One of the top 100 restaurants in the world is Bukhara, a multi-room tandoori specialist in the ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi serving satisfied patrons since 1977.
Bill Clinton made a visit in March 2000 and we dine just as he did with the presidential platter. Sikandari Raan, murgh tandoori, barrah kabob, murgh malai, seekh kabob, dal Bukhara, and raita with assorted breads and kulfi. He’s not the only famous guest, Putin, Arnold and Hilary Clinton are also amongst the fans.
The clientele is mixed between foreigners and Indians and the place is jammed even early on a Monday night. Given its reputation know coming in the seating can be uncomfortable and the menu limited.
This is an eat with your hands operation and the meat coming out of the clay tandoor oven is some of the best chicken ever served to this birdophile. Juicy, charred, smoky and just plain amazingly delightful.
And since it is the specialty of the house and The Monster is in India he decides to sample the three arrays of lamb on offer. It’s only been twenty-three years since he’s had it. And it too proves a love-fest of flavor. Wrapped in the buttery naan and drizzled with lentils it is worthy of its presidential designation.
The kind server brings us back to check out the operation and they are rightly proud of their kitchen and the meals they serve. That being said, expect presidential tariffs and a long wait if you do not have a reservation.
For dessert, gulab jamun (reduced milk dumplings stuffed with pistachio and cardamom, deep fried and doused in sugar syrup) as well as kulfi (a rich and creamy frozen dessert with almonds, served with corn starch vermicelli and rose syrup, India’s answer to ice cream). A sweet end to a memorable meal.
With the first day pf India in the books (initial impressions: chaotic, beautiful, disgusting, marvelous, spiritual, sad, fantastic) The Monster can safely say it’s been a rousing success.
Why go? Both Democrats and Republicans agree (for once) it’s top notch.
Monster rating: 4½/5 Monsters
ITC Maurya | Diplomatic Enclave, Sadar Patel Marg, New Delhi 110021, India (Minto Road)