Restaurants & Bars 19

Bukhara, Maurya Sheraton, Delhi

WEC | Mar 20, 200604:07 AM

Bill Clinton might have eaten there, but I hope he got better service than I did. I went on Valentine's Day and reserved ahead. I found the restaurant gloomy rather than atmospheric.We were seated on barrel-like stools at low tables, and arrangement that might suit some people but one which is distinctly uncomfortable if you are 6'3". I order cold mineral water and after a five minute delay I got luke warm mineral water. I then asked for very cold mineral water and, after another five minute delay, got luke warm mineral water of a mediocre brand. They also had a beer on the menu which wasn't (for a change) Kingfisher. I ordered it in happy expectation, only to be told some time later that the only beer they had was Kingfisher. The chappati they served was slightly burnt and inferior to many I had had at 300 ruppee restaurants, as was the butter naan. When my wife's meal was brought, she asked for a knife and fork. The waiter told her, somewhat haughtily, that it was customary to eat if with your fingers. He might have suggested ordering naan when she was ordering her meal. He brought the bill immediately after we had fnished dessert, giving us no chance to order coffee or chai, presumably so that he could get another sitting in. The food itself was pleasant, though not, I think spectacular. Its merit for westerners wold be that it is not highly spiced, something that you could not say for Punjabi by Nature in Priya plaza in Vasant Vihar, which is the best North Indian restaurant I ate in in Delhi.
On final comment about Bukhara. Wines in India are absurdly priced, for reasons that I was not able to determine. Even a bottle of local Indian wine will cost about 850 ruppees (=$21) in a restaurant. But that is scracely a justification for have a wine list that asks $80 for a Bull's Blood reserve or $800 for a 1997 Margaux (I'm quoting these prices from memory, but they are in the ballpark). Fortunately, no one drinks wine with Indian food, but it would have been nice to have a choice of beer other than the ubiquitous Kingfisher. And I would have liked the water cold. I got cold water with 70 ruppee thalis, for heaven sake.
The total bill came to about $100, without any wine.

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