I'll say upfront that I'm not big on Indian food, but I do enjoy a buffet. They do a $9.95 lunch buffet here during the week; I got there at 2pm. The smell of curry in the parking lot is strong; like the aroma of garlic that exudes from a good Italian restaurant. Of course Garlic is better than Curry.
Like most Indian restaurants, they're dark. They always have the curtains pulled; I guess special lighting is their thing. The buffet is in one big room; the buffet along one wall and a bar and the kitchen entrance along another.
Bombay Cafe Lunch buffet
One annoyance is the constant surveillance. The "workers" stand by the bar and they just kind of watch you eat. It makes it difficult to take quality pictures in the dark restaurant.jump-->
Service is less than usual for a buffet; they bring you a pitcher of water but nobody asked if I wanted a drink. so no iced tea today. I waited for the dude who sat me to come back, but he didn't. So I just hit the buffet.
While I was away they dropped off some Tandoori Chicken; each table gets this "freshly" made from the kitchen. I guess they don't want it sitting out on the buffet.
Bombay Cafe Tandoori Chicken
Not bad. I thought the shank might be something else, since chicken shanks are unusual. But the server said it was chicken.>
They also dropped off some Chapati bread; One of the few Indian items that I enjoy. They tell you it's Naan, but Naan is leavened. The bread was oiled and is a required contrast to the curries.
Bombay Cafe Bread
My first pass impression was that there wasn't much meat on the buffet. I grabbed some curried chicken and curried goat, rice and Dal soup, which is supposedly red lentil soup flavored with cloves.
Bombay Cafe Curry Chicken, Curried Goat and Dal Soup
The chicken was fine; the goat was tough and chewy. The soup was mostly broth and who wants clove-flavored broth.
Back to try something else. Everything else was either lentils or vegetables. I grabbed some Dal Makhani and Aloo Mutter.
Bombay Cafe Dal
This wasn't bad, although more a gravy than anything else. Not too much substance to it. The Aloo Mutter was just a bunch of overdone veggies in an unpleasant sauce; that's my distaste for Indian spices speaking more than anything else.
Bombay Cafe Aloo Mutter
I went back to get some more chicken curry and rice just so that I'd have enough food to get me to dinner. I didn't want dessert; they had the Gulab Jaman (fried milk balls), but I thought I'd try the "noodle pudding", or vermicelli kheer.
Bombay Cafe Vermicelli Kheer
It basically tastes like rice putting with noodles instead of rice. It was kind of slippery; I think I prefer rice.
My impression of the buffet is that it was weaker than I'd hoped. I guess if you figure that you get Tandoori Chicken, bread curry chicken and some other stuff; you get your $9.95 worth. But it would have been nice to have more meat selections; some lamb or kababs. Maybe it's not fair to compare this to a big chinese buffer or one of the big casino buffets, but I left feeling like I didn't get to try as much as I'd liked. I'd rather pay $2 more and have a better selection.
They have lunch buffets every day, and a dinner buffet on Wednesday and Sunday only.