Rohini and Marshall Miranda have been serving Indian cuisine in Denver for twenty years as the owners of Bombay Clay Oven in Cherry Creek. That's given them plenty of time to hone service and recipes and to track customer favorites over the years. They'll be taking some of those favorites and translating them to a fast-casual service model when they open Saucy Bombay at 2600 East Colfax Avenue in April — and it all starts with bread.
The new Saucy Bombay (the Mirandas had a similar concept on Republic Plaza downtown before the food court there was redeveloped) will put fresh-baked Indian naan front and center as one of the main attractions of the restaurant. A traditional tandoor oven will sit right up against a garage window at the front, and a naan wala will prepare naashta, street food like samosas and naan with sauces, that can be ordered inside or straight through the front window, when weather permits.
Marshall Miranda explains that bread is a crucial part of an Indian meal and something he wanted to make sure was central to the new version of Saucy Bombay, something he couldn't do at the old Republic Plaza location because of building limitations. The job of the naan wala is a skilled one, since the bread is cooked by sticking flattened rounds of dough to the inside walls of the tandoor oven and waiting until just the right moment to pull them out. On a busy day, knowing the oven is critical, because the bread can stick or fall off based on the exact temperature of the clay surface where the dough is placed.
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The rest of Saucy Bombay's menu will give customers the flexibility to order bowls, wraps or plates of chicken, lamb, steak or a garbanzo-veggie medley with a choice of six sauces. Bowls can be made with basmati rice, quinoa or the Yogi blend, made with corn, black beans and garbanzo beans.
Rohini Miranda is a professional architect, so some of the design is hers, though she turned over the majority of the work to another architect once the concept had been created. The order counter and tandoor oven will be on the left for customers entering off Colfax, and a thirty-seat dining room will be on the right, along with a floor-to-ceiling mural to add a splash of color. Above the cash register, a second mural will display the restaurant's motto: "Eat. Drink. Be saucy."
The Mirandas hope to open by mid-April with hours beginning at 10:45 a.m. daily, to coincide with East High School lunch hours. Closing hours will be flexible at first; Marshall says 9:45 p.m. will be the goal, but that could change if Colfax pedestrian traffic and crowds from the nearby Sie FilmCenter prove large enough to stay open later.