Bombay Bicycle Club (BBC) has a new ‘Back to our best’ (old) menu.
They’ve got rid of all the interesting dishes that differentiated them from every other Indian restaurant/ take-away on the high street, and are back to offering bog-standard basics. Examples of starters include onion bhajees, samosas, kebabs, mixed grill; examples of mains: madras, masala, korma, dansak – either fish, chicken, lamb or veggie.
In my previous post on BBC I mentioned that their delivery service can be poor although food was top-notch. At that time (June 2010) they were running incentive schemes for customers through their Curry Lover’s Club.
We decided to get an Indian food delivery last night. Spoilt for choice by the number of good Indian restaurants in the area, we opted for Bombay Bicycle Club over the others as I fancied getting their masala calamari starter (‘crispy masala salt and chilli calamari with sweet chilli chutney’).
Their current incentive scheme – as advertised on a recently received menu – is to order online and collect ‘Penny Farthing’ points. However, when I went to order online their website was a holding-page saying ‘under construction’ and to make any orders by phone.
So I phoned, and the masala calamari was – unfortunately – no longer available, but we still ordered with them anyway: a chicken dansak (K’s favourite, and his benchmark dish) and a chicken murgh aishwaria (sliced chicken in a rich, almond sauce).
Had I made either of these dishes at home, I’d have been quite pleased as I’m not a specialist at cooking Indian food. But they were disappointingly bland and boring. There was no depth of flavour, just a lack of spiciness. Very middle of the road. And the aishwaria (almond sauce) was more sweet and sickly than nutty.
It would seem then that Bombay Bicycle Club’s reduced menu and “back to our best” strapline means they’ve cut back. They’ve down-graded and simplified their food, but by trying to appeal to everyone they risk appealing to no-one.
I mentioned this to a friend today and she’d had a similar experience with Bombay Bicycle Club Balham recently. She also found their food to be quite tasteless and disappointing. On the plus side though, she has to walk past the Balham restaurant on her way home every evening and isn’t remotely tempted or enticed by them!
Bombay Bicycle Club is off the menu.
~ Lardbutty rating: 2 / 5
~ Type: Indian
~ Restaurants: all over London including SW6, SW8, SW12, SW15, SW17, SW20, W6, W9, N1, N11, SE10, SE11, SE22,
~ Website: Bombay Bicycle Club
The BBC Battersea branch has since closed.
And then re-opened as ‘New Bombay Bicycle Club’ – http://www.newbombaybicycle.com/