There's no food scent quite like the one that envelopes you when you enter an Indian restaurant. Not many odors get the old taste buds going like onions sautéing; add the multiple spices abundant in Indian cuisine and it's a sure-fire way to make you hungry.
This week we visited Bombay House instead of the closer-to-home Indian restaurant we normally go to, and left both satisfied and stuffed.
The "assorted sn
ack" appetizer brings vegetable pakoras, a samosa, ground lamb kabobs and pappadums, those delicate lentil-flour wafers that are addictive (you also are served a few when you arrive, along with an excellent mint chutney and a tamarind sauce for dipping).
The pakoras were my favorite. They're chopped vegetables bound with chick-pea batter that are deep fried, and do
precisely what an appetizer should: Tease the appetite. They're delicate, savory and small enough that there's minimal guilt from the deep frying.
We ordered Karahai Tandoori Chicken Sag and Lamb Jal Fraizee for our entrees, both chef's specialties and the latter also a specialty of Bombay House. They were beautifully presented in small copper pots suspended over tea lights nestled in brass holders, called a karahai. The sag
was rich and earthy, naturally so, as sag dishes are prepared with spinach cooked down in butter until it almost melts. Our request for a medium spice level was honored perfectly, although I could've taken more heat.
But it's the lamb that I'll order again and again. Tender -- I'm talking fork, even spoon tender -- morsels of lamb are served in a complex tomato gravy seasoned with cumin, cinnamon, fenugreek (among other spices) and full of green peppers and onions. It was hearty, rich and fiery enough that I reached for naan dipped in raita to soothe my palate between bites.
I believe I've eaten at all the Indian restaurants in town, and I frequently cook Indian food at home. The Lamb Jal Fraizee is among the best dishes I've eaten. The dish is also prepared with chicken.
Address: 1727 N. Germantown Parkway, Cordova.
Telephone: (901) 755-4114
Hours: Lunch buffet 11 a.m. -2:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; until 3 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Dinner 5-10 p.m. daily.
Price: $$; lunch $
Handicapped access: Yes
Alcoholic beverages: Wine and beer
Don't miss: The Lamb Jal Fraizee
What's hot: As at most Indian restaurants, there are many choices for vegetarians.