Mumbai Grill Jackson Heights Review
37-33 74th St
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
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Mumbai Grill Review: Crappy Indian Food, Polite Service
Given my fondness for Indian food, a visit to Mumbai Grill on 74th St in Jackson Heights (Queens) was inevitable.
Mumbai Grill, a Jackson Heights newbie, replaced that horrid Indian restaurant Delhi Palace a few months back.
So when I visited Jackson Heights recently, I made time for Mumbai Grill.
In retrospect, it was a bad move and just not worth the effort.
For much of the curries I tasted at Mumbai Grill belonged in the crappy or tasteless category.
Mumbai Grill AmbienceAs I walked into Mumbai Grill around noon, the dining hall was empty except for some waitstaff.
A waiter with Nepali features greeted me with a smile and quickly showed me to a table.
Not bad, I told myself, since waiters in Indian restaurants often sport a mournful mien as if they have just lost a loved one.
As I was settling down, a Bangladeshi waitress came and filled my water glass.
The restaurant's floor was clean and the silver neatly placed on top of napkins.
No issues where table cleanliness is concerned.
However, what irritated me a lot were the flies hovering around the table.
Crappy AppetizersDuring my visit to Mumbai Grill, I let my palate graze over a variety of items, both vegetarian and meat.
Here's my takke on them:
- Dal Vada was tasty but not crisp enough to be called "Dal Vada".
- Utappam too was tasty but way too hard to be called Utappam. A good Utappam is ususally spongy in texture.
- Masala Dosa, a South Indian favorite, was awful both in taste and texture.
The potato filling inside the Masala Dosa lacked any flavor. It felt like eating mashed potatoes mixed with burnt onion.
Masala Dosa is usually a crisp delight. Alas, not at Mumbai Grill.
Mumbai Grill's version of Masala Dosa was soft like an American Pancake and had a lousy taste. In fact, if you love Masala Dosa as much as I do, I suggest you refrain from having it at Mumbai Grill.
- Tawa Chicken with cut capsicum pieces was ok. I would have liked it to be more flavorful.
- Sambar had plenty of vegetables - carrot, squash, drumstick and that's all I can say in its favor. It was low on tamarind and lacked the usual sambar spices flavor. It felt like eating vegetables mixed with medium thick dal with generous amounts of red chilli powder.
- Coconut Chutney was fresh and tasty and much relished.
- The medium thick Cucumber Raita was slightly sour.
- The worst item among the sides was Mint Chutney/Green Chutney. It was medium thick but had a bad odor and taste. I suspect it was borderline stale. Afrer a few spoons, I was a little concerned about developing stomach flu.
Vegetarian CurriesWhat disappointed me a lot at Mumbai Grill was that there were no standout dishes among the vegetarian curries.
Be it the humble Alu Gobi or Mushroom Saag or Panner Burjee or Bhindi Do Piazza, they were all either bad or horrible.
- Channa Dal was a partially cooked yellow lentil curry with garlic flavor. While the garlic flavor was nice I could not push more than a spoonful as the yellow lentils were half boiled and hard.
- Alu Gobi was tasteless and it felt like I was eating boiled cauliflowere and cubed potato with turmeric powder thrown into it.
- Mushroom Saag was medium thick but was rejected by my tastebuds as the gravy was slightly bitter.
- The dubious honor of worst curry goes to the Bhindi Do Piazza. Folks, I have had Bhindi Do Piazza countless times at various NYC Indian restaurants. But never such a vile tasting Bhindi Do Piazza served by Mumbai Grill made contact with my tastebuds. Mumbai Grill's Bhindi Piazza was sweetish and seemed like the Okra and Onion were boiled in water.
Hakka Noodles, Basmati Rice, Naan Bread
- Vegetable Hakka Noodles was another travesty that should not have been placed in front of a paying customer. It was lukewarm and tasted like boiled noodles with some vegetables carelessly sprinkled on it.
- Basmati Rice was fresh and hot (the only item that was hot temperature wise) with grated carrot on top.
- Naan Bread was a little rubbery. Naan Bread is best when it is served at table within minutes of taking it out of a tandoor. It ought not to be dumped at the buffet table like Mumbai Grill does.
Mumbai Grill Chicken Items
- Chicken Biryani failed at a very fundamental level. Sure it had Chicken pieces and was prepared with Basmati rice. But it lacked the magic and divine flavor of Biryani spices. If you are hankering for real Biryani, I suggest you head to Dakshin Express on Oak Tree Road in Edison or Persis Biryani in Princeton New Jersey.
- Chicken Kofta was the only chicken item I relished at Mumbai Grill. The small Kofta balls were firm and tasty and the gravy seeped well into the balls. While Chicken Kofta was better than others, I would have preferred it a tad spicier.
- Chicken Makhani was creamy as it should be but not very flavorful.
DessertsOf the three desserts I tried, Fruit Custard was the best. Not that it was heavenly but it was better than the Gulab Jamun.
- Fruit Custard was medium thick, cold and came with plenty of fruits - Pineapple, Grapes, Apple etc. My complaint was it was a bit low on sugar.
- Gulab Jamun was partially fried and the accompanying syrup was too sweet. It's a shame that Mumbai Grill couldn't get even the commonplace Gulab Jamun right.
- Cut Fresh Fruits included Payapyya and Melon and they were alright.
ServiceThe sole saving grace of my meal at Mumbai Grill was the friendly and polite service.
I was greeted with a smile and quickly shown to a table. My water glasses were refilled without prompting and the used plates removed after checking with me.
I also liked the fact that there is a clear notice near the buffet table asking diners to use fresh plates for each visit.
Also, there was a waiter attentively standing near the buffet to answer any questions about the curries.
While I was pleased with the service, the hovering flies near my table got my goat.
Mumbai Grill Rating - Just Not Worth ItMuch of the vegetarian and chicken curries I tried at Mumbai Grill turned out to be crappy and below average.
I would not recommend Mumbai Grill as a destination for good Indian food.
If Mumbai Grill continues serving the kind of crappy food inflicted upon me, it won't be long before the shutters come down, permanently. - © DesiJacksonHeights.com
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