Bukhara, Sheraton Hotel, Dal, Tandoor, Indian Cuisine..
Bukhara, this iconic and acclaimed Indian restaurant housed in the Luxury Collection ITC Maurya Hotel in New Delhi, has come to London for two weeks only. Tickets sales have been flying off the shelves and everyone wants a seat at this pop up restaurant established over 35 years ago, led by Chef Manjit Gil.
Supporting the lovely charity The Elephant Family a non-profit body whose goal is to push the flight of endangered Asian elephants to the forefront, by donating a portion of proceeds to the charity.
Laid out at the Sheraton hotel, they have created an outdoor canopy for a bar serving champagne and cocktails with a lounge area, almost like a den to relax, after or before the meal?
Signature dishes we anticipated were the Sikandari Raan (marinated whole leg of spring lamb); Murgh Malai kebab (creamy chicken kebab); and Dal Bukhara (whole black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic slow-cooked over coals for 18 hours).
We were all seated to tables in the dining room, with a mix of hoteliers, writers, food bloggers and all with the common interest in trying out this majestic food. Provided with Bukhara chequered bibs, once put on all dignity goes out the window, prep those hands to eat the way we should eat.
The starter arrived soon after, pieces of naan bread (could have been warmer) with delicious tender pieces of chicken, large king prawns served on a platter to share.
What everyone was waiting to try was the Sikandari Raan lamb, cooked in a tandoor, it was fragrant yet not as tender as I would have expected, yet still beautiful in its entirety. The winner for me was the tandoori aloo, scooped potatoes stuffed with potato hash, raisins and cashew nuts mixed with green chillies and green coriander. I would try to make these at home, they were amazing.
The Dal Bukhara was creamy, flavourful, presented in individual small pots (no sharing needed!). A wonderful combination of black lentils, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, cashews simmered over night on a slow charcoal fire, finished with cream, served with dollop of unsalted butter.
After all that eating, we are served with dessert of Gulab Jamon, syrup dipped fried dumplings of milk reduced to a semi solid texture, with the fragrance of cardamom. It’s a very sweet dessert, only a few can eat it all, in my case sitting next to a guy who ate two servings to my amazement.
This is served with Phirni, a dessert of milk, ground basmati rice, flavoured with cardamom topped with pistachio and almond. We were joyed at meeting the chefs in charge of this delicious feast.
The meal was finished off with the request for tea, which was needed! The Vegetarian menu is priced at £59 and the Meat & Seafood menu at £79. I have never been to Bukhara in India, but have listened in wonderment at the spectacle of it all, I’m not sure to what extent of the true representation we are shown here at the Sheraton, but I am sure it is a must see on any itinerary once in India.