Bukhara at ITC Maurya Sheraton is one place that I’d been wanting to go for long, but due to lack of right company or some other reason, it’d remained on my must-visit restaurants for a long time. Finally, it happened last Friday that a friend of mine, in a mood to devour Indian food, accompanied me on our virgin visit to “Delhi’s best Indian Restaurant”. Like another hyped restaurant by the media and connoisseurs alike, we had huge expectations from Bukhara. I’d read in The Times of India that when Bill Clinton visited India as US President he ate so much at Bukhara that he found it hard to walk back to his room…err…suite, Presidential if I am not wrong! That really says much about the restaurant.
Adjoining the fine dining Pavilion, Bukhara is cornered right at the end. With somewhat rusty interiors, staff dressed in Kurta Pyajama, desi settings and no-cutlery concept, Bukhara would seduce any foreigner. The quintessential Indian-ness of the place is palpable as soon as you have a dekko at the menu. A hard bound takhti with dishes names inscribed on both the sides, the menu, surprisingly, did not offer much. You had 10-odd very normal starters such as Tandoori Murgh, Reshmi Kebab, Seekh Kebab, Mutton Burra, Raan and mutton & chicken platters that cost a whopping Rs 5000 and 7000 respectively. On the flip side, you had regular vegetarian snacks that I did not even bothered to look at, along with Dal Bukhara which I later learnt is the speciality of the place.
On being puzzled that there was nothing in gravy in non-vegetarian, we enquired with the staff and they mentioned that there was chicken in ‘tomato puree’ off the menu. ‘Chicken in Tomato Puree?’ Well, if that’s the description of a chicken dish in Bukhara, then I’m surely going to stay away. Cautiously and curiously, we ordered Mutton Burra and Tandoori Murgh. The food arrived quite quickly and the helpings were good. Quite non-spicy, Burra was good while Tandoori Murgh was not as masala-heavy as roadside food eaters would be used to. My friend and I had reached a consensus that the food was good but overhyped.
Not being tempted to go for the main course, we summed with these two things, at some amusement of a staff member. The meal for two cost us Rs 3200. With main course, I believe it would have been around Rs 5000. Not bad if a restaurant lives up to its hype. Quite disappointing, if it’s just another good restaurant with excellent PR!