And so it was with the birth of Bombay House, Utah’s most award winning ethnic restaurant.
The owner and cofounder of Bombay House, Daniel Shanthakumar, grew up in the city of Chennai, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. There, he enjoyed life, and had the unique perspective of one who has a foot planted in two cultures–one in his own ancient culture of India, and the other in the realm of the Western religion he and his family adopted.
Daniel graduated from Brigham Young University-Hawaii with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. After coming to Utah, he joined with Harpal Toor and Ajmer Singh from Punjab, India, and started Bombay House.
On February 5, 1993, Bombay House opened its doors to the public for the first time. Customers, unaccustomed to Indian food and culture in Utah, came wide-eyed and curious, and found themselves warmly welcomed as they were ushered into a different world. Once seated at their quiet, cozy, tables, and served dishes of delicious and succulent food, warm with spices, the people of Utah knew that they had discovered the next great restaurant.
Thanks to word-of-mouth and sterling reviews, the restaurant’s reputation and core of enthusiastic regulars has grown tremendously.
INDIAN CULTURE AND CUISINE
The enchantment of India is real–it is a vast, exotic land with hundreds of languages, thousands of dialects, Hindu temples, Islamic mosques, sitars, sarods, swamis, and beautiful women with dark, alluring eyes in luscious saris, swaying in the graceful movement of India’s ancient classical dance.
Our cuisine is as divine and diverse as our culture. Every major region of India brings its own unique dishes, as well as its own subtle variations to popular dishes.
Aromatic spices, skillfully and subtly blended, provide the heart and soul true Indian cuisine. Coriander, cumin, fenugreek, cardamom, and fennel all help give our food its distinctive flavor. Milk products like yogurt, cream, and ghee (clarified butter) along with a variety of dals (lentils), regional vegetables, and meats like lamb, chicken, and seafood are staples in our diet.
The cow is considered sacred in India, this is why dishes with beef are not served. To most Indian families, the cow is regarded as one’s mother because it sacrificed the milk meant for its own calf to provide for the people. The cow became symbolic of a nurturing mother. Also, since many families kept cows at their homes for milk, the animals became part of the family, and are therefore taboo to eat.
We prepare all of our dishes following the oldest traditions of vintage Indian cooking, including use of the clay Tandoori oven, in which the charcoal is kept glowing at all times. Lamb, chicken, and shrimp, are all skewered and grilled over the charcoal. We also bake and toast many of the flatbreads by slapping them on the hot internal wall of the oven.