Okay, I'm going to start this review by stating up front that the best Indian food I've tasted in Brisbane has been from Singh's Curry House in Banyo. While you wait for your order, you can watch them cooking up the curries from scratch in the kitchen, so you know it's all authentic and fresh. And they really nail the spice levels. You want mild? It's mild. You want hot? It'll make your eyes water, but the flavour will keep you coming back for more. So with that benchmark in mind, here's my review of Bombay Bliss at Park Rd, Milton.
Last time I visited Bombay Bliss, I was with family who haven't cultivated an appreciation for spicy food, and was thus limited to eating mild dishes of Butter Chicken, Korma, etc. All of which were fine, but didn't set my world (or mouth) on fire. So when I thought about eating out somewhere last Saturday night, I decided to give Bombay Bliss another try to see how their chefs handled the next level of spiciness: Medium!
The service and atmosphere were both just as good as last time. The waiters are very polite and attentive, checking several times to see if we needed anything and to make sure our food was good. The restaurant itself is very nice to look at, with lots of carved, mahogany-coloured wood on display with Indian flourishes to the art on the walls.
After being shown to our table, we ordered a bottle of red wine and set about choosing an entrée. We eventually settled on the onion bhajis, which arrived very quickly accompanied by two chutneys: a tamarind and a mint, both of which were delicious. The bhajis themselves were excellent, and disappeared from the plate very quickly.
For mains, my partner decided on a mild Shah Jahani Malai Kofta, which consisted of about 3 or 4 kofta balls in a tangy sauce of ground almonds, onion and spices. For myself, I ordered a medium Beef Dopiaza, an onion-based curry. Unfortunately, the rice is not free, and so we ordered enough for two. While we waited for our meals, we sipped our red wine and wondered why the Bombay Bliss house wines are not the cheapest on the menu. In fact, there were were three other branded red wines listed that were cheaper than the house. Rather odd, we mused, and sipped on.
Our mains arrived just as quickly as the entrée, which was good because we were both very hungry. The curries were served in little metal bowls, and garnished with coriander and onion. The rice was also served in a metal container, but it was long and thin, resembling more of a goblet that a bowl. Eagerly we got stuck in, and discovered there was more than enough rice for each of us, and probably just the right amount of curry too.
The Beef Dopiaza was a bit of a disappointment. Even though I had ordered it medium, it was most definitely a mild. Probably even on the mild side of mild, as I couldn't detect even the slightest amount of heat. The meat was tender and the onions nicely cooked, but the sauce was quite bland. I had an urge to add salt or something to it to liven it up a little, but salt's not a thing you usually find on the table in an Indian restaurant.
After my disappointing mouthful of dopiaza, I tasted my partner's kofta and was surprised to find it was really, really good. The sauce was tangy and lively on the tongue, and the kofta ball had a lovely smooth texture and taste.
Most of the curries are around the $22 mark, which seems quite high, considering the fairly average size and quality of the meals. Don't get me wrong, both the bhajis and kofta were fantastic, but certainly not "Singh's Curry House" fantastic.
Looking at the takeaway menu, I noticed that the prices are about half that of the dine-in prices, which seems very odd to me, but certainly much closer to the actual value of the meals. As for the spice levels, there's definitely something wrong there. Everything I've tasted has been the mildest of milds so far. Are they just giving our weak white palates all they think we can handle? I don't know. Next time, I'll order a hot and see how they go.
Check out the Bombay Bliss website for opening hours and contact details.