I had heard through the grapevine about a new indian restaurant on NE Alberta that was supposed to be pretty good. Last weekend we happened to be in the area and saw an indian restaurant called Bollywood Theater. I knew that had to be the place so we stopped to check it out and I’m glad we did.
One thing I noticed right off the bat was that this place is not your typical indian restaurant. The menu is inspired by food you would find from street vendors in India. There are a couple of curry dishes but for the most part we are talking small plate type menu items, sort of like an Indian tapas restaurant. I wasn’t sure what to make of this because I am so used to a typical Indian restaurant with family style servings and endless naan bread.
When you order you have three sections from the menu you can order from, street food, small plates, and thali meals. Think of the choices as follows: street food = appetizers, small plates = small plates, thali meals = small plate plus sides. We ended up ordering Aloo Tikki, the Chicken Curry thali meal, and an extra side of Dal and Paratha.
Aloo Tikki is a pan fried spiced potato patty and Dal is lentils and spices. Both were very good.
The Chicken Curry thali meal came with a side of Paratha (think indian version of a tortilla) and a small side of Dal and some indian condiments. It was also very tasty.
I was left with two general impressions about Bollywood Theater. The first was that the food is very flavorful. The spices are well balanced and do not overpower the food. If you are one who thinks indian food is too spicy you should not have that problem at Bollywood. The food is great and I think even people who do not normally enjoy Indian food would enjoy the food at Bollywood.
Although the food was terrific, my second impression was not so positive. If there was one negative I would say about Bollywood is that the portions sizes are too small. There are two reason why I love going out for indian, first is that it tastes so damn good, but the second is the portions sizes are usually generous. I cannot say the portion sizes were that generous at Bollywood. On the plus side however, it is not very expensive so you can easily buy three or four dishes to satisfy your hunger. This may have also been a problem we created for ourselves because we shared our food (which is what you do at indian restaurants right?). I don’t think that is the intent at Bollywood, the servings are clearly designed to be individual servings, or if you are going to share you need to order multiple plates, probably two per person. We only ordered three plates, so one short of a full meal in my opinion.
Although I thought the place had some drawbacks I would definitely go back. The food is too darn tasty not to have it again. It is also right next to one of Portland’s more famous dessert spots, Salt and Straw.by