Bombay (Cottage) Nights
The Oakham Curry Club (OCC) UK branch continued on the quest to discover the finest curry establishment the world has to offer with its most recent trip to The Bombay Cottage in Stamford. The scores are as follows: Customer Care: 7.5 Service: 7.17 Value: 5.61 Quality: 6.56 Atmosphere: 7.61 Total Score: 6.89
Situated in the iconic town of Stamford, England's finest stone built town, The Bombay Cottage (BC) is located in a grade 2 listed building. The old style exterior of the building was offset by a contemporary interior. Features such as paintings, water features and walls of swirling bubbles never fail to amuse the OCC members, therefore it is worth noting by all curry houses that this environment always impresses upon entry. Before moving onto the juicy information, I would like to raise a point about the theme of this meet. The theme was change - this was introduced by a passionate chairman wanting to introduce a legacy and thus got the ball rolling by suggesting what can change within the OCC in order to leave a lasting legacy. The other notable suggestion of change involved job roles and a power shift, the future OCC will be interesting to observe. It must be common knowledge by now that the OCC members love poppadoms with all the sauces. BC did not disappoint on this front. The poppadoms were crispy and the sauces came in large pots, meaning there were only a couple of (instead of the usual 5+) requests to top up the sauces. The only criticism would be the variety of sauces, there were three, which is satisfactory, but when the OCC ask for 'all the sauces', they mean ALL the sauces. Nonetheless, it was a promising start and expectations were high that standards would continue. The starters - this is the moment the night peaked in terms of food quality. The portion sizes were fantastic, looking like a main meal themselves! The mixed grill was a popular choice and judging by the collective groans and compliments around the table, one can only assume it was a good choice. However, for anyone looking for a differing taste and a starter deviating away from the norm, the tandoori duck is my recommendation. Wow, just wow! In the midst of tucking away the starter and waiting for the main meal, I took a moment to just observe the surroundings and take in the atmosphere. The BC was an extremely popular place, constantly crowded both in the restaurant area and the take-away collection area. Many visitors were waiting to be seated and generally seemed happy to be waiting. This must be testament to the BC's local reputation or a reputation that stretches further. In terms of waiting to be served the main, there were mixed feelings. One member felt it took too long while another member felt the food was delivered quite quickly. Maybe it's time to introduce a timer and a general rule set of acceptable waiting times - food for thought. One point of note was that the staff were very accommodating and speedy with topping up drinks. The mains were somewhat of a paradox. They were flavoursome to start with, however towards the end there were comments from some members like 'there's not enough sauce' and 'look how oily this sauce is'. It is worth revisiting my earlier point about the starters being the peak for the food quality. To conclude, the theme of the evening was change through the introduction of a legacy brought about my changing some aspects of the OCC and also the idea of changing job roles (watch this space). The meet once again brought together a band of brothers and curry enthusiasts whom always have an entertaining evening when placed in the same room. To summarise the BC, it was a wow factor start with the environment, poppadoms and starters which unfortunately turned into regression with the mains. Normally great poppadoms and starters is an indicator that the mains will be delicious. There are no criticisms towards the staff and the service was of a high standard. Value scored a low mark due to members deeming the price relatively high. We ended the night with complimentary shots of port. A fine ending to a fine evening. We look forward to the next meet!