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Salaam Bombay
4434 St-Laurent near corner of Mont-Royal

Mon.-Sat. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m., 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m., Sun. 5 p.m.-10:30 p.m. Licensed, major cards 286-7040
I revisited Salaam Bombay for a recap on the great Balti curry I had a couple of years ago. The occasion this time was my 7th wedding anniversary.

However, there was nothing to celebrate this time around. We asked, as usual, to be seated in "non-smoking"—the usual Montreal joke—and were seated at the dingy back near the bar, where, believe it or not, a waiter had been smoking moments before. We were the only customers, so we just got up and reluctantly sat near the front of the restaurant—the "Smoking" section.

This evening, apparently all the imported beers were "not available." I ordered a Labatt's, which turned out to be a light beer. Customers who came in later (all of whom smoked) got Heineken and non-light Canadian beers. Several were rather irate that the usual Double Diamond, Anchor and the other typical Indian resto brew fare in Montreal weren't available. One guy next to us suggested that the waiter go to the nearest depanneur to get some. Maybe that's where the Heineken came from.

The restaurant has "changed hands"—a euphemism for "gone downhill." There are no Balti dishes any more. Just the usual tired Montreal Indian staples. I ordered the Bangalore Phal chicken and almost received a lecture on how hot it was going to be. Then, they brought only one order of rice, even though Ayako had ordered a combo which included rice and I had ordered rice separately. "Isn't this enough?" inquired the waiter. I told him to get more rice.

By this time our appetites had deserted us, so we snacked a bit and then had them wrap it up to go. Next time I'll go back to Mysore. Too bad the only resto serving Balti has gone the way of the Dodo. A one out of ten for this turkey. —
Reviewed by Nick Robinson

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