One of Hong Kong’s most iconic restaurants, Bombay Dreams now has a new location and a menu packed with new additions.
Who doesn’t love a curry from time to time. The rich, complex flavours of authentic Indian cuisine are as timeless as they are appealing to the palate and a little sub-continental heat comes in handy as Hong Kong’s all-too-sudden winter approaches like the inevitable brain freeze after the last summer beer.
Fortunately, Bombay Dreams, a culinary institution in a city filled with esteemed eateries, is set to thrill punters old and new from a new location on Wyndham Street. Bombay Dreams has been peddling the paneer since 2002, which is no small feat in a city where the average restaurant life cycle can be measured in weeks and months rather than years. The first Indian eatery to garner a mention in the Michelin Guide Bibs, Bombay Dreams has built up a die-hard fan base because of its old-world service and its attention to tradition.
The new location will continue to showcase the culinary musings of Indian Master Chef Irshad Ahmed Qureshi, who traces his own lineage to a dynasty of royal chefs in Lucknow, the capital of Utter Pradesh in the northern part of India. A descendent of the Khansama, who headed the royal kitchens and served the Nawabs, the Mogul monarchs, Qureshi taps into an archive of family recipes, many of which have been closely guarded family secrets for hundreds of years – to deliver Hong Kong’s most authentic Indian dining experience.
At the helm of the new Bombay Dreams will be Head Chef Devi Singh, who has, for the past 18 years, guided the restaurant through times of boom and bust and who will now present a menu of popular signature dishes and enticing new additions. Managing the floor, another veteran with almost two decades under the belt, will be General Manager Ashutosh Bisht, ensuring loyal customers receive the same levels of service and attention.
Catering to 80 guests, the new restaurant features a main dining room dressed in brass, bronze, dark seductive timber and golden light, and a private dining room that caters to 12 guests. The space is an interplay of light, aided by large French windows, allowing natural light to set the mood, making it as ideal for intimate evening dining as it is for business power luncheons and even small-scale parties.
An open kitchen boasts a pair of tailor-made tandoor ovens, adding a theatrical touch to the elegant setting. Adjacent is a buffet counter made of granite stone and framed by brass shelves decorated with vibrant hanging plants.
The new Bombay Dreams’ menu is exciting and varied. Guests will have the opportunity to taste their way around India with a selection of dishes that capture the unique culinary traditions of each region, in addition to the Master chef’s specialist dishes from Northern India. Highlights include small plates made for sharing – think Bombay Chilgoza prawns in ginger and garlic; Chowk Ki Tikki, grated cheese stuffed potato patties that are pan-fried until golden and served with yoghurt and tamarind sauce; and Qureshi’s Palak Patta Chaat, spinach coated with chickpea flour that’s deep-fried and topped with potatoes, tamarind sauce and a touch of yoghurt.
For something more substantial, guests can indulge in Alleppey Fish Curry, fresh local red snapper cooked in a gravy of whole spices, curry leaves and raw mango; Mutton Beliram, slow-cooked mutton with traditional spices and herbs; Guchchi Matar, luxurious morel mushrooms slow-cooked with green peas, onions, tomatoes and garlic; and Chicken Tikka Lababdar, chicken simmered in onion and tomato gravy with a touch of garam masala.
A true showstopper is the popular Tandoor selection. Key to the Tandoor dishes at Bombay Dreams is the finest cuts of well-seasoned meat, and the freshest seafood and paneer, cooked in authentic, tailor-made tandoor ovens that achieve exceptionally high temperatures, sealing in the natural juices. These dishes range from Paneer Tikka Peeli Mirch, baked cottage cheese stuffed with home-made tomato chutney with ginger and chilli and marinated in yoghurt; and Adrakh Ke Panje, tandoor roasted lamb chops marinated in yoghurt, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger; to Raan-E-Dream, a whole lamb leg marinated in yoghurt and spices, and slow-cooked in the tandoor to trap all of the natural flavours.
The new Bombay Dreams will also be a destination for lovers of fine whisky with the arrival of the whisky cabinet, a curated selection of 48 fine and rare whiskies that are available by both the bottle and the glass. In addition, the new restaurant’s cocktails, created by Group Beverage Manager Navneet Kumar, are based on Indian spices and fresh herbs and are laced with house infusions and craft spirits.
Look out for North-East, a cocktail inspired by Northeast India’s tea tradition, that’s made with house-infused aromatised wine, Darjeeling tea liquor, a touch of apple cider and fresh strawberry puree; and the Desi Merry (Desi means ‘made in India’ in Hindi), Navneet’s take on the classic Bloody Mary, made with tomato juice, mixed spices and fresh lime and prepared with a unique cocktail throwing and pulling technique adapted from South India.
Here’s to another 20 years.
For more Wining & Dining inspiration click here.