Restaurant review: Salaam Bombay

And you thought the restaurant review idea was never going to happen, didn’t you? Well here goes, I love reading reviews of places before going so that I can get an idea, so I figured I’d share my experiences as well.

Salaam Bombay is on Rancagua right by Condell in Providencia. In case you couldn’t tell by the name, it’s Indian food, which is pretty unusual here in Chile. I really like Indian food but tend to only eat it when I’m in the UK, where it’s usually pretty good – thank you, Commonwealth. In the US I know there must be some amazing places, and I’ve had some good Indian, but I just don’t think of it as much for some reason. I certainly haven’t lost too much sleep over finding Indian food since I’ve been in Chile, but yesterday it just sounded right, so off we went. I will preface this by saying that if you want really good Indian in Santiago, the Majestic is your best bet, but it’s farther and I think a bit more expensive.

In a word, Salaam Bombay was good. Compared to other restaurants here I found it a little expensive: $20.000 for 2 people, sharing a starter and a bread and each ordering a main course, rice, and beer. In the US I wouldn’t even have blinked, but here it’s just a bit too much to become a regular for us. That said, the food was pretty decent. The bread was so-so, it was some onion bread (not naan), and if we go again I’ll see if the naan’s any better. Naan is one of my favorite things about Indian food, so I was disappointed to have a small, thin piece of bread rather than a big fluffy naan. It didn’t even taste like onion! Other than that our mixed kebab starter was a bit dry, although it had good flavor and yummy yogurt and spicy sauces.

Rodolfo’s main was really nice, lamb-based rogan josh that he asked for not spicy. The spice level goes from 1 to 6, and as soon as he asked what a normal Chilean should order our waiter said 1. Chilean food really isn’t spicy, which surprises people who think that we’re just a bit south of Mexico, but my dish more than made up for my lack of spice over the past 8 months! I asked for it a 3-4, and it was just at the limit of being too spicy to eat. Next time I would order a 2-3, but it was nice to really feel some spice for a change, even if my tongue was absolutely burning by the end. I had murgh tikka masala (chicken), which felt like a total cop out dish as it’s basically “Indian food for beginners,” but it sounded good and had a great flavor along with all that spice.

The ambience is also nice, with lots of Indian fabrics and statues that make the small dining room cozy. Our waiter I think is in fact the owner, and the fact that he’s Indian did give an initial impression that the food would be pretty good. Overall we had an enjoyable meal, and I would go back, although I’m not making any special plans to do so.

2 Responses to “Restaurant review: Salaam Bombay”

  1. Maeskizzle says:

    Hey Emily, I like that restaurant too! Yummy. I adore Indian food. That’s too bad you didn’t get naan, we’ve gotten it there before. Maybe they were out. My current fave Indian dish is anything that has almond sauce.

    Right near Salaam Bombay on Rancagua is a typical porteño restaurant called the Jota Cruz. The original is in Valparaíso, but this one is good too. It’s also super tasty. They specialize in chorillanas (a huge mass of homemade french fries, layered with meat, eggs and onion) y borgoña (wine with fruit and sugar added). It has an interesting aesthetical detail: all the walls and windows are scribbled on with pens, pencils and whiteout by customers.

  2. Jessica says:

    ^ I love Jota Cruz ;) Only been to the one in Valparaíso once, but I really liked it… I’m a sucker for a good chorillana, and the atmosphere with the graffiti-ed walls reminded me of a restaurant in Chapel Hill that I used to love. I’ll have to go back to JC once I return to Chile, and I’d also like to try the Indian restaurant!

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