Several of Tyler’s coworkers had informed him that the ITC Maurya hotel where we are staying has one of the best Indian restaurants in the world –Bukhara. It has been placed in several Food Magazines in the top 50 restaurants in the world and in 2007 was #1 in Asia. One employee told us its on the list of “100 Things to Do Before You Die.” We pass it daily as we go to and from our hotel room, and finally decided it was time to try it. It is only open for about 1 1/2 hours at lunchtime and then starting at 7:00 p.m. in the evenings. It is always busy so we put in our reservations for last Friday night and we had a wonderful dining experience.
They took us back in the kitchen and shared a little with us about the restaurant. It has been in business at the hotel for 39 years and not a single ingredient on the menu has been changed according to one employee. They start preparing their famous Bukhra Dal, a black lentil dish, at 11:00 p.m. the night before and let me just say that it was delicious! They are also famous for their kabobs cooked in the tandoor — vegetable kabobs, lamb, some seafood and their chicken (they are hanging in the background of the above picture). The chef was busy getting the balls of dough ready for naan bread and we got to see him toss and stretch the large “family” naan that we ordered.
The restaurant gives the full experience by providing NO utensils and they provide an apron for each patron to cover any spills. One trears off some naan bread (in the center of the table) and then dips it in the lentil dish. The chicken we ordered you just ate with your hands. Next time you see Conner, make sure you ask him about the after dinner “breath freshener” they provide. When they brought it to the table, they gave us a bit of a warning “if you dare” as they explained it to us. Conner was the only one brave enough.
At this point, you may wonder how everyone is doing with the Indian food. Let’s just say the hotel knows the general order from the kids — mashed potatoes, pizza, cucumber slices, toast, rice, pasta, waffles. If we eat Indian food, Hailey sticks with the naan. Thomas and Conner have been much more adventurous and have found a few dishes and a few places where they enjoy the Indian food.
Outside the restaurant stands this gentlemen dressed in authentic attire to greet you. The staff was incredibly attentive, friendly and helpful in making our first visit to Bukhara a great memory!