Our Rating  

Hi Bombay
1 Pleasant Street

Five Plates!  
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Hi Bombay Reviewed: Fall, 1999

Imust admit, I am not the biggest Indian food fan in the world, but was surprisingly pleased and very happily satiated with my meal at Hi Bombay! last weekend.I was very reluctant to go to an Indian restaurant when suggested by my fiance, but there's always that "safe dish" that I enjoy and I figured I could settle on that.

The restaurant itself was very roomy with about 15 tables. There was a large party of ten seated and a few other parties of two being served when we arrived for lunch. There were several specials listed on a chalkboard near the door including Garlic and Onion Nan ($3.95), a soft flat bread similar to pita bread, topped with minced garlic and onion and baked in the Tandoori oven giving it a unique flavor, which I immediately decided to order. When the waiter informed us that the specials were only for dinner, he quickly offered to make the Garlic and Onion Nan for us anyway. I also noticed that my personal favorite, Coconut Soup ($1.95), warm coconut milk with pistachio bits and shredded coconut topped with a dash of cinnamon, was offered on the menu among other appetizers including Samosas ($2.95), bread pockets filled with potatoes, peas and spices and then deep-fried; Paneer Pakora ($2.95), fried pieces of battered paneer, mild, soft homemade cheese; and Aloo Paratha ($2.95), layered bread filled with potatoes, peas, and spices.

Four large pieces of Garlic and Onion Nan arrived on our table within 5 minutes of ordering and we were offered four dipping sauces ($2.00) including a deliciously sweet mango chutney, creamy yogurt sauce, tangy tamarind, and mint chutney. Normally, I only go for the tamarind sauce because I know that I like it, but I was feeling adventurous and tried all four. I was especially wary of the mint chutney but to my delight found it to be exotically delicious!

Browsing through the menu I noticed a variety of dishes incorporating chicken, lamb, and seafood and an abundant diversity of vegetarian dishes. For my entrée, I was undecided as to whether I should go with the same thing I always order, Chicken Tikka Masala ($8.95), boneless roasted chicken in a light tomato cream sauce with Indian spices, or be really risky and try a new item such as Palak Aloo ($7.45), a vegetarian dish consisting of potatoes, onion, tomato and spinach cooked with light cream, ginger, garlic, and coriander or Raj Mah ($7.45), kidney beans in a tomato based sauce of ginger, garlic, turmeric and other spices. I went for the mid-line and ordered Chicken Shami Korma ($8.95), moist boneless chicken, covered in a rich sauce of tomato, cream, cashews, almonds, a couple of golden raisins and mild spices. My fiance ordered Malai Kofta ($8.95), vegetable croquettes comprised of minced potatoes, paneer, coriander, and other spices, swimming in a light cream sauce with cashews, cardamom, saffron, and garlic. All entrees come in individual dishes aside from your dinner plate so that you can serve yourself or share with everyone else at the table. All orders come with a dish of light Basmati rice on the side as well. My Chicken Shami Korma was delicious. The cream sauce and chicken complemented each other well and the nuts added a pleasant crunch to the dish. My fiance's meal was equally as tasty, although he did forget to order it extra spicy, he was still very content.

Although we did not have any this time, Hi Bombay! has a decent selection of wines and Indian beers as well as a varied offering of soft drinks, Darjeeling tea and specialty Indian drinks such as Mango Milkshake. There are also several desserts offered on the menu such as Kulfee ($2.00), homemade pistachio and cashew ice cream or Kheer ($2.00), rice cooked in milk with raisins, nuts, and a dash of rosewater. The service was great, very quick, and our water glasses were refilled several times throughout the meal.

wheelchair accessible  
vegetarian selections
vegan selections
most credit cards accepted

The price, a total of $25, was excellent for the quality of food and service that we received. If we had gone for dinner the price would have been a bit higher due to bar expenses but all in all I was exceedingly pleased with my lunch at Hi Bombay! The restaurant also features several lunch specials Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. comprised of a varied selection of nearly half-priced entrees. I highly recommend this restaurant to well-versed Indian food connoisseurs and especially to those who have never tried Indian food, this is definitely the place to go.  back to the top

      Tracy B. Wheeler is a classical flutist and freelance writer who lives in Portland.

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