A Kensington-dwelling friend invited me to join her for dinner last night at Bukhara. I'd had Indian food the night before, but decided to join her anyhow, as I'd not tried this place yet.
My expectations were not high. Aside from a trip to Brick Lane while vacationing in England, most of my Indian food experience had come from East 6th street. Limited? Perhaps. As a lifelong Brooklyn resident, I never could face the trip out to Queens. Now I feel as though I don't have to.
We started off with chicken daal, rice, and chickpeas. The daal was spicy in the best possible way - it had as much flavor as it did heat, which was a pleasant surprise. The chicken was tender, a nice change from the rubber poultry that I've had in the past. The chickpeas were life changing. The server sprinkled fresh cilantro over them before bringing them to our table, which just added to the flavor explosion in my mouth. I plan to go back and try the black chickpeas as well as the white, even though it'll be difficult to ever pass these up again. They were sensational. The nan was fresh out of the oven, fluffy, with just the right amount of butter. (It definitely helped to put the fire out from the chicken!)
We ended off the meal with a "sweet" that tasted like candied ginger or another fruit mixed with almonds (also delicious). I'm not sure what it was, we were offered it and accepted and were game to try anything after the entrees.
I could not believe how different this meal was from every other Indian meal I've ever had. I was totally blown away, and wanted to share that with the class. It's certainly the best Indian food I've ever had in the city - can't say if it's THE best (maybe if I could ever convince myself that Jackson Heights is worth the trip I could compare), but I will say that it's a damn sight better than any other Indian restaurants I've tried.