Bukhara: The hottest table in the country

- April 5, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

Bukhara, the iconic restaurant which has served former US Presidents and ex-United Kingdom Prime Ministers and several other celebrities, is celebrating its 45th year of existence

DÉCOR: Bukhara’s interior decoration has earthy tones and wooden accent

Nestled amid stone walls and adorned with the vintage elegance of log-top tables, Bukhara — ITC Maurya’s iconic restaurant, exudes comfort through its ambience that enhances dining experience. 

With earthy tones, wooden accents, and traditional decor, the interior reflects the essence of Indian sub-contintent’s North West Frontier region. The flavours are as nuanced as the setting itself. 

The iconic restaurant has served many heads of state, world leaders, gourmands, celebrities, and famous personalities. It continues to be everyone’s favourite because of its unchanged menu to date.

Marking a milestone in its culinary history, Bukhara is celebrating 45 years of its existence from March 30 to April 7.

JP Singh, Chef Culinaire at Bukhara, has been serving for the last 32 years. He has served all the famous personalities who have visited this restaurant.

“I have served high-profile people at Bukhara. Be it Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George W Bush, Tony Blair & Mrs Blair, Paolo Gentiloni and others. My team and I have always been at their service,” he told Patriot. 

Singh says that Bill Clinton has visited Bukhara six times so far. 

AMERICAN IDOL: Bukhara team with former President of the US, Bill Clinton

“His first visit was in 2001. We served him with Sikandari Raan, Murg Malai Kabab, Tandoori Jhinga and Dal Bukhara. He loved everything and was impressed,” he said.

“Bill Clinton told me that he loves food from two places in the world — one is some Italian restaurant and the other is Bukhara. This appreciation means a lot to us,” said the 66-year-old chef. 

Singh said that David Cameron, the former Prime Minister of United Kingdom, was impressed by our biggest naan creation. “He asked me about the method of its preparation. I also showed him the tandoor where this naan is prepared,” he said.  

“Recently, we had the honour of hosting Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. He too had a wonderful experience with us,” Singh explained.

The restaurant is a favourite among Bollywood celebrities too for its signature dining experiences.

“I have served Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor,” he revealed.  

The restaurant has also served cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and others. 

“They visit us and have food here whenever they are in Delhi,” said Singh, who has been working at Bukhara since 1991.  

ICONIC: Former India cricket captain and world’s highest run-getter and his wife with chef JP Singh

Started in 1978, the favourite dining destination ‘Bukhara’ offers a menu with plenty of choices.

In vegetarian section, they offer paneer tikka, tandoori phool, tandoori aloo, tandoori salad, Dal Bukhara and others. In non-vegetarian, the restaurant offers Peshawari Kebab, Tandoori Jhinga, Sikandari Raan, Kastoori Kebab, Barrah Kebab among other items. 

Bukhara’s timeless success can be attributed to its attention to detail and commitment to following its unique cooking techniques. 

“Our skilled chefs dedicate themselves to every dish, meticulously crafting them with precision, using only the highest quality ingredients. At the heart of Bukhara’s charm is its traditional clay oven cooking, which brings to life succulent tandoor-cooked kebabs, vegetables, and bread,” Singh says.  

Sikandari Raan and Dal Bukhara, a lentil delicacy that simmers for hours on end, and bursts with flavour, are its best-known food items. 

Emphasising the concept of ‘breaking bread’ together is the legendary Naan Bukhara, baked in a dedicated tandoor. It embodies the spirit of communal feasting and has consistently captivated diners, transporting them to charming countryside landscapes with every flavourful bite.

“We make the biggest naan ever. It is 1.3 kg in weight and is sold at Rs 2,200. It is everyone’s favourite,” Chef Singh says.  

In an era defined by change, Bukhara stands as a timeless icon with a menu that has remained unchanged for over four decades.

“We haven’t changed our menu to date like others do to attract the huge crowd. Our patrons know what we have been serving for years and continue to serve the same. That love for the food brings them here,” Singh says.     

Anil Chadha, Chief Executive of ITC Hotels, says that Bukhara reflects a journey filled with timeless flavours, cherished memories, and an unwavering commitment to consistency and quality.

EXTRA LARGE: Biggest naan being served at the restaurant. There is a special tandoor for its baking

“Bukhara’s magnificence has not only stood the test of time but has also evolved into an icon of culinary heritage, delighting diners from all over the world and across generations. The unchanged menu, testament to timelessness, has remained an everlasting favourite among celebrities and heads of state showcasing nuances of the region,” he says before adding, “We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our patrons for their unwavering support.”

Having earned global accolades over the years — Winner of the Golden Fork Award, being One Of The 50 Best Restaurants in the World, one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants, Favourite Restaurant in Indian Hotels, Iconic Restaurant, Legacy Restaurant – Luxe, and many more, Bukhara stands an iconic restaurant, which is carrying on a 5,000-year-old tradition.