We let out a small gasp when we heard a few months ago that Haveli had closed its doors. A veteran of the so-called ‘Overseas Chinese Village,’ located behind the Holiday Inn, Haveli consistently served up quality Indian fare for over a decade. We headed over, hopeful and hungry, when we heard it had reopened.
A total re-haul inside and out has occurred and Haveli is now the Bombay Grill. Gone are the candy-colored cushions and lumpy sofas, replaced by elegant, classic woodwork throughout. A wall or two has been knocked out and tall glass doors give way to a new elevated patio.
Commencing with a staple starter, samosas (RMB35/four) are easy to get wrong when it comes to texture and seasoning, but Bombay Grill’s are delightful pockets of savory veggies, with notably light pastry.
There is an assortment of colorful and rich mains to plough through. The dal tarka (RMB40) is delicious, imbued with the warmth of cumin, and pairs well with the aloo gobi (RMB45), which here hits the sweet spot of not too dry and not too saucy. Lamb rogan josh (RMB60) has creamy, rich sauce and tender pieces of meat.
Service is quick and attentive to personal taste, so if you want your chicken vindaloo (RMB60) extra fiery, the chef will not shy away from heaping on the chilies to deliver an adrenaline kick.
A meal out at an Indian restaurant can add up quickly, but the value at Bombay Grill is notable. All servings are generous, not meted out in tiny silver bowls, and customers are likely to have leftovers for lunch the next day. Kudos for the naan, which here come in a hearty stack for RMB15 – a personal peeve is overpriced, tiny portions that require several orders to satisfy.
Management’s decision to reincarnate was a wise move. More change is promised, too, with the second floor open for private parties and the space next door dedicated to sheesha.
// 2 Aiguo Lu, Overseas Chinese Village, Huanshi Dong Lu, Yuexiu District 越秀区环市东路华侨新村爱国路2号 (8359 4533)
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