My gal and I recently spent 11 days in Koh Lipe, soaking up some “vitamin sea” and ringing in the New Year on a new island for us. Normally when we’re being beach bums we live on fresh seafood and the occasional burger or pizza when I start getting those withdrawals. Indian food isn’t a go-to cuisine for us when staying on islands. But then based on a few recommendations from friends, we were introduced to Koh Lipe’s Bombay Restaurant.
It was some of the best Indian food I’ve had in Thailand, and unsurprisingly a restaurant we repeatedly visited during our stay in Koh Lipe. What they’re dishing out in their kitchen needs to be shared. Hence this article. It’s just THAT good, and if you’re fortunate enough to find ever yourself in Koh Lipe, you’re going to want to know about this place!
So let me show you what makes this place amazing. One bite at a time…
This article is based on the experiences we had on 3 separate visits to Bombay Restaurant. My gal and I couldn’t possibly eat this much food in one sitting. Though it did take us 3 visits to finally figure out how NOT to order too much food. If you want to try all of these items in one sitting you can. Just bring 5 other friends with you!
The portion sizes are pretty substantial, and there’s a lot to offer on their menu. If you don’t care about eating too much and want to kick off your meal right, start with these samosas.
The ultimate starter…
These Chicken Samosas (120 baht) are the best samosas I have ever eaten. Bombay Restaurant makes its samosas fresh daily. They are then cooked to order. The result is a piping hot crispy puff pastry filled with chicken and vegetables.
Each dish is served with 2 samosas (they are large) accompanied with a mint dipping sauce. They also offer a Vegetable Samosa (100 baht) option which is filled with potato masala.
It’s hard not to order these every time you visit. It’s a dish you crave. But if you do order them, expect to be REALLY full at the end of the meal. I won’t judge you.
Better “Blooming Onions”
If you’re a fan of “blooming onions” then prepare to have your tastebuds rocked with something much, much better. This Onion Bhaji (120 baht) dish is made with onions coated in gram flour (made from chickpeas) that are fried crispy and seasoned with cumin seeds. Each dish is served with 10 pieces along with a mint sauce for dipping.
Even for two people, this is a lot to share!
Naan bread is a must if you’re going to be ordering curries (and you should be ordering them here). In front of the restaurant is a large tandoor clay oven. This is used for cooking skewers of chicken meat and freshly made naan bread. Bombay Restaurant offers several naan bread options ranging from Plain (50 baht) to Cheese with Garlic (120 baht).
The bread is rolled out and cooked fresh to order. I’m a Garlic Naan (70 baht) fan, myself.
More from the Tandoor…
Bombay Restaurant uses locally island sourced poultry for their chicken dishes. The Chicken Tikka (220 baht) is cooked on long skewers in the clay tandoor oven. Each dish comes with 15 chunks of tender chicken meat which has been seasoned with garlic and ginger paste and served with a creamy mint sauce and a side salad.
It’s a delicious dish and a great value!
Bombay Restaurant has a wide variety of Northern India style curries. During our 3 visits, we tried to get a variety of them, ensuring we tried our usual favorites as well as experiencing some new dishes. My first curry was their Mutton Rogan Josh (260 baht) and I knew I was in for a treat at the very first bite.
Unexpectedly, my first bite in this instance turned out to be a cinnamon stick. Not something you’d expect diving into a meaty curry, but I was immediately made aware that this curry was going to be a big bowl of flavor. Bold flavors, too. Fennel seed, cardamon pods, cinnamon, and clove, spice up this caramelized onion and tomato gravy,
Chunks of tender mutton…
But unlike other restaurants that skimp on the meat, Bombay Restaurant loads up their bowls with big chunks of tender mutton. This is a very filling curry, and the well-portioned bowls are seemingly bottomless!
Eat your spinach!
If you’re familiar with “saag paneer” then you’ll recognize this Palak Paneer (180 baht). It’s a blend of spices, cream, and spinach blended into a thick gravy with large cubes of Indian cottage cheese.
The spinach gravy is both flavorful and thick and they don’t hold back on the cheese curds. If India had a Popeye character THIS is what he’d be eating!
Best Butter Chicken EVER.
One of my favorite curries that I regularly order when I eat at Indian restaurants is butter chicken. Bombay Restaurant has the best Butter Chicken (200 baht) I have ever eaten. It’s made with tender chunks of spiced chicken in a thick buttery tomato and cashew gravy.
If butter chicken is one of your favorite curries, too, you’re going to be blown away with this.
I was so happy with the cottage cheese curds in the palak paneer that I felt encouraged to try this new curry dish, Malai Kofta Curry (180 baht). This curry is made with cottage cheese and potato dumplings in a thick gravy sweetened with chewy raisins and toasted cashew nuts.
I’ve never had anything like it before…it’s so creamy and buttery. I highly recommend this dish!
An oldie but a goodie!
No visit to an Indian restaurant would be complete without ordering at least one dal curry dish. Dal Makhani (150 baht) is my favorite dal dish and Bombay Restaurant makes an incredible one. This is one of the most popular lentil recipes from the North Indian Punjabi cuisine that’s made with black lentils and kidney beans. One taste and you’ll understand its popularity.
I love the smokiness of this curry. It’s so rich in flavor, creamy in texture, and this restaurant makes a version that’s so thick your spoon will nearly stand up!
It’s dishes like this that make it important to make sure you’ve ordered some naan bread because you’ll be mopping up the bowl with it to get the last remnants of dal…
A chat with the owner…
During our visits, I had the opportunity to meet and chat with Bombay Restaurant’s Owner and chef, Serazalam (Raj). Both he and his wife, Hasbina, originally hail from Patna, the capital city of India’s northeastern state, Bahar.
Serazalam comes from a family that has always been involved in the F&B industry and they moved around frequently throughout India during his childhood to work in the kitchens of upscale resorts and restaurants. At the age of 13, he entered the workforce to support his family and learn kitchen skills first as a dishwasher, then food preparation, and then moving up the various rungs up the kitchen ladder until becoming a head chef.
A new home…
Hasbina rolls out fresh naan.
In 2013 he was offered the golden opportunity to work outside of India as a chef for an Indian restaurant on the beautiful island of Koh Lipe, Thailand. The chance to bring his culinary skills to a new country, and from such a gorgeous location, was an easy opportunity to accept.
After a year of working at the restaurant, he decided to establish his own Indian kitchen. In 2014 Koh Lipe had a new restaurant, Bombay Restaurant.
Quality ingredients are key!
From his years of experience working in upscale kitchens, he learned that in order to make delicious food you had to have quality ingredients. During his first year on Koh Lipe, he was able to foster relationships with suppliers so that his own kitchen would have what it needed to dish out delicious and authentic Northern Indian cuisine to the island.
The chicken and fish are sourced from local farmers and fishermen. Fruits and vegetables are also locally grown on the island. Their mutton comes fresh from La-ngu, Thailand. While all spices, rice, flour, cheese, ghee, and legumes are ordered from their supplier in Bangkok’s Little India.
The quality ingredients and authentic flavors along with daily preparation of the sauces, meats, and dough are what makes their food so incredibly delicious. I’d wager it is also the reason Bombay Restaurant is ranked #1 for Indian cuisine and #4 for restaurants in Koh Lipe on TripAdvisor!
I’m hungry. Where is it?
Koh Lipe’s such a small island, you won’t get lost. To get to Bombay Restaurant from the popular Pattaya Beach simply walk up Walking Street and at the end turn left on the main road.
There is plenty of seating and they’re able to accommodate large groups. Their service is also very quick so you’ll be spending more time eating instead of waiting.
But even if you’re dining solo, this is a must-visit restaurant if you’re spending time on Koh Lipe!
I want to hear from you!
Should you decide to experience Bombay Restaurant I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below, directly to me, or via message on either the Chow Traveller Facebook page or Chow Traveller Instagram (and feel free to like/follow these pages if you want to learn about more foodie gems). However you choose, I’d love to hear from you!