What Not To Do At Bombay Fast Food

For vegetarians or anyone who observes meatless days, Monday or no, I’ve continued my quest for variety via sans-meat dishes. I ventured to Bombay Fast Food, a vegetarian restaurant in the 6th avenue “food court”. Formerly Khodiar Indian, Taj Deli, and the Newstand… Bombay Fast Food shares a restaurant with a Pizza King (a joint in the genre of establishments that MJP has been so scrupulously critiquing in his cheap pizza slice investigation).

Zach crafted an *incredibly* helpful guide by translating their menu back in 2008. Why? The menu is almost completely void of the English language. I was looking forward to my adventure, and I had pre-planned what I would order before I went. I was interested in the dahi puri, (pani puri described blow with yogurt) and the methi pakoda, fried veg made with fenugreek. At $4.99 and $5.99 respectively, these “snacks” were going to run me slightly over $10, but I wanted to try both.

Ordering was a disaster, but I will take much of the blame for that. I asked for my pre-planned items, but they had run out of the Methi. To try to figure something else out, I asked if they had anything spicy. They said no, the samosas were a little spicy, but that was all. I wanted something more interesting than a samosa. Bewildered, I randomly chose a random chaat off of the menu and then mistakenly added a pani puri (not what I had planned — I really wanted the yogurt in the dahi puri). For whatever reason, this was translated into one pani puri, and one jinormous bowl of green hot sauce that I thought was my other dish because I didn’t know what to expect. I thought perhaps there was stuff in the bowl I couldn’t see, but no. Pure green sauce.

By the time I realized the error, the line was so long and the counter was so crowded, I figured I had neither the time or the will to fix my situation, because I knew I would hold up everyone else also waiting for their food. But looking on the bright side, I was trying pani puri, a popular Indian street food, for the first time ever. As Zach noted before, pani puri is summarized by wikipedia. It’s a crunchy unleavened bread pillow with a circle cut from the top, filled with a spicy water, tamarind, chili, chaat masala, potato, onion and chickpeas.

Although this was my first time trying and I hesitate to be too critical, I thought the puri cups were just slightly stale. But perhaps this is the texture they always have. The hot sauce was nice on the pani puri, but it was incredibly hot. I like food spicy, but too much of this stuff is brutal.

The fillings were soft, only barely salted, and perhaps overpowered by the raw red onion. Overall the dish wasn’t bad, and it was a fun adventure. But holding true to it’s “snack” status, it wasn’t incredibly filling. For $5.99, I’m not sure if I could, in clear conscience, say it was a good deal.

Another customer was eating a nice helping of what I wish I would have ordered. It appeared to be the $6.99 Regular Thali that included 3 pieces of roti, 2 veggies, dal, basmati rice, a pickle, a salad, and a sweet. Fail on my part. It looked like a much better deal. The menu in the picture above, by the way, is just a small portion of the menu (full menu is available at grubhub). It stretches around the counter in all its indecipherable glory. Next time, I’ll print out Zach’s informative post to help.

Any recommendations for dishes or deals at Bombay Fast Food? Has the quality suffered from its identity crisis? With so many unexplored dishes, I really feel like I need to go back there to try more.

Bombay Fast Food, 1013 6th Ave. (btw. 37+38th), 212-840-3767


  • yea i would never have gone there without an Indian or at least getting notes from one before going.

    Get a chaat next time. Samosa or Papri were quite good and filling.

  • I get the thali from here at least once a week. Unfortunately they started charging for tax about 2 months ago so the total comes to $7.53, but it’s still worth it for the amount of food you get. The “salad” is a handfull of raw onions btw. As far as spicy, one of the rotating specials is a spicy eggplant dish that’s really good, and most of the time at least one of the two dishes I get has a little bit of kick to it. I wish there was some consistency in terms of what dishes were served on what days, you kind of have to get lucky if you’re hoping for a certain one. I’ve also ordered chaat a few times from here and enjoyed it. But I never try to order anything else off the menu.

  • Incredibly helpful and useful information! Thank you!

  • I’ve only had the Samosa Chaat. Between it being really good, and not being able to decipher the menu, this is all I’ve tried.

  • Most chaat that have yogurt are awesomely counterbalanced against their spiciness, but I’m all for super spicy Indian food. It’s a sign that they’re authentic as hell and don’t dull down their food for whitey. But yeah, $6 for what you ordered would be $4 at Bombay Talk or Dimple in Iselin.

  • I usually get masala dosa there. I think it’s 5.99, and you get a good amount of food. Sometimes I get samosas, but I have occasionally gotten one that’s kind of old/stale-ish-tasting.

  • get real.
    get minar.

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    The “jinormous bowl of green hot sauce” is the pani in pani puri–the spiced water. You dunk the filled puris in the water and eat. It’s given in a separate container so that the puris don’t get soggy.

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    Just went to this place and was greeted by two medium sized roaches inside the food display. After I told the guy, he causally took a napkin and picked them up.

    Ran away just as quickly as I went there. I’m sure I’ve eaten worse stuff from food carts, but seeing it right there in front of me made me lose my appetite.

  • How can they portray themselves as a vegetarian joint when clearly, by FeedMeStuff’s description, there is meat present?

    Sarah, take heed!

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    Funny thing was that two of the Indian patrons were staring at me as if I did something wrong by pointing out the roaches!

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    I love Bombay Fast Food, and I love pani puri. I do not love the pani puri from Bombay Fast Food.

    Since you don’t know anything about chaat, you should have just kept it simple and ordered the bhelpuri. (I’m sure there’s a reason it’s #1 on the menu.) And while samosas are boring, the samosa chaat is a different experience altogether. It can also feed two people.

    Chola’s Sunday buffet has an awesome pani puri.

  • Roaches=Protein???

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    Dear midtownlunch, please put a disclaimer in your reviews of this place noting how disgusting this place is.

    Thank you.

  • What is their current letter grading from the DOH?
    The last time I was there, it was pending.

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