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“Superb Service - Excellent Food”
Review of Bombay Talkie - CLOSED

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Bombay Talkie
Price range: $21 - $30
Cuisines: Indian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Casual Dining
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Description: Bombay Talkie, Chelsea's untra hip take on Indian "street food", continues to wow diners and critics. Created and owned by Sunitha Ramaiah, the bistro melds the two worlds dearest to her: Her childhood in Southern India and her adult life in Manhattan. Bombay Talkie contemporizes the regional cuisines of the tiny road side cafes (or Tea Houses) that dot the Indian sub continent.
Reviewed December 14, 2010

We eat at Indian restaurants quite a bit. This was on the pricier end ($100 for two people including two drinks each), but was extremely high quality. The staff was immediately there for all of your needs, clearing dishes and checking on your comfort throughout the meal, but not at all in an annoying way.

If you like sambar (that typically comes with a dosa), this is by far the best we've had (one of the reviewers on this account is Indian) in any restaurant. Very fresh. Even the chutneys were very high quality. If you're in the mood to treat yourself to a night of high-quality Indian food and be treated to excellent service, try Bombay Talkie in Chelsea.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank busheyacht
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (30)
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23 - 27 of 30 reviews

Reviewed June 30, 2010

Food was great, service lacking. Desserts were not as good as the rest of the menu.

Thank RiikkaLotta
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2009

When my friend arrived in town around 9pm on Friday, I suggested that she, another friend, and I go to Bombay Talkie. I've been here a couple of times before as it's the closest Indian restaurant to my job. The food has always been fairly good considering that it's not traditional Indian. So either way it seemed like the best option.

When we arrived, everything was as expected. The place is cute. We checked my friend's suitcase and were promptly seated. The three of us weren't that hungry so we ordered 2 entrees and a side. After receiving our food we also added an order of naan and I've ordered a mango lassi.

The food was actually better than it usually is (again considering that it's not a traditional Indian restaurant). The naan came out piping hot. The lassi on the other hand was awful. It was extremely liquidy - more like milk (eventhough a lassi is made from yogurt). I mentioned to our waitress that although everything else was great, my lassi was "milky" and she's like "it's not milk it's yogurt." I explained how I knew that, but I was referring to the consistancy and taste. She was obviously annoyed and took it back to get me another.

When I received my new lassi, it was thicker, but still not the proper consistancy. One of my friends (who happens to be Indian) agreed that both the consistancy and taste was still off and that I didn't want it. The waitress was extremely annoyed with me saying that it's fine and it's how it's supposed to be as she took it away.

From there it all went down hill.

My friends and I felt pretty awkward after the waitress's reaction, but we continued to have a good time. My friend ordered dessert (gulab jamun) which turned out to be barely okay. When I went to pay, my friend made sure to check the bill - thats when we discovered that our server (Monica) had added gratuity (18% of check + tax) on our bill which we obviously didn't want to pay considering the service. When we addressed this she stated that "there is a minimum of $25 per person and since we didnt order that then she added the gratuity." We asked her where we could find this written. She then brought back the menu and it read that this minimum only applies to parties of 6 or more - therefore doesn't reflect us. In addition there was no language regarding a party of our size being obligated to pay this gratuity.

She tried to grab the credit cards that were on the table (which we could only infer that she was going to rush to pay the bill). We took our cards back and asked for a manager - where she stated that "she was the manager." Then we asked her to get the owner on the phone. That's when she stormed away and another server came over.

He attempted to state with authority how we were "given" and not charged for two mango lassis. I explained how they were not right and I returned them. He then tried to say how "in New York if you don't like something you can't return it" - which makes absolutely no sense. My friend and I stated how we've lived in NY over 5 years each and have never had this problem before. Surprised he stated how he lived here 40 years (which was not even relevant to the conversation). After going back and forth on the issue, I said I'd rather pay for 1 mango lassi than give her a tip and to change my bill and if he had a problem with it I'd be more than happy if he would call the police to come and figure this situation out.

The result? I paid for the nasty mango lassi. Of course I marked out the tip. I've been monitoring my credit card ever since.

I'll never return again. I'd rather go across town for a much better (and traditional) place. Avoid with a passion.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank uvatia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2008

Yes, I love Indian food and I seek it out whereever possible. Unfortunately, some of the Indian restaurants I have encountered have great food but lack atmosphere. Bombay Talkie has both.. The food was not too oily/greasy and they had the right balance of spices. It's the best Indian food I've ever had!!

This is a small restaurant so make sure you make reservations. Excellent decor, great lighting and a great staff. They were pleasant and even took the time to conversate when the opp was available. Just the way I like it.

They have a great selection of cocktails and wine. So, this combination along with the food made it a rather expensive night, but definitely worth it.

Great spot and I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself.

Thank TruBluSigma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor reviewer on Facebook
Reviewed May 31, 2008

i really liked the food here, despite it being a trendier indian place. the papdi chaat appetizer was really good. but, i did have one hesitation in recommending this place. when i opened my menu there was a bug in my menu. and by bug, i mean mini cockroach. i denied it at the time, but i really think that is what it was. credit to the waitress, who calmly took the menu out of my hand and then gave me a new one. i still ate here so don't know what that means about me!

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This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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