Salaam Bombay Gardens!

August 21, 2016

A new buffet restaurant is looking to attract large families

Salaam Bombay Gardens!

The very franchise of Bombay Chowpatti, which originated in Dubai and is now a well-liked café in Lahore, recently opened its restaurant with great fanfare.

Attractively named Bombay Gardens, the buffet restaurant is looking at large family customer base.

The place offers sitting areas indoors as well as on the rooftop. The much publicised ‘desi fusion’ fare is largely composed of Bombay Chowpatty’s signature variety and includes dahi bhalla, aaloo channa chaat, pani puri and everyone’s favourite gulab jamuns. And to think that this is just the start of an extensive (read large) menu that doesn’t quite seem to end.

The restaurant had a soft launch earlier this year -- in Ramzan, to be precise. Once the place was officially opened to public, I made a beeline for it. Must say I loved the décor -- it’s unpretentious and simple, and provides a sparkling clean look where you rest assured that your meals shall be hygienically taken care of.

Everything from the welcome drink Pina Colada and Mint Margarita to the five kinds of salads dressed with various sauces, there is much to enjoy.

It is not that these starters are not available elsewhere but I found the combination of salads, appetisers, together with desi, continental, fried, BBQ, and a range of desserts for Rs849 (tax included) to be quite reasonable. The rates for dinner buffet go up.

In the words of Arsalan Sheikh, one of three owners of the franchise, Bombay Gardens deals in "a fusion of food and a blend of original interpretations for our desi palette."

Sheikh explains how the name of the original café came from the famous Chowpatty Beach in Mumbai, India, which is known for its lip-smacking food items like bhatooray, dosa, pani puri and chaat.

All told, Bombay Gardens’s best-loved items are haleem (a tad too oily for my taste!), lasagna, pasta, sandwiches, croquettes, mini samosas that are done to perfection with a hearty chicken filling, peri bites, and finger fish. What’s more, you have the continental and Thai variety.

I also find plenty of traditional Pakistani favourites such as chicken cashewnuts, chicken boti and stir-fried beef. My ultimate pick of the day turns out to be a combo of halwa, channay and puris that are served piping hot.

After having so much to eat, it’s time to sip on the thirst quencher before I can move on to the irresistible array of desserts. I personally believe they can do with some improvement in this section, maybe by adding their signature desserts from the café downstairs. Thankfully, gulab jamuns are part of the deal.

I would give the place a good 7 out of 10.

Salaam Bombay Gardens!