Reservations can be made over the phone. Call 800-My-Curry.
There's ample underground parking at JBR. Bombay Bungalow recommends the North Parking in the Green Zone. Save yourself a chunk of change and get your ticket validated after your meal.
Greeting and seating
We were welcomed by the manager and seated at the best table in the house - a cozy spot right in between the indoor restaurant and outdoor veranda.
Knowledge and service of the waiter
We spoke to almost everyone in the Bombay Bungalow family. We were passionately walked through the inspiration behind the menu and gorgeous decor, Bombay Bungalow's sister concepts, and were even let in on the secret behind its scrumptious homemade bread.
We opted for the watermelon chaat, cheese fondue pav bhaji, and the coconut ras malai.
Highly recommended by the head chef, the watermelon chaat* has been specifically tailored to complement Dubai's piping hot weather. Chunks of crisp watermelon are tossed into a bowl with squidgy cubes of feta cheese. Like two people doing the tango, the watermelon and feta's dance is brought alive with a zest-packed cilantro pesto. A final sprinkle of edible flowers and tahoon cress do the same for this salad that heels and an iconic red dress do for a tango performer.
Turning up the winter vibes, we opted for a cheese fondue. Bringing classic comfort food from two cultures onto one table - the cheese fondue pav bhaji* was a blend of golden vegetables and a trio of cheeses - mozzarella, cheddar, and gruyere. On the side, hunks of freshly baked pav* and roast potatoes sat waiting to be skewered and drowned. Every variation of bread served at Bombay Bungalow is lovingly baked in-house. A splash of milk gives the pav its pillowy texture.
We wrapped up our meal with the highly-recommended coconut ras malai*. Cute as a button and Instagram gold on a plate, the dish was loaded with everything good in life. Hitting all the right flavors, it was a celebration of salted caramel, crunchy pistachios, and soft cottage cheese. The gourmet work of art was studded with goji berries, edible flowers, and tahoon cress.
*Chaat - a savory snack known for its zest, typically served at Indian roadside carts.
*Pav - Portuguese savory buns that's the bread of choice among Luso-Indians
*Pav bhaji - Curried vegetable dish from Maharastra, served with a pav
*Ras malai - Cottage cheese soaked in sweetened milk and cream
Courtesy extended during the meal
Bombay Bungalow treated me to a guided tour backstage. I surfed through the clamoring pots, clattering utensils, and cacophonous cooking. Despite the modestly sized kitchen, every single thing - right from the springs of cilantro to the naan baking in the tandoor* - was in order. Spacious fridges are devoted individually to meat, seafood, and vegetables to cater to diners with varying diets. And nothing leaves the kitchen without getting the chef's final taste of approval.
*Tandoor - Traditional clay ovens prevalent across Asia and some of Eastern Europe.
This is what it's all about at Bombay Bungalow. In a city that's no stranger to Indian food, it's the enchanting ambience that sets this restaurant apart. Despite being called "Bombay Bungalow", the decor is an homage to Rajhastani havelis. A haveli is the Indian version of a Spanish hacienda or a Moroccan riad - mansions shared by different generations of a family. A defining feature of these homes is their expansive courtyards which double as an al fresco lounge. Before air-conditioning was a thing, these courtyards relied on the generous shade of a majestic tree. Staying true to this tradition, Bombay Bungalow boasts a stunning tree right in the middle of the restaurant.
It's accented with flamboyant Mughal ornaments and paintings. An ornate crystal chandelier glows above a beautifully decorated communal table and a personal collection of vintage wooden frames. Amid this, a framed painting of a dog wearing a Jaipuri turban takes pride of place.
Dinner for two with water and coffee on the side amounted to about 200 dirhams.
Overall, would you return?
I've been here before and will definitely be back again. Can't face JBR's notorious traffic? Bombay Bungalow delivers and charges a lower price for dishes delivered to your doorstep!
Guac pani poori, burrata butter chicken, lemongrass shrimp biyani, and coconut ras malai.