5011 Sources Blvd/ Gouin
Tel: (514) 421-3130
Cost: $ 53.21 (for two)
Chef Hats: 3
The first time I ate at Bombay Choupati was over 15 years ago when it had first opened. A family run restaurant, it was considered back then and still is an authentic Indian Restaurant experience. Since then many Indian restaurants have come and gone in the West Island. Heavily populated with a large Indian and Pakistani community, Dollard des Ormeaux has no shortage of Indian Restaurants on Sources Boulevard alone. In the last decade, I can list at least five that are now closed and only a few still remain open. They were all good and each had their own qualities. Some were expansive and some too expensive. The restaurant business is not an easy job, with its long hours, lots of wastage, low profits and difficult clientele, you have to have the perfect formulas or just enough of that entrepreneurial fire in your gut to survive and keep going. Bombay Choupati has withstood the test of time.
I will be blatantly honest and purely subjective for some of you by saying that Bombay Choupati will not win any awards in gourmet fine dining or décor. It is a local restaurant that has flown under the radar for so many years with the exception of its list of loyal clientele that find it totally exceptional. Nestled in the corner of a strip mall between Shooters Bar and a police station, to first time patrons it looks basically like just another a hole in the wall. The restaurant is extremely small, narrow and dark. The décor with its red walls consists of a mix of unflattering wallpaper, peeling paint and faded lithographs.
The quarters are cramped, with rows of tables set too close to each other against the walls creating one narrow aisle for the waiters to pass to serve dinners. The food consists of a mix of stews and purees of vegetables and meats in heavy sauces that look like slop placed on aluminum sectional dishes reminiscent of institutional type food. They do not take reservations and when they are too busy they do not deliver food but you can pick up at the counter. The line ups at the door are long and the stream of people is endless especially at lunch and on the weekends.
What are the perks of Bombay Choupati, besides a dedicated clientele that vow that it is the best Indian food in the world. The prices are very affordable and every time I ate there the food was fresh and flavorful. Indian food never won prizes for plate presentations anyways and if you try to modify the look, it is no longer authentic.
The staff at Bombay Choupati is extremely hospitable to its regular clientele and you will be treated like family. If you are looking for decent Indian food, you will get homemade fresh meals here. My Indian friends swear by the place.
My taste in Indian food is limited to the most popular dishes. I have tasted mostly everything on the menu at Bombay Choupati but my proverbial favorite has got to be the Butter Chicken, Tikka Masala, Aloo Goobi and Chole Chat and of course the Naan bread. All their vegetables dishes are packed with curry and exude all the spices of India. The combos are a steal and a good way to sample their food without breaking your budget. This is the route to go for first time patrons. Dishes can be a little watered down here, and the consistency and thickness of some of the stews are lacking, but all dishes are very flavorful and their freshness is ultimate.
If you are not too picky vis à vis décor and dishware and are willing to overlook these things, a visit to sample the food is worthwhile. Arrive early or go off hours when it is quiet. Call ahead and do take out, you may be surprised and become a loyal patron too.