The Other Critics

Nagrant Discovers Bombay Chinese in Hoffman Estates

Not your usual Indian buffet fare.
Not your usual Indian buffet fare.

Michael Nagrant’s review just before turkey day was of a suburban restaurant which opens his eyes (and many readers, we imagine) in at least two different ways. One, that there’s adventurous South Asian dining in the burbs; in fact, as Indians resettle in the suburbs like all Americans, there’s quite an authentic Indian food scene developing in the northwestern suburbs from Schaumburg on. Two, that just as we have homegrown hybrid cuisines like Chinese-American, so do other cultures— and one of the oldest is the brand of Chinese food made in India.

Not your usual Indian buffet fare.

Bombay Chopsticks in Hoffman Estates, launched by the folks who have India House downtown and in Schaumburg, is “a sexy modern “Mad Men”-meets-Mughal restaurant palace” making Indian Chinese food which suggests, at least to Nagrant, “as if a crab rangoon had made sweet love to an Indian-spiced ratatouille.” In general he has high praise for the quality, citing paneer which “unlike the rubbery stuff you find at your average Indian buffet, was a silky fresh cloud of cheese,” while “a stir-fry of mushrooms tossed in a sweet black pepper sauce, was as earthy, complex and balanced as any dish from Spring World’s (in the Chinatown mall) mushroom-focused Yunnan Chinese menu.” And in the sort of cross-cultural mix that makes sense in a place like Chicago, “our Eastern-European waitress turned out to be quite the Indian beer sommelier, easily parsing the differences between a malty Hayward’s 5000 and a clean hazy lager-like Taj Mahal.” [Sun-Times]

Nagrant Discovers Bombay Chinese in Hoffman Estates