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Restaurants & Bars 12

Empress of India, Sunnyvale : short review

S | Feb 17, 200406:36 AM

Hi all:

This is a review of an Indian restaurant in Sunnyvale called 'The Empress of India'. This place does great food but is strangely absent from most bay area food review/discussions I see on the web.

First, a little preamble regarding the eccentricities of the place. The sign outside is missing a few letters, the inside is no more than a functional but clean small room, and the owner/cook Jean (I forget her last name) is apt to appear a little abrupt if you forgot to reserve in advance. Oh, and you are not handed a menu.

And now about the food. There is no menu because it largely depends on what fresh produce/meat/fish etc she could find in the market that very morning. Which means that you can find some unusual vegetables and meats in her dishes. For example, I rarely, if ever, find asparagus on the menu in Indian restaurants; Jean prepares it wonderfully. Her fried trout stuffed with a masala of her own making is crispy, spicy, and delicious. And for fans of Bengali cooking, there is the excellent macher jhol. The nans are a little sour, a little chewy, a little blistered, and a lot yummy.

She does miss once in a while, like once with her over-fried Okra with onions, but when you have half-a-dozen other dishes on the table, that is a minor inconvenience quickly forgotten. And you will have that many dishes on your table because you are served a good portion of whatever she has cooked that day. All for a fixed price of $30.00 (not sure about this, could be $35.00) per dinner.

Coordinates of the restaurant are, 3426 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95051, (408) 296-0717

- S

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