Authentic Indian Cuisine Anchors Bombay Harbour
Located in the heart of Jackson Heights’ Little India, Bombay Harbour serves authentic Indian cuisine with a difference. The difference is their comfortable, well-appointed dining room on the second floor, just one flight up, where friendly staff will show you to a cloth-dressed table adorned with flowers and candles. New owners Mr. Romi and Mr. Sabu have made extensive renovations, making the room a cozy place to enjoy Chef Puneet’s cuisine while overlooking the bustle of Broadway. Cocktails, wine and beer are served from a fully stocked bar in both the dining room and an intimate lounge area furnished with tufted couches and illuminated by candles. For all this comfort and service, the prices are remarkably low.
We started with a sampling of appetizers called the Bombay Mixer. For $6.75 we nibbled on flaky samosas, chickpea filled pastries, as well as succulent chicken tikka from the tandoor oven and grilled seekh kebab. An assortment of fried vegetables and dipping sauces completed the generously sized platter. Any of these dishes can be ordered individually for about $2.50 each.
Because the cuisine of India is so diverse, the entrees include chicken, seafood, lamb, goat and vegetarian dishes, all of which are prepared on the spot and served piping hot, and Chef Puneet will make any dish as hot or mild as you like. I devoured a bowl of chicken saag, chunks of supremely tender boneless chicken, cooked in a creamy blend of spinach and spices. The clay tandoor oven produces tender rack of lamb marinated in yogurt and spices, as well as a host of chicken dishes, fish tikka and tandoor mixed grill, a sampling of several items. Tandoor dishes served with fragrant basmati rice run about $8.95.
Chicken or lamb vindaloo is a three-alarm dish full of chunks of tender meat, with lots of creamy tomato sauce that should be scooped up with fluffy nan bread. Note that Indian bread is ordered separately and can be had plain or filled with meat, spices, potatoes or puffed up, as in puri. Given its rich flavor and texture, goat should not be overlooked. Prepared as curry, it makes a satisfying dish with rice and bread.
Vegetarians will be very pleased to see such a large array of options, including chick peas stewed with spices, vegetable and cheese croquettes and lentils simmered with ginger, garlic and cumin. Most vegetarian dishes are served with rice and cost about $6.95, putting Bombay Harbour in reach of everyone’s budget. Condiments such as mango chutney, mixed pickles and raita, a blend of yogurt and cucumbers, enhance any meal, as will a cool bottle of Indian beer.
For dessert, try sweet gulab jamun, round pastries dipped in honey, or kheer, a type of Indian rice pudding. A mango lassi, made with yogurt, honey and fresh fruit, is similar to a fruit smoothie, and could accompany a meal or be had as a dessert.
Bombay Harbour is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. At lunchtime, an extensive buffet is served from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. for just $5.99 weekdays and $6.99 weekends. On the first floor, a take-out operation is in full gear, with dozens of locals taking savory chicken tikka masala home with them, or eating rice biryani at one of the little tables. The take-out operation offers free delivery on orders amounting to $10 and up. Bombay Harbour is conveniently located near all major subway lines. Stop in on your way home from work to dine in the comfortable dining room or take a meal home. Credit cards are accepted.