Mumbai Bistro Philadelphia Review

Mumbai Bistro

930 Locust St
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Other Philadelphia Indian Restaurants
mumbai bistro locust st

Mumbai Bistro - Go Only if You're Starving

When 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 Place

Located 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 Samosas

Folks, 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 Bad

While 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 Curries

Both 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 Bread

Our 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.

As we were coming out of the wash room which is located next to the kitchen, we saw the kitchen staff removing the Naan bread from one of the heat-and-eat frozen packets and placing it on the griddle. Subsequently, when we checked the small menu card that we picked up on our way out, we realized that Mumbai Bistro serves Kontos brand of Onion Naan bread which means it is not freshly prepared. Garlic Naan was likely from Deep.

Good Ras Malai

Ras Malai comes in a small plastic cup with two pieces straight from the cooler. It was good and when we queried the fella at the cash counter if it was prepared in-house or sourced from elsewhere, he responded that they come from their sister restaurant New Delhi in Philadelphia.

Below Par Service

The guy in glasses at the cash counter was more interested in playing with his cell phone than in attending to diners. When we placed the order for Ras Malai, the fella never bothered to tell us that Ras Malai is in the cooler. We paid the money and waited for Ras Malai to come. It was only after we asked him he carelessly pointed out to the cooler while fiddling with his phone. Chutiya!

Guys, unless you are in the neighborhood and starving, we don’t recommend Mumbai Bistro. - ©

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