Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New Bombay Canteen

The Columns, Buendia Makati with branches at dela Costa, Makati and Wilson, San Juan.

After a meeting at RCBC Tower, (digression: somebody ought to give a Lifetime Achievement Award to the designer of RCBC's parking spaces for the Worst Parking Design Ever.) I was all set to cross over to McDonald's but I turned around and saw the New Bombay signage beckoning me. Like a subject hypnotized, I walked over to Columns across Buendia. The first time I dined at New Bombay, it was still called New Bombay Canteen and it was in a hole in the wall of Citiland in Buendia. And the last time was in its branch in Dela Costa St. This spiffy, new version is much more posh than the canteen I knew. And I noticed the prices are also higher. I realized that dining alone, it would not be the cheap meal I was hoping to have so I tried to order a maximum of 3 dishes even though I wanted to try different appetizers. I ordered the butter naan (P60 for 2 huge pieces), flatbread delicately coated with butter, but so flavorful you can eat it alone, the malai kofta -- rolled, mashed potato with cottage cheese gravy(P160), and the chicken curry (P140).

So the question is: is it as good as I remember it to be? And the answer is: Yes! Yes! Yes! Maybe even better. I remember loving the naan, and this time, I love it even more, I think I'm going to develop a new addiction. Forgive me if I throw all objectivity and literary restraint out the window, but this review will be full of superlatives, and some moans thrown in. Because that was how I felt in the restaurant. I wasn't particularly hungry so this is not a case of being famished so everything tastes good. It was just really good. My eyes were rolling and my head was shaking with disbelief that it was just so darn good.

Back in my old life, I had this phrase, mapapamura ka sa sarap. When I would rave about something and couldn't find the right term to express my ecstasy, I would rely on expletives to articulate my emotions. The food was so good I had to strain really hard to stop myself from swearing. So good that the restaurant should have a sign that says, it is a crime to eat here alone. So good that because I was dining alone, I just had to call a number of my friends to tell them the food was so good. So good the only reason I didn't finish the servings good for two is that the server was looking at me funny, so I took the leftovers home. So good I forgot to order the dessert, gulabjamun. So good, I can't wait to go back. So good while I was driving home, I called a friend to tell him the food was soooo good.

Did I tell you the food was good?

And for those who are reading this saying, I hate Indian food. Well, good. That means there's more for us who love it.