Bombay Roti is the latest incarnation of the late night postage-stamp-sized spot inside Lee’s Palace, specializing in Indian-style roti.
The menu is cheap and features flawlessly executed renditions of all your favourites cooked from scratch just inches away, dishes from all over India limited mainly to roti, rice dishes and biryani but with options like malai kofta, navratan korma, mango chicken curry and shrimp curry.
The space that’s formerly played host to burrito joints like Rancho has only a few stools and ledges for seating, but they’d do in a pinch to drunkenly scarf down a roti.
Spices are proudly displayed on the counter in front of the cooking area, some like cardamom pods, star anise, and cinnamon with whole garam masala have actually been brought over from Indian, owing their inimitable taste to the water and soil there.
Butter chicken roti ($12.50) stuffs a perfectly bubbly, crispy roti with boneless chicken cooked in a creamy tomato-based sauce with an incredible texture.
The roti that’s made from scratch here is rested to give it a particular consistency, and the final product is stretchy enough to bite but not soft enough to tear with a fork, or accidentally burst and let out any precious filling.
I always love the corners of the roti, multiple layers folding into dense, bready corners soaked with sauce. Like at most places, spice level can be modified to be anywhere from very mild to lethally extra spicy, and rice can be substituted for roti at no extra charge.
We opt to do saag paneer ($11.50) this way, the rice fluffy, the spinach puree creamy, warm and sweet. Paneer hasn’t been crisped up on the sides like at some places, but it’s so soft and fresh tasting that it doesn’t need be, bathing in the rich gravy and soaking it up.
Lamb biryani ($12.99) cooks boneless chunks of meat in basmati rice with spices, this rendition very balanced, warmly spiced without being bitter, the lamb very tender.
Desserts ($3.99) include the more commonly seen gulab jamun, these ones relatively small but very syrupy and in an order of three, as well as mango rasmalai.
Lumps of very spongy Indian cottage cheese are dropped into a simmering milk cream with mango, which gets soaked up for a very sweet, sopping dessert that’s kind of like eating mango shake dumplings.
Lassi ($4.50) is another great mango offering, not too thick or sweet like at some places with a nice, yogurt-y tartness.
Chef Gopi C. has combined his experience working at over 20 Indian restaurants including six roti places to come up with the best possible versions of these classic dishes.