Mumbai Bistro Philadelphia Review
930 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Other Philadelphia Indian Restaurants
Mumbai Bistro - Go Only if You're StarvingWhen it comes to con jobs, it’s hard to beat our desis.
No one comes anywhere near Indians when it comes to ripping off others.
Take for instance Mumbai Bistro in Philadelphia.
The rascals at Mumbai Bistro position the restaurant as offering Fast, Fresh, Home-Style Indian Food.
Folks, Fresh and Home-Style, Mumbai Bistro’s food definitely is not.
You see, our suspicions were aroused when our order of Naan and Kulcha came out in a jiffy.
We wondered how the Naan and Kulcha could be made so quickly but we kept our unease to ourselves.
A little while later, as we were exiting the rest-room opposite the kitchen our eyes fell on the frozen Naan packets piled in the restaurant’s tiny kitchen.
The game was up with these charlatans.
Fresh, Home-Style Food?
Balls (more on this later)!
Food by the Pound, Tiny PlaceLocated on Locust St between 9th and 10th Streets, Mumbai Bistro is a small place that mainly serves north Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. More like a take-out place with about six tables. You pick up a plastic plate or box and fill it up with the choice of your items at the steam table (again, hardly the touted fresh), take it to the the cash counter, pay for it by the pound (@ $4.95/lb), grab a table, chow down your food and get out.
If you are looking to have a leisurely meal in a nice, comfortable ambiance, then Mumbai Bistro is not for you.
By the way, Naan bread, appetizers and desserts are not included in the ‘Buffet by the Pound’ and have to be ordered separately. Besides the buffet/steam table food, we ordered Vegetable Samosa ($2.00), which was the only Vegetarian appetizer available, Garlic Naan ($1.00), Onion Kulcha ($1.00) and Ras MalaI ($2.00) for desserts.
Plain Awful Vegetable SamosasFolks, one bite into Mumbai Bistro’s Vegetable Samosa sent us into a fit of buyers remorse.
Our order of Vegetable Samosa (2 pieces) came with tamarind sauce. While the tamarind sauce was ok what got our goat was the Vegetable Samosa itself.
There were problems galore with the Vegetable Samosas. First, the inside layer of Samosa was only partially cooked and had a raw flour taste. Second, the Samosa was not crisp and had a soggy texture and finally, the potato filling had no flavor and tasted like boiled potatoes sans any seasoning.
Though we loath wasting food we had no choice but to trash the crappy Samosas.
Disgustingly BadWhile the partially cooked soggy Samosas induced nausea, Mumbai Bistro’s Mutter Paneer and Mumbai Dal brought tears to our eyes. Never has such a vile tasting Mutter Paneer made contact with our taste buds as the one served by Mumbai Bistro on Locust Street in Philadelphia. It was like eating boiled Green Peas and Paneer cubes set in a gutter water sauce.
Ditto with Mumbai Dal and Navaratan Masala. Mumbai Bistro’s Mumbai Dal lacked any evidence of seasoning and was not in the least bit flavorful. It was like eating soft lentils set in warm water. While Mumbai Bistro’s Navratan Masala had onions, peppers, tomato sauce, alas, it too was flavorless.
Good Mixed Vegetable Curry
The sole saving grace of our otherwise bad vegetarian meal at Mumbai Bistro was its Mixed Vegetable Curry. A melange of carrot, potato, capsicum and garden vegetables Mumbai Bistro’s Mixed Vegetable Curry was flavorful and we enjoyed it with both Garlic Naan, Onion Kulcha and Plain Rice.
Tasty Chicken CurriesBoth the non-vegetarian items – Chicken Curry and Chicken Tikka Masala turned out to be flavorful. It was like finding water in a desert and we finished both with mucho gusto. Chicken Curry set in a brown color medium thick sauce was tasty with tender chicken pieces. Chicken Tikka Masala with its pinkish red medium sauce also found favor with us.
Fast But not Fresh BreadOur orders of Garlic Naan and Onion Kulcha came wrapped in an Aluminium foil and served within two minutes of ordering them.
They did not have the look of a fresh, restaurant-prepared Naan. Both Garlic Naan and Onion Kulcha were warm but lacked the temperature of freshly prepared Indian bread.