Chor Bizarre, the exquisitely decorated Indian restaurant in Mayfair, has launched an ‘Old Bombay Street Food Festival Menu’ for a limited time. All the dishes have inspiration taken from Bombay street markets where revellers would shop and eat while they walked around. These dishes therefore are all moderately sized and easily eaten with ones fingers.
The first dish, Bombay Bhel, is served in a banana leaf cone, perfect for containing the mix of Rice Puffs Tossed with Red Onions, Raw Mango And Chutneys, and eaten like you would Bombay mix. The Sev Batata Puri was a real treat, Wheat Crisps topped with spiced Potato, Yoghurt and Chutney. The creamy yoghurt contrasted well with the sweet chutney and spicy potato and is easily eaten in one bite.
The Batata Wada Pao is an Indian burger, smaller than what you would expect from a burger here, so that it can be easily eaten whilst walking round the markets; it’s a really popular dish. A turmeric Potato and Chickpea Dumpling is placed in a Bun with Special Chilli Garlic and Peanut Chutney with a side of Indian ketchup which is also made with turmeric. The Paneer Bread Pakora is made with Indian bread which like the bun is lighter than the bread we have here, it is served with a layer of Indian Cottage Cheese (paneer), fried and then served with Fresh Mint Chutney.
The Anda Paratha Roll is one of the larger dishes, served wrapped in paper with a newspaper print printed onto it to replicate how the food would have been served in Bombay from a stall market. One of my favourite dishes was the Pao Bhaji, Mixed Vegetable Mash with Butter and Grilled Spiced Buns, but it’s not mash like we have in the UK. It’s more of a thick vegetable curry, dark in colour and full of flavour. Two more of the larger dishes, still only the size of a starter, are the Keema Ghotala, Slow Cooked Minced Lamb finished with Eggs and Green Chillies, and Tawa Bater Tak A Tak (so called because of the ‘tak a tak’ noise it makes when it gets cooked) which is Quail Breast cooked in Masala.
Royal Falooda is a dessert served in a sundae glass but in the markets of Bombay would have been served in something similar to a banana leaf. This was another favourite dish of mine consisting of Kulfi (Indian ice cream), Rose Syrup, Nuts, Vermicelli and Basil Seeds. The vermicelli was an unusual choice for a topping but it wasn’t unpleasant and created some interesting texture to the dessert. The final item on the menu is Phirni, a Rice and Milk Pudding served in a Clay Pot with Saffron and Silver Leaf. It’s instantly recognisable as an Indian version of rice pudding but the saffron and silver leaf was nowhere to be seen, instead it was topped with pistachios.
The ‘Old Bombay Street Food Festival Menu’ runs until 10th December and is available alongside the restaurant’s usual menu. We definitely recommend taking a few hours to soak up the ambience while you work your way through this delicious menu.