There are many ways of generating heat in the culinary world and ITC Hotels has tried them all with legendary brands Bukhara and Peshawri, Dum Pukht and Dakshin, and of late K&K [a play on kebabs and curries] is making its presence felt. Having dined frequently at K&K during a recent six-day stay at ITC Grand Central Mumbai, I took Dad for luncheon to Bukhara on my return to Delhi. I just knew he would love the ambience, the unparalleled hospitality and the most sumptuous North Western cuisine. I was right.
Walking into the restaurant, I was transported into a rustic wonderland with the stone walls and flooring, rugged tables and wooden stools. The crockery is earthenware and guests are given checked aprons and are encouraged to eat with their hands. As we took our table, the aroma and the sight of kebabs, curries, and biryani being prepared in the show kitchens seduced my senses. As we examined the menu, Chef came over and suggested we begin with assorted platters of kebabs and shared a nugget that each dish cooked in the kitchens captures the essence of the original recipe of the royal courts including long forgotten herbs and exotic flowers! Whoa!!
I'm a seafood devotee and dived into the 'Tandoori Jhinga' marinated in ajwain-flavoured mix of yoghurt, red chills and flavours, and roasted over coals. It was masterful.. I don't know how the chef did it but it registered as a totally new experience that demonstrated great marinating and rubs can do amazing things. We relished the textural quality of the fresh jumbo prawns and I'm already looking forward to ordering it on the next visit… this coming from a seafood devotee! 'Murgh Malai Tikka' was so delicious I was afraid I'd eat my fingers as I consumed the aromatic chicken kebab flavored with ginger, garlic, onions, bay-leaf, dry fenugreek leaves and chilli, grilled and served with a sprinkling of herbs. Dal Bhukara, simmered over coals overnight, served with butter naan, made it fabulous comfort food. The meal ended on a sweet note with a bowl of phirni and paan!!
All said, visit the iconic Bukhara at ITC Maurya Delhi for a leisurely lunch or dinner! It has carved a niche since 1977, satisfying cravings for fresh flavourful meat, seafood and vegetables, from the royal kitchens, prepped and seasoned by some of the best chefs in the nation. So, is it any wonder then that the menu has not changed in the past thirty years and diners include U.S. President Bill Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Tony Blair and Arnold Schwarzenegger? Bon Appetite!
— JASMEEN DUGAL
Bukhara, ITC Maurya Sheraton, Sardar Patel Marg, New Delhi