New chef makes presence felt at Bombay Club

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For anyone enjoying hot food, the green-chili chicken is a must. Good-sized pieces of boneless chicken are cooked slowly in a sauce of fresh coriander, other herbs and lots of hot green chilies. It’s very good, but when the menu describes the green-chili chicken as really hot, the chef is not kidding. It’s nicely tempered by the delicious dal, a traditional lentil side dish here combined with tomatoes, or a cool raita of yoghurt mixed with cucumber, onion, tomato, potato or dates.

Vegetarian dishes include paneer makhni (Indian cottage cheese); a combination of mushrooms and green peas; spinach with or without potatoes; eggplant; and fine sauteed okra. Vegetables are available as a full serving or a side dish.

The kitchen prepares house thalis. A thali is a full meal served in several small cups on a traditional round tray. Bombay Club’s thalis are an assortment of seafood with vegetables, dal, rice and bread; a meat thali which combines chicken tikka, lamb, fish, dal, vegetables, lemon rice, naan and raita; or a vegetarian thali.

Breads from the tandoor are not to be missed. Although the restaurant prepares half a dozen types of Indian breads, my favorite is the naan, a flat bread that comes to the table hot and fluffy and perfect for dipping into some of the chef’s fragrant sauces.

Desserts are a mix of Western and Indian flavors. The two are combined in a mango-mango dessert — sliced mango and mango sorbet, a cooling finale. The Indian rice pudding, a semi-liquid delight, has plump raisins and bits of slivered almonds.

Bombay Club has an international wine list with many bottles that go well with Indian dishes 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.

RESTAURANT: Bombay Club, 815 Connecticut Ave. NW; 202/659-3727

HOURS: Lunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; dinner 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, until 11 p.m. Saturday and until 9 p.m. Sunday; brunch 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday

PRICES: Appetizers $6 to $12; main courses $15 to $24; vegetarian dishes $9 to $12; side dishes $5 to $7; desserts $7 to $8; lunch dishes slightly less

CREDIT CARDS: All major cards

PARKING: Metered street parking; valet parking for Sunday brunch

ACCESS: Wheelchair accessible

METRO: Farragut North (Red Line) and Farragut West (Orange and Blue lines)

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