This week, we sat down with Preetesh Vadher, general manager of Austin’s Bombay Bistro. Serving up traditional tandoori and curry dishes, Vadher explains how his restaurant reflects the style and flare of its namesake city and how it fits into the local Austin food scene.
Q: What about Bombay Bistro makes it so special?
A: We at Bombay Bistro believe in serving fresh, wholesome authentic Indian cuisine in a contemporary setup and service style. Each bite will give our guest the glimpse of this sophisticated and yet sumptuous cuisine.
Indian cuisine is very vast, varied and changes character from different geographical region to culture. We have tried to hand pick popular dishes from all parts and have imbibed it in our menu.
Q: What is your favorite dish and why?
A: I love so many dishes, but if I have to pick one then that would be the Goan Fish Curry. This particular dish has so much of its character influenced from the geography and culture of the region of Goa in India. Since it’s a costal region, fresh catch of the day is cooked in a coconut based sauce (which happens to be abundant in the area) with tempering of mustard seeds and curry leaves along with ginger, garlic and other herbs and spices.
Q: Does the cuisine reflect the local flare of Bombay (Mumbai)?
A: Bombay is the cosmopolitan hub of India. People from all around the country with a varied background of culture, religion and language have influenced the local food scene. Our menu reflects the same flare of Indian cuisine.
Q: How did you find your Chef? What is his background?
A: Our Chef Bhupender Rawat (we all love to call him Bhupi) has almost three decades of experience in Indian cuisine. He has worked in some of the best hotels in New Delhi as well as a very popular Indian join in Germany. He has been in Austin the past 17 years now and has the honor of cooking and catering for hundreds of Indian weddings and other large events as well.
Q: What is your perfect meal?
A: A perfect meal to me would be something which not only satisfies my belly but also is pleasing to all my senses. That typical meal would by my mom’s hand made Gujarati food (Gujarat is a geographical state in the western part of India and the food from that region, hence called Gujarati). It typically consists of a veggie fritter, lentil dish, couple of vegetarian curries, rice, pickles, papad, yogurt and a thin bread called chapati. We are sweet tooth people so there is always a few desserts at the end of our meal as well.
Q: When you’re not at Bombay Bistro, where is your favorite place to eat?
A: Me and my beautiful wife are big time foodies. We love to explore all sorts of restaurants, may it be exotic or fusion cuisines to a classy comfort food joint to an ever expanding food truck community. Especially now when there are so many restaurants coming up, we are in a constant search of new and good places to try and venture out.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about the Austin food scene?
A: In just the last 5 years the Austin food scene has changed dramatically. There have been a boom of micro breweries with many places brewing and serving craft beers on site. I love to see so many good beer options available now. There’s also been a seismic shift from fine dining to communal seating restaurants. More of the tasting menus are being introduced and experimented, with emphasis on ingredients being procured from local farms and markets. Go local!
Q: What is the next project for you?
A: We at Bombay Bistro have been planning to expand and have been looking for new locations. There used to be only 20-25 Indian restaurants 6-7 years ago, now we have more than 50-55 Indian restaurants in the city. This shows that there is enough demand and we would love to be a major player in the supply side of this new boom.
What are you waiting for? This is your chance to try Austin’s favorite contemporary Indian cuisine. Check out the Bombay Bistro menu here.