Bombay Bistro is situated on the Main Street in Rush county Dublin. This is one of three restaurants owned and run by Bhappa Singh, (the others being Bombay House in Skerries and Pure Indian in Rathcoole) and the Rush restaurant has been here for 12 years, which is forever in restaurant terms and a sign that it must be pretty bloody good.
The restaurant is upstairs, with the take away below at street level. The room is warm and pleasing and decorated in dark reds and cream. Ethnic pictures adorn the walls and three windows look out onto the street. Tables are nicely spaced and a cold November evening it is warm and toasty, and there's a warm welcome from the staff.
We're soon looking at the menu and nibbling on poppadoms with homemade mint and coriander and red onions. The menu offers a lot of seafood, perhaps not surprising for a restaurant in a sea side town, but nonetheless a little unusual for an Indian restaurant. In addition to the usual king prawns, there are local scallops, crab claws and grilled fish, all given a contemporary Indian twist.
Tandoori classics are well represented and there is a selection of chef’s specials representing different regions in the Indian sub continent.
We eventually make up our minds and Deidre keeps it simple to start with a vegetarian samosa, followed by the Goan seafood while I stay with the sea to start, with a scallop, crab and prawn selection and a main course dish from the north of India, a hot lamb Kadahi, named for the dish in which it is cooked.
An amuse bouche comes first, a spicy potato parcel that manages to be light and really tasty; it's a sign of things to come. The samosas are freshly made and it shows, they are spicy, tangy and moist, and a million miles from the frozen, mummified cardboard that sometimes gets passed off. My giant prawns from the Tandoor at delicious, while the spicy scallops are perfectly cooked and delicately flavoured and little crab claws are dainty and sweet.
Main courses excel; the Goan seafood is fantastic, with a tangy flavour that is later identified as vinegar specially imported from Goa. My Kadahi lamb is spicy and hearty and a comfort food dish on a cold winters evening. Sides of Tarka Dal and Aloo Gobi are both excellent, and the garlic, onion and coriander naan is one of the best I have ever had.
We couldn't face a dessert so Deirdre finished with Indian tea flavoured with cardamom, and I had a good Americano. The head chef came out at this point and it was only then I recognised him from a wonderful meal I shared with Paolo in the Cinnamon Garden in Ashbourne; a meal which saw them awarded ethnic restaurant of the year.
Bombay Bistro is quite a find; if these guys were cooking modern Irish food they would be feted in the national press and probably have awards coming out their ears. Indian cooking doesn't get those accolades here yet, but rest assured, this is a restaurant that is hitting the heights.
The good burghers of Rush are lucky, the rest of you will just have to travel.