795 Markham Road
Monday to Thursday 11:30am – 3:00pm
Friday to Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm
Dinner buffet – Daily 5:00pm – 10:30pm
2 dinner buffets
1 rum and coke
1 diet coke
If you happen to have $20 and change on you and are looking for a relaxing evening filled with more Indian food your stomach could possibly handle, make your way to Bombay Palace.
Located at 795 Markham Road, between Ellesmere Road and Lawrence Avenue East, the Bombay Palace has been around since 1991.
Owner Inverjit Singh and head chef Makhan Singh offer a buffet within the ideal restaurant setting – traditional Indian singing and instrumentals provide a subtle backdrop, yet still allow conversation to flow as freely as the curry. The dim lighting adds to the ambience of the restaurant.
The service was exceptional. Not only are they quick to respond to your requests but helpful in the food selection process, as well as quick with the water refills.
The best part about eating there is it transforms your average connoisseur of Indian food into a brilliant chemist.
Mixing and matching
Some of the best tasting plates at the buffet come from mixing and matching the wide array of delicious treats – pouring the tender goat curry on the rice; melting butter caramel ice cream on what one server jokingly referred to as “Indian donuts,” and creating a chickpea-stuffed concoction called pani puri.
The goat was definitely not bad, with the curry sauce that drenched every grain of basmati rice only magnifying the “added touch of spice” the menu mentions.
But pani puri is a thing all on its own and it comes with eating instructions.
Puris are crisp, hollow shells. First you poke a hole in the puri with your thumb. Then you throw spoonful or two of chickpeas into the hole and top it off with spiced water. It takes a lot of patience and a steady hand, but it’s worth the effort.
Other highlights include the sweet matter paneer (green peas and cheese), vegetable pakora (assorted vegetable fritters in split garam batte), and daal maharani (black lentils cooked with cream and tomato base).
Clearly Bombay Palace likes to take care of their vegetarian customers. But no respectable Indian restaurant can get by without a good-tasting butter chicken on the menu and there’s no disappointment here.
On the miss side, the naan was unpleasantly burnt, samosas were bland and paneer makhani (soft cottage cheese stewed in tomato gravy) is just flat out not worth mentioning.
For dessert, the aforementioned “Indian donuts” are the route to take. The mix of butter caramel ice cream gives the desert treat a taste not unlike a cake from Nicaragua called tres leche, meaning three milk. Like condensed milk does to the tres leche cake, the ice cream melts into the donut and turns it tenderly soft and almost soggy. It’s like eating an ice cream cloud.
Then again, when you have buffet, not everything is going to taste good. Fortunately most of them do.