I was working in the Tokyo office of Japanese Electronics Company in 1996. That was the year I became a Section Manager of Business Development for the emerging market countries. I ended up visiting India six times in six months, during that year. I, like all Japanese, especially all Japanese kids, like curries; however, it was the year when I first encountered authentic Indian curries and cuisines. I loved them. When I was transferred to San Francisco the following year, I looked for an authentic Indian restaurant in the Bay Area. I dined out in several Indian restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area, until I found this restaurant that I liked and decided to keep going back to that place at least once every two weeks.
It is a restaurant named “Bombay Garden.” It is located in downtown San Mateo, which is close to the San Francisco International Airport. From the center of San Francisco, one can take Highway 101 South to get to San Mateo. To reach downtown San Mateo, one can exit Highway 101 at Third Avenue, the San Mateo exit. One can even take Third Avenue west. Here one will find the restaurant located on the left-hand side. It is about a 30 – 40 minutes drive and very simple.
Third Avenue, San Mateo, has many restaurants where business people usually eat lunch and take their business associates for dinner. There are lots of food choices available in a variety of cuisines, such as American, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, or Indian. My recommendation for this Indian restaurant on Third Avenue in San Mateo is for the lunch buffet. Bombay Garden serves a lunch buffet every day. It serves the same basic selection of foods with a change in the main food choice on a daily basis.
Customers do not have to worry if they come on the wrong day for the wrong thing. There is always something new.
The restaurant’s dining space is not big, but is clean and tidy. The inside is decorated like a typical Indian restaurant, with traditional Indian pictures and dining furniture. The picture of the Taj Mahal, which hangs in the center of the main wall, is impressive, and is surrounded by smaller pictures showing ancient Indian life.
The restaurant has an L-shaped buffet counter in its far corner. You can fill your plate with salad-there are both regular and Indian-style dressings to choose from. The buffet also has a choice of rice pilaf or vegetable fried rice. You do not have to worry about looking for naan (Indian bread) because your waiter will serve it directly to your table. After you pick up some tandoori chicken, you move ahead to the curry section. The selection of curry changes daily. Generally, the restaurant serves chicken curry, spinach and cheese curry, bean curry, or mutton curry. On some special occasions, they serve fish curry or shrimp curry, which are superb. Bombay Garden is also famous for serving traditional Indian desserts and fruit ice cream, including mango, orange, and strawberry flavors.