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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
5.3
6.5
$40
Indian
Upmarket restaurant

Hours
Sun–Thu 5:00pm–9:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Date-friendly, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine, liquor
Credit cards Visa, MC, AmEx
Reservations Accepted

Website

Hawthorne
1925 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR
(503) 231-0740
Bombay Cricket Club
A little bit of fascism and a whole lot of mango-rita color an otherwise dull range of flavors

Bombay Cricket Club has a reputation for being a bit of a pain in the ass. Be prepared for long waits almost any night of the week; if everyone in your party isn’t there, you won’t be seated, and your table will be given away if you’re late. On busy nights, if you don’t have a reservation, you’ll be dismissed with a wave of the hand; and if you do manage to get on a list, you’ll be forced to wait in the doorway, blocking everyone’s way, which just annoys the owner. Don’t even think about bringing kids.

Despite all this, the tiny place is packed every night with loud, happy diners (perhaps thrilled that they ran the gauntlet and lived to tell about it).

Once you are seated, however, the service is remarkably patient and helpful. Strangely, the kitchen uses three types of chili to produce heat to your liking: habanero, Thai, or Indian. Medium-hot is right on the money, but very hot is mouth-scalding. One of the much-publicized mango-ritas will help with this (and will get you loaded fast).

Dishes are of the meat-centric variety, although there are a lot of vegetarian options as well. These are not terribly authentic dishes, and stew flavors are often bland. (Maybe the high prices are here to capitalize on the purported dearth of good Indian food about town.) Tandoor items are marinated overnight with yogurt, garlic, and spices, then cooked in the traditional clay oven and served with tomatoes and onions, but the meat can dry out or overcook. Other dishes, from saag to biryani to chana masala are aggressively salted and curried, and their flavors feel homogenous. The one bright spot has been tender lamb shahi, an interesting and complex prep with tomatoes, saffron, ginger, garlic, almonds, raisins, and cilantro.

If you love Draconian seating policies, impatient owners, and paying top dollar for inauthentic, lackluster food, then by all means, come see what the fuss is about. You’ll likely find that, after all is said and done, you still don’t have a clue.

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