Almost ten years after it opened in 1997, the original Bombay Brasserie at Richmond and Sage burned down -- and for a short while, so did the dreams of owner Narin Seghal. This was his first restaurant, but lucky for Houston, it wasn't his last. Soon after the fire, Seghal opened a Bombay Brasserie in Rice Village, and now he's opening a second location in a brand new center on the West Loop (3005 West Loop South). By 2010, Seghal hopes to have five restaurants in the Houston area. "I wanted to bring a touch of India to America, in the food we serve," he says. "For most Americans, curry means curry powder, and it's smelly. In India, curry is really the gravy or sauce, so we wanted to educate consumers to this, and to the fact that in India there is a great diversity of flavors and dishes."
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As owner of Bombay Brasserie, Seghal is living his dream. In 1972, he emigrated to Canada from the Punjab region of India and began working for a chemical company. But he always had thoughts of opening his own restaurant, and ten years later, Seghal changed careers. When he moved to Houston in 1997, he noticed that there were no upscale Indian restaurants in Houston so he decided to open one. And in fact, his cuisine gets more and more upscale with time. In addition to classics like chicken tikka masala and tandoori chicken, Bombay Brasserie is offering dishes such as duck breast with mango sauce and lamb loin with Indian spices. (For Indians -- or brave eaters -- extra-spicy versions are available.) -- Paul Galvani