A year and a half after opening his Soho Indian restaurant Paowalla, chef-owner Floyd Cardoz will pivot the more formal space into a very casual bread bar serving the stuffed naans, kulchas, bhel puri, paratha, and more that gave the restaurant its acclaim. Bombay Bread Bar is in some ways a reincarnation of Cardoz’s old bread bar below the now-closed Tabla, the Times reports.
When Paowalla opened in July 2016, critics immediately gravitated toward the breads on the menu, with Eater’s Ryan Sutton writing, “What makes the restaurant one of the city’s most essential new spots is its array of breads, Indian and Indian-inspired — from whole wheat rotis, to puffy kulchas, to Tibetan tingmos, to tandoori-bruised naans, to room-temperature fish pies, to mini wada pao sandwiches (don’t you dare call them sliders), to honey-lime croissants, to pecan chai sticky buns.” Times critic Pete Wells similarly called them out in his two-star review. Sutton even went so far as to write, “If Cardoz opened up a bakery, it’d be packed from morning to night.”
And that’s essentially what Cardoz will do, serving some dishes like vindaloo and three-chile chicken, but focusing mainly on those breads that everyone seems to love. New additions include fritter-like onion ring bhajias, bhel puri, and Goan fish curry.
Cardoz decided to make the switch after admitting Paowalla wasn’t doing enough business, with just 150 covers on weekend nights. So he approached his investors to finance a renovation, which will begin Saturday and likely wrap up by the end of the month. Expect a more colorful inside to inspire the casual vibes he hopes to create — similar to Ugly Baby and Uncle Boons, he says. Stay tuned for more.