Thursday, April 11, 2013


Heritage tomato salad

[Bomba has closed as of 2014.]

I've a soft spot for paella. And there was this craving for specifically, squid ink paella. To Bomba it was. The casual restaurant is named thus for the rice they use. The first time I tried it, it was good, and returning twice subsequently for paella resulted in a consistent impression that guaranteed a third tonight.

Squid ink paella! Bomba cooks their version in fish stock, dry sherry and tops it with lots of spring onions. It's a wet paella. There's nothing very much in it that's chewable except bits of squid and mushrooms. That's exactly what I wanted. There were plenty of sides we could order. Just get the balance of squid ink right. We were dining with the man's parents. It's their first visit to Bomba. While they aren't too hot about the casual atmosphere and the noisy shrieking group of 12 or so very middle-aged men at the next table, they loved the seafood paella. Who cares if Chef Jean-Philippe Patruno is not Spanish? It doesn't take one to cook paella right. Chef Patruno has built his career in Spanish cuisine.

I like this place because it doesn't try to to push the concept of fine-dining. They've done away with the mandatory service charge, and it makes us want to put down tips for lovely evenings. I like down-to-earth menus that promises fresh and quality ingredients, and good cooking. And this is what Bomba offers. It's a noisy restaurant, casual and full of fun. Nothing posh or pretentious about it. It should last a year in its current address of which another restaurant, Graze, vacated in less than 2 years.

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