Bukhara

Three things make for a good night out.

Good Company – which we had.
Good Money – We used plastic, but let’s face it, in this day and age money does make the world go round.
Good Food – and that’s where Bukhara takes the spotlight.

If some of you have read the post I did on my lack of tasting skills, you will remember that I said you will be spared from restaurant reviews on my blogs. So, this is a huge exception because I have had good food and the story deserves to be told.

Bukhara is one of India’s premiere restaurants. Situated at the ITC Maurya in New Delhi, it serves “Northwest Frontier Cuisine”. The world really got to know about Bukhara when in 2000 President Bill Clinton raved about the food here which he had during his diplomatic visit to India. Shortly after, Bukhara took out the “Clinton Thali” and the “Chelsea Platter” for a limited period featuring the preparations enjoyed by them.

Arrival of the Naan

Entering Bukhara you might be taken aback with the simplicity of the restaurant. There are no chairs, but low backless stools (and low couches along the walls) to sit on. You won’t find forks, spoons, or knifes to eat (you can always ask for them, but that’s no fun) because eating with hands is encouraged. In case you are wondering, to protect your clothes, you get to wear adult bibs. Bukhara is all about food. Food and immaculate service is what matters and is always given priority.

The Glassed Kitchen

Housing a semi-open glassed kitchen, guests get a wonderful view of their food being cooked in the tandoor. But, once the food is placed on the table, there is little chance you will notice anything else. Dal Bukhara (Black Lentils) has what I would call a legendary status and rightly so. “Cooked overnight in the traditional Bukhara way on the tandoor, simmered all night and finished with tomato, ginger and garlic” Dal Bukhara epitomises passion for cooking good food. Now, taste apart, the texture of the dal is so smooth that it almost melts the moment it enters the mouth. A simple proof that we enjoyed it is the fact that after finishing our meal we ordered another round of the Dal with some Naan just because we hadn’t had enough.

Cooking in the Tandoor

Normally, I would like to mention a few of the dishes that were exceptional, but to be really honest everything was enjoyed equally including the desserts which comprised of Phirni and Ras Malai. Bukhara’s menu is limited and doesn’t go on and on, unlike their wonderful wine list, but it is simply outstanding in preparation. The Naan Bukhara is another speciality of the restaurant and deserves a mention. The king sized Naan is a sure shot way to get attention of the other guests as we had them come to our table and take pictures.

Naan Bukhara – The Grand Daddy of all Naans

Going to Bukhara for a meal is going to be slightly expensive at around Rs. 2500,- ($50/£30) per person without alcoholic drinks. Contrary to belief, good things in life are not always free. But, Bukhara is more than just any restaurant. It’s an experience. The ambience, the service, the light lingering smell of delicious food in the air, everything just adds up to make your evening perfect. Make sure you book a table in advance if you want a guaranteed spot, because no matter the day of the week there will be a crowd waiting to get in.

So, my recommendation when in Delhi would be to skip breakfast, skip lunch, book a table at Bukhara and have a meal of a lifetime.

Bukhara
ITC Maurya
Diplomatic Enclave
Sardar Patel Marg
New Delhi 110 021, India
Tel : (91) (11) 26112233

Bon Appétit!

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