Bombay Royale is an Indian restaurant that opened in February. As the third Indian restaurant in town (in addition to Indian Palace and Indian House), I did not expect there to be much excitement about Bombay Royale. However, Bombay Royale has proved itself to be a rather competitive rising-star in downtown Northampton, as it received almost five-stars and an abundance of stellar reviews on Yelp. Last Friday my friend and I decided to check it out of this new hotspot.
Just a few minutes after opening their doors, a line had already formed at the entrance. Unable to find an empty table, we ended up sitting at the bar. All the tables were occupied throughout our meal — clearly this restaurant is extremely popular.
One special feature Bombay Royale offers is the daily lunch buffet. On weekdays, for just $9.95, you can come in and enjoy a large variety of Indian dishes. On the weekends, they offer a special buffet with an even greater variety of food for a flat rate of $13.95. The buffet is perfect for someone like me who is not good at ordering food or matching the names and ingredients on a menu to real dishes. But of course the most exciting thing is that you can eat as much as you want!
From vegetarian dishes like mushroom mutter and channa masala to chicken tandoori and lamb malabar, we tasted a bit of everything, picked our favorites and had more! We concluded our hearty meal with the desserts of the day — kheer and gulab jamun. Baskets of naan bread were also served at the table for free. The restaurant alters the buffet menu daily, meaning you have the opportunity to try something new every time you go.
In addition, Bombay Royale has its a la carte menu with several dishes that I have not seen served at other restaurants. The restaurant also offers catering and delivery. Due to its proximity to the campus, I can predict that it will become a popular choice among Smithies in the near future.
I was also delighted to see that, unlike many other exotic restaurants, the interior of Bombay Royale is not decorated to remind diners of its exoticism, with overly traditional and sometimes stereotypical decorations. Instead, the restaurant gives diners a pleasant and relaxing ambience with simple décor like blue tablecloths and natural lighting. The ethnic identity is important, but whether food meets the universal standard of deliciousness or not should always be the highest priority of a restaurant.
After our meal, my friend, Nancy Xiao ’19, said she felt that a week’s worth of hard work had finally paid off with such an enjoyable Friday treat. I am glad to see there is another wonderful restaurant in town, and I hope it maintains its popularity with the high-quality food and service. I would recommend Bombay Royale. It is a great place to relax and explore some excellent Indian dishes.