815 Connecticut Ave. NW
Step into Ashok Bajaj’s Bombay Club, two blocks from the White House, and you enter India in the days of the British raj. Think high ceilings, slowly moving fans, leafy potted plants against louvered shutters, and over all an aroma of Indian spices
In the evenings, a pianist adds a touch of class. Waiters are attentive and well-informed. A nice buzz of conversation gives life to the room.
The Bombay Club has been around since 1988, and the cooking — under new chef Nilesh Singhvi — is inspired. The menu, identical at lunch and dinner, is a mix of Bombay Parsi meat dishes, Goan fish specialties, North Indian Mogol cooking and the spice of South India.
Appetizers are marvelous. Main courses, which can be shared, are divided into Northwest Frontier specialties and Indian curries, which range from mild, such as white chicken korma, to hot, as in the green-chili chicken.
The meats are primarily cooked in a tandoor, a clay oven. Tandoori dishes include marinated shrimp, lamb chops, trout, salmon and chicken. The salmon is one of Mr. Singhvi’s specialties.
The curries are varied, as are the vegetarian dishes. And the kitchen prepares house thalis; a thali is a full meal served in several small cups on a traditional round tray.
Breads from the tandoor are not to be missed. Desserts are a mix of Western and Indian flavors.
Bombay Club has an international wine list and a good selection of beer. Dinner on the patio on a warm, humid Washington summer evening is all you need for gentle transport to India.
1050 Deep Creek Ave., Arnold, Md.