg Tikka (inspired by the Awadhi/Hyderabadi cuisines with a distinct Mughlai influence), the Bombay Fried Rice and the celebrated Bombay Sizzlers (made famous by Yoko’s and Kobe’s Sizzlers in Bombay, frequented by Bollywood film stars and the hoi-polloi alike). These are mouthwatering delights sold by street vendors or unpretentious “hole-in the wall” establishments in this "city that never sleeps”, that epitomize Bombay’s unique gastronomical character that has grown on folks like me, and one that, the city's opulent five star hotels or well-appointed restaurants would be hard pressed to match!
Happily for us in Dallas, the Bombay Sizzlers Pub and Grill in Irving brings these iconic foods of today's Mumbai to life, in a casual setting that is definitely worth checking out with family and friends.
What brings me back for more:
The Bombay Sizzlers Pub and Grill is a casual, unpretentious and very family-friendly establishment embellished with murals of the famous landmarks of Mumbai, and run by Mukesh and Amit (the chef-de-cuisine with significant experience across the world) - both long time inhabitants of Bombay, who have endeavored to deliver the “Bombay culinary experience” within their novel and fairly expansive-yet-inexpensive menu, that delights the palate without breaking the bank!:-)
Friday and Saturday evenings are special since they bring in DJs who play the most happening Bollywood numbers and Bhangra that usually moves you, your family and friends onto the dance floor, given the indulgence and satiation to your taste buds from the culinary delights delivered piping hot off the grill by their friendly, youthful staff who strive to please.
- Chicken Lollipop: a “Bombay Chinese” delight that is Mumbai’s answer to the celebrated Buffalo wings, but a bit more zesty n’ spicy – you can’t go wrong with their chicken lollipops.
- Bombay Sizzler Mix Platter: is served sizzling hot off the grill and delivers a mouth watering combo of chicken, goat meat and fish kebabs with fried onions, mushrooms and bell peppers spiced with garlic, pepper and their secret recipe (see photo below)– something to order on every trip!
- Tawa Keema Masala: delivers minced chicken grilled with garlic, pepper and other spices from North India and serves 5-6 people. Again highly recommended.
- Boribunder Kebabs: a sizzling assortment to choose from, including the classic Tandoori Chicken, Seekh Kebab (goat meat), mutton chops, tandoori shrimps and boti kebabs – just what you need to build up the appetite!
- Grilled Fish Koliwada style: a classic seafood recipe from the streets of Mumbai, offering a choice of pomfret (see photo below), bangda (from the Arabian Sea off the Bombay coast), king fish, tilapia and shrimps marinated and grilled using their potent Koliwada mix, inspired by the Malvani cuisine from the coastal areas of Maharashtra.
- Tawa Gosht or Murg: Chicken or goat meat marinated well in their potent tawa spice concoction and served piping hot (see photo below) – goes well with rice, but I prefer to have this with the garlic naan – don’t leave Bombay Sizzler without trying this!
- Achari Murg or Gosht: Bombay Sizzler’s incarnation of a classic from Hyderabad that serves a spicy chicken or goat meat in a curry flavored with Indian pickles (“achar”) that it derives it’s name from – strongly suggested for people that love spicy meats to go with their flat breads.
- Chicken 65: originated in Hyderabad in Southern India but has since been adapted and assimilated in Mumbai. This delivers boneless chicken well marinated and grilled in a fiery red sauce, sautéed with onions and curry leaves from Southern India – great compliment to a nice wine or Indian beer.
- Chicken Manchurian: is again a classic “Bombay style Chinese’ dish with medium spiced flour smeared chicken stir fried with cabbage and onions in soya sauce, that complements Chinese Fried rice extremely well.
- Garlic Naan: is their house specialty and is served piping hot off the tandoor, laced with butter and garnished with Cilantro (see photo below) – a must have for me on every trip to this establishment.:-)
I have merely provided you with a sampling of my personal favorites offered by this casual, fun establishment above - they offer much more (check out their complete menu). Check out Bombay Sizzlers Pub and Grill if you want to sample the unique culinary delights from the streets of Mumbai for the very first time or, if like me, you have experienced these before and want to periodically tantalize your taste buds with the inimitable spices, aroma, colors and condiments from the Indian megapolis that, arguably, is first among equals!
This adventure in Irving, Texas begins at: Bombay Sizzlers Pub and Grill, 2215 North O'Connor Rd, Irving, TX 75062. Tel # (972) 255-5400. Reservations recommended on Friday evenings and weekends.Click here for the Google Map and Directions.
Comments: (In "Hinglish":-)) Andy, I am seriously impressed by the quality of your writing and your knowledge on foods and cuisines from across the world! Yaar, ekdum Choopa Rustam nikle!:-) You have done Mumbai proud - keep up the good work!:-) Tera Mumbai-ka-Yaar, Johnny Gaddar (Mumbaikar)!:-)
September 12, 2008 5:59 AM