All Columns in Alphabetical Order

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

#TerrificTakeout #BukaraGrill #Spring2019 by #RajaJhanjee #VickyVij #BachanRawat

 It's not who you know, it's WHOM YOU KNOW and we were delighted to recently return to Bukara Grill, which we first visited and applauded in early 2017:
The authentic Indian cuisine here has been thriving since September 1999, and they are coming up on their 20 year anniversary.  We were seated immediately by Owner Raja Jhanjee, whom we were delighted to work with this visit. 
 We love their style that goes so well with their cuisine; all comes from India right down to the silverware.  If you have been in Manhattan recently, you know we are less than delighted to be experiencing February in May.  Peachy had to have a coffee to warm up, and it hit the spot.
 In the world according to Peachy, all great reviews begin with a green salad.  We always order at least one salad.  There is only one salad at Bukara Grill, and the fresh garden salad arrived in style with tomato, lettuce, lemon, and carrots-all entirely fresh.  We had two dressings: yogurt sauce and honey mustard.  Next, we ventured to the appetizers.  Meet Fish Tikka!  It's salmon:
 We really adored this dish and it was one of the first gone in its entirety.  The brilliant salmon fillet is marinated overnight, yielding fabulous moistness and flavor.  Let us remind you that all the spices here are ground fresh every week.  Caraway seeds star in this flavor role and it's also marinated in yogurt.  A subtle flavor of ajwain rounds out the flavor party.
 Another convincing appetizer is the Tawa Crab.
Coriander is the green on top, and this crustacean is presented in fresh flaked crab meat and is skillet-prepared with onions, tomato, ginger paste and garlic paste all in perfect proportion.  
Finally, the best appetizer for the season of spring is the Haryali Tikka: it has fantastic ginger garlic mint coriander flavor that amalgamates in a fresh, bright flavor that just bursts with enthusiasm on boneless pieces of chicken. It's cooked in their tandoori clay oven.
 Look at the size of that Naan.  That means bread.
Here's Peachy's hand so you can see the scale:
 The bread is fresh bien sur mes amies and of course our resident garlic monster prefers Garlic Naan.  When you pair it with any of the creamy tomato sauces, it is not far away from pizza which is amazing in any language or country or cuisine as far as we are concerned!
We're always interested in vegetables as side dishes, and potatoes in particular.  You all know who is IRISH and used to reside in IRELAND.  There is a special potato dish daily we understand, and this is our first interaction with it; it is called Aaj Ka Aloo.  This version was smashing, sauteed with cumin seeds.  They simply use Idaho Potatoes and the results are great.  Below, meet Bhindi Bukara, a chef's special.  Those last two magic words always capture our attention.  Crispy and crunchy fried okra were impressive and they reminded us of sophisticated potato chips, which we also love.
 Note the food does look this good and we never edit the pictures.   
 An ideal entree for the spring season is the Kadai Chicken: Tender pieces of boneless chicken cooked with Bellpeppers and Onions are fresh and flavorful, and medium-level spicy.  This is a great introductory dish if you have yet to eat a lot of Indian food in your life.  Again, it was moist and marinated in a lovely amalgamation of their freshly-ground spices, which does make all the difference.
 Popeye this one's for you!  Eat your spinach, and it is a delight to do so when it is Shrimp Saag.  Shrimp and spinach together team up for a terrific concoction of goodness, cooked in a wok and fresh herbs and spices.  Also you should know that Bukara Grill has a great wine list and we were impressed with the Chianti from Italy in particular, which we shared with the hospitable Raja. 
 Peachy often orders Chicken Tikka Masala, but this time she tried the Chicken Makhani, above.  It is different as it is totally committed to creamy tomato flavor without the onions or peppers that you will find in the Tikka Masala.  The hearty, richly flavored chicken was divine as it luxuriated on rice.  Raja also reminded us that his lentils are amazing:
 The proper name for lentils here is Dal Bukara: a harmonious combination of black lentils cooked over a slow fire.  Raja also shared that in addition to a huge crowd from the UN, James Ivory is a regular and the late Ismail Merchant once was.
Some venues have been less impressive in desserts, but we were really impressed with both the rice pudding with almonds and Pistachio Ice Cream, which is totally underrepresented across the board and deserves more attention.
Also, we liked the hot towel at the end.  More places should do this.
We were again impressed and we look forward to seeing what they do next, especially outside on their terrace which we have yet to see. 

Back to TOP