Daily, 11:30am-3:30pm and 5pm-11pm
B, D, F, M at 47th-50th Sts.-Rockefeller Center; E, M at Fifth Ave.-53rd St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
50th St. to 54th St., Madison Ave. to Seventh Ave.
With its dark wood paneling, brass fixtures, etched-glass partitions, crystal chandelier, and portraits of Indian rulers, Bombay Palace has a regal air. This Northern Indian midtowner, which opened in 1979, is part of a far-flung restaurant empire with outposts across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Malaysia, and even Hungary. The cooking style is primarily Punjabi, famous for tandoori preparations and paratha breads, as well as for slow-cooked, creamy meat and vegetable dishes suffused with onions, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes. The cook claims that as many as 40 spices are used in a single recipe, though black pepper, cumin, coriander, fennel, cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon are most prominent. The kitchen excels at kababs, served grilled or tandoor oven-baked. The best is the seekh kabab, minced lamb molded into the shape of a cigar, then skewered and grilled, with a result that's redolent with cardamom, garlic, and onions. Chicken tikka and tandoori shrimp are tender, their exteriors hued a mouthwatering, fire engine red from the chili—though they’re not exceedingly spicy. Achar gosht, a chili-laden lamb stew, gets an additional surprising kick from aniseed; baingan bharta blends smoky, grilled, and mashed eggplant with onions and tomatoes. You may not be eating exactly like a maharajah, but it's a decent enough imitation, in elegant digs.Recommended Dishes
"Chef special" kabob platter, $35; achar gosht, $24; baingan bharta, $16