Indian Fusion on Bank – and I’m not talking nuclear

Nov 22, 2008

Humphrey’s on Bank is located in the old New Delhi Restaurant in the Glebe.  At the corner of Glebe and Bank street, in fact.  I first went a few weeks after they opened, and I was pleasantly surprised by their menu, which we could qualify as Indian fusion, especially what I thought ought to be their signature item: Tandoori Chicken Wings.  Ya, they kept the tandoori oven and were selling these delicately flavoured and nicely cooked wings.  I loved them and I did enjoy them a few times. Lots of their dishes are actually cooked over charcoal in the traditional tandoori oven.

We were enlisted with The New Strongs  for the World Trivia Night at the Aberdeen Pavillion at Landsdowne Park, and we decided that Humprey’s would be a good spot to stop for a light dinner beforehand. 

The place was fairly quiet – a nuclear family to our left, a small group at the back, and the little jazz stage in the corner was empty – it was still early.  I do enjoy the feel of the place, though, open but cozy and warm.

But I was quickly disapointed – gone were the Tandoori Chicken Wings from the menu!  I expressed my displeasure loudly to the staff, who politely and with some embarrassment explained that they were simply not selling enough to keep them on the menu.  That is really too bad.

Still, we had to eat.  We started with some naan.  The equivalent of two breads, cut in thick slices, and sprinkled with sweet paprika.  They obviously make it on site, because it was very fresh, soft and warm.  Some purists might not like it, but I didn’t mind them.  I was also starving.

Melissa decided to get the red pepper and curry soup.  It came with a generous portion of naan-like sticks, but crunchier.  There was also a generous dash of cream to garnish the concoction, and I would argue a little too much.  The soup was really thick, but it didn’t need to be that thick.  They had the good idea of serving the soup with a quarter of fresh lime on the side, which gave the soup a fresh tangy zip.

For myself, I ordered their chicken quesadillas.  It was a smaller portion than most establishment in Ottawa, with only four pieces.  The chicken was alright, and the quesedillas were also filled with coriander and mango.  Dipped in the hot sauce and the sour cream served on the side, it made for a light and fresh snack.

I have to say that I was satisfied with our meal, even with the banishment of the Tandoori chicken wings.  But I have heard a lot of bad things about the service there, and even though I’d never witnessed anything myself, I figured I should mention it, and web reviews here seems to confirm what I heard.  But again, I never had any problems.


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