New Indian restaurant Bombay Royale: ‘Without spice, there is no life’

  • Evan Rowland of Florence visits the lunch time buffet at Bombay Royale in Northampton on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Top, the outside of Bombay Royale at One Roundhouse Plaza in Northampton. Evan Rowland of Florence visits the lunch buffet. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Evan Rowland of Florence visits the lunch time buffet at Bombay Royale in Northampton on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Salad items in the lunch buffet at Bombay Royale in Northampton on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Lamb kadahi, foreground, and chicken tikka masala are among the dishes on the lunch buffet table at Bombay Royale in Northampton on Wednesday, April 5, 2017. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

  • Vince George waits on lunchtime customers at Bombay Royale, at the lower end of Crafts Avenue in Northampton. GAZETTE STAFF/KEVIN GUTTING

For the Gazette
Published: 4/16/2017 5:48:49 PM

By Morgan Hughes

NORTHAMPTON — Bombay Royale, a South Asian restaurant downtown, is doing its best to give diners a little taste of India without leaving the borders of Paradise City.

The restaurant, which opened a little more than a year ago at One Roundhouse Plaza at 52 Crafts Ave. next to the Peter Pan bus station, serves a moderately-priced lunch buffet and a la carte dinners featuring northern and southern Indian cuisine.

The dining room is clean, bright and airy. As is the authentic cuisine of India, Bombay Royale’s menu is mostly vegan and vegetarian, restaurant manager Vince George explained. The three head chefs specialize in three specific aspects of Indian food: tandoori, curry and southern Indian. A tandoor is ceramic oven that uses direct heat for cooking meats that are usually lowered in on large skewers.

Regional Indian cuisine is dictated by the availability of certain ingredients in an area, since the system of transporting perishables is inadequate, George explained.

“If you go to India, you will see that in each and every town, the food will differ,” he said. “The spices and the taste will be different.”

Turmeric, as well as both red and green chile, are common identifying spices for all Indian food.

The menu for southern Indian is entirely gluten-free. It is mostly dairy-free, frequently incorporates mustard seeds and ingredients associated with an expansive coastline like coconuts and seafood. Northern Indian food, on the other hand, often uses cream and a different set of spices, like cumin.

Bombay’s menu offers well-known dishes like tandoori chicken and tikka masala.

The restaurant, open daily except for Mondays, also has a location in Lee. The owners noted the population of people seeking diverse options for healthy meals, and decided to bring a location to Northampton to fill that void.

“People used to come from this area to Lee,” George said. “We studied the market and the town, and we came to know people here are very health-conscious and they love Indian food, especially vegetarian and gluten-free.”

With such bold and sometimes spicy flavors, south Asian cuisine can be intimidating. George said that first-time Indian food diners should try out the buffet.

The menu offers entire sections for vegans and vegetarians, with options like Aloo Mushroom Chettinadu, which consists of potatoes and mushrooms cooked in a spicy black pepper, coconut sauce, and Paneer Shahi Korma, which is Paneer cheese in a cashew almond sauce.

The restaurant also serves sizzling tandoori plates, such as Jhinga Mast Mast, or jumbo shrimp marinated in a chili mint sauce.

For people with and without experienced palates, Bombay Royale is an adventure for the tastebuds.




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