At the former home of Student Biryani in Jackson Heights arises Bombay Harbour. Downstairs you'll find a standard-issue steam table buffet where a microwave looms ominously as a warning that you might be served over-nuked leftovers if you don't keep an eye on the counterman. The large dining room upstairs is a different story. A spacious, calming emporium of bad art( a huge brite-lite studded painting of the NYC skyline is a centerpiece) and some good but inconsistent food made to order from a large menu of Indian Restaurant standards.
For once I didn't do the over-ordering and I ate myself into a coma, blurring all of the exact details of the meal. Overall I felt the meal was timed rather poorly by the staff. We had to wait huge amounts of time between ordering and food arriving and then between appetizers and entrees. The dining room was relatively empty and I got the feelilng that the fast-food fare downstairs was the mainstay of the business and our mass order might have overwhelmed the place. To start Cumin seed laced, crispy bread (Pakwan?) was brought out with a trio of pungent dipping sauces after a long wait. I was so hungry at this point my taste buds were a bit overwhelmed by bitterness of two non-sweet sauces on the rounder. The fried appetizers included overly-greasy pakora, and a nice samosa. Next time I'd like to try the samosa chat which adds yogurt, tamarind sauce, and some chopped onion.
We ordered two fish dish entrees, a saucy Bengali fried fish entree recommended by the waiter and a tandoori Salmon. The Salmon was definitely past it's prime and there wasn't any sauce for it to hide behind. The Bengali fish was more sauce than fish and it overwhelmed any subtle traces of flavor the fish might have once contained.
For meats we devoured peppercorn lamb and chicken, chicken tikka masala, and a mixed tandoori grill. The kitchen seemed to excel at keeping chicken tender with both the peppercorn dish and the tikka masala being my favorite items of the night. The lamb was a bit on the dry side. The mixed grill was enjoyable but unexciting, offering a platter containing two cylinders of lamb, some hacked chicken on the bone, and boneless cubes of tandoori chicken.
A very nice chana-masala was the sole vegetarian item ordered if I recall and it was very good. For bread I particularly enjoyed the garlic naan. The bread had a good bite to it while remaining tender and the garlic added a nice sharp note to balance out all of the wonderful but potentially overwhelming buttery goodness.
Overall I enjoyed my meal here with a couple of very nice dishes along with a lot of mediocrity and a couple of duds but my metrocard won't be burning a hole in my pocket to return.