Everyone loves a comeback story. Steve Jobs. England vs Australia at Headingley, 1981. Michael Jordan’s Tune Squad in the 1996 classic Space Jam.
As keen followers of the OCC will remember, in 2017 Bombay Bistro on Yongfu Lu played host to the OCC’s third ever Shanghai outing, where it received a lackluster overall score of 5.9, before closing down and relocating to Found 158. And so it was the OCC excitedly headed to Julu Lu to see if Bombay Bistro too could redeem itself and gain its own footnote in history.
From the moment we entered the restaurant, it was clear that the new Bombay Bistro had indeed upped its service and customer care game - no doubt inspired by the OCC’s previous review. We were welcomed warmly upon entrance, while the waiters were very forthcoming with recommendations when ordering. Some cocktails took a while to be delivered, but the rest of the food and drinks were brought out swiftly, with a smiling waiter never far away. No doubt recognising the importance of the OCC, the manager even provided a free drink for members – while we naturally cannot be swayed that easily, such customer care is always appreciated.
On atmosphere, Bombay Bistro’s new digs do not look out of place rubbing shoulders with some of the better known venues in Shanghai’s F&B scene that are in Found 158. With a large bar and soft lighting, the venue is suitable even for drinks before a night out, and would be a solid option to impress on a date (particularly if you mention the OCC’s stamp of approval).
Although it has improved, the quality of food at Bombay Bistro is still somewhat patchy. The poppadums at the beginning of the meal were underwhelming, and some members found the curries a bit watery. Some highlights though were found in the soft shell crab starter, and the samosa & vada mezze plate. On the drinks front, the Sharabi Lassi cocktail in particular prompted very positive reviews. Special note should also be given to the stunning presentation of the dishes.
A price of just over 400 RMB a head is on the pricier side among Shanghai curry houses, but it should be noted that this includes a number of cocktails and other drinks. Less thirsty curry enthusiasts could expect to pay less, with mains hovering around around the 90 – 110 RMB mark. The presence of drink deals – 5 Kingfishers for 100 RMB on Friday nights – was also appreciated.
Overall, the OCC is very pleased to see a restaurant like Bombay Bistro has taken on board its feedback and correspondingly lifted its standards. With an overall score of 7.7, not only has it positioned itself firmly as the venue to beat for the 2018 CHOTY, it has also earned itself a coveted OCC Approved sticker.
We also note that its upcoming brunch menu appears a long-overdue concession to the cross-section of the Shanghai community who enjoy both curry and brunches.
The OCC can therefore heartily recommend it, and hopes that other curry houses can follow its lead in learning from poor OCC reviews.
Customer care: 8.4