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Different places to travel

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Delhi Eating: Bukhara restaurant in the Maurya

This can be called Delhi's most famous restaurant. I know personally that when we have company visitors from outside Delhi, if they have heard of a restaurant in Delhi, The Bukhara will be the one. The Bukhara is world famous, and got even more famous when the story went around that Bill Clinton, on his maiden visit to the Indian capital as President, stayed in the Maurya Sheraton because the Bukhara restaurant is located there.
First the negatives: The place is very busy, so you need to make a reservation in advance, and they don't hold the reservation for very long. When we went there with a reservation, we still had to wait. Next, the seating is uncomfortable. You sit in fairly cramped interiors, with seating on what seems like a tree stump. The decor is hard, with stonework and non-soft colours, depicting the rugged region on which the Bukhara is based, namely the rough mountainous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
By Indian standards, the food is very expensive, with most dishes being in the range of Rs. 500 to easily over a thousand. Add wines or other alcohol, and the bill can run up very fast. If you must go with a visitor, and the visitor offers to pay (and if it does not hurt your relationship or ego), then let the visitor pay.
And in my experience, when we were sitting there in a group, satiated after eating a nice meal, and dawdling after drinking the post-dinner coffee, the staff eyed us for some time and then politely evicted us, asking us to carry on the conversation in the bar or anywhere else since there were more guests waiting for the tables, and if we were done, we should get going.
What is it most famous for? Well, the kebabs are excellent, and the non-veg is truly great. The platter gives you a sampling of everything, and then mutton raan is excellent. In addition, the Bukhara is very famous for its black daal (lentil), and is so famous that it is now canned and sold.
The Bukhara is located in the Maurya Sheraton Hotel on SP Marg, right next to the Dhaula Kuan roundabout in South-West Delhi. If you ask around, you can't miss it.
Hours: Daily 12:30-2:45pm and 7-11:45pm. Reservations can only be made for 12:30-1:30 PM and 7-8PM, after that it's your luck about whether people are waiting.
Contact telephone number: 011-26112233

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