Netflix and chill, drinks and dancing, or dinners with friends – the end of the working week inspires different desires in each of us. Eat Out critic Linda Scarborough is partial to enjoying a takeaway curry on the couch. In the first of our Friday Night Bites series, she reviews her favourite local spot, Bombay Chilli in Plumstead, which delivers the delicious goods and value for money.
Cost: The average main is R85, which includes rice
Serves: Delicious Indian curries, breads and sides
Best for: Affordable and delicious takeaways, with loads of options for vegetarians and vegans
Parking: Find a spot along Main Road or just outside (it’s a one-way street)
Star rating: Food 5, service 4, ambience 2
Have a look at the paper menu stuck to your fridge (or online) to choose from starters including samoosas, pakoras and chilli bites, plus some more special options like lamb- or chicken-stuffed parathas, aloo and paneer parathas for the veggies, and spiced chicken cubes (boti and malai).
I usually go straight for the mains, though, choosing from the wide array of vegetable, chicken, lamb and seafood curries, as well as a handful of biryanis and the option to order a quarter, half or full chicken tikka. You can move from korma to vindaloo to madras in a few easy steps.
The palak paneer, a vivid green colour, is the stuff of food dreams – it’s creamy, earthy and generously flavoured with ginger. Another delicious vegetarian option, aloo gobi, is less saucy, but fragrant, complex and beautifully amber coloured. If you’re going for meat, the korma is pretty good; the butter chicken even better; and the chicken kadai is textured with slivered peppers and onions. All gravies are thick and glossy and gorgeously layered. You can choose the heat of each option, and the result is balanced and full of flavour, instead of being simply more fiery.
As for the all-important breads, the garlic naan is always a winner, but for something a little lighter I heartily recommend the lachha paratha. It’s flaky, buttery, and peels off in spirals that are fun for transporting sauce from bowl to mouth.
One portion of curry, with the complimentary rice dotted with cumin, plus any of the must-have breads, is enough for two meals, really, so it’s great value for money.
Peruse the fridge next to the counter to grab a cooling soft drink to complement the curry. Bonus points for having cold beer in the chiller at home.
Ordering by phone is a breeze, and the food is ready within 20 minutes. Bombay Chilli doesn’t accept cards, though, so take cash with you.
You pass about four prettily laid tables with burgundy tablecloths as you make your way to the back of the small, plain room to pick up your order from the counter. They can and do accommodate sit-down diners, but the heart of the operation is the bustling takeaway business. There’s not much décor of which to speak, and a TV mounted up against the wall usually screens cricket.
There’s another branch in Muizenberg that’s more geared for elegant sit-down dinners in sociable groups.
Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.