Wednesday 23 May 2012

Review - Bukhara Pop-up at the Sharaton Park Tower

Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Sharaton Park Tower to experience the Bukhara pop-up Indian restaurant.  The original Bukhara is at the ITC Maurya, New Delhi, a Luxury Collection Hotel, and the idea was to bring it to London to let us experience it.  Bukhara is regularly voted into the Top 50 restaurants in the world, so I knew that the food would be good (it was) but I also wanted to see how it worked as a pop-up.

It was excellent.  As an experience it was superb.  First we were shown into a garden, specially created by Waris Ahluwalia, traveller, designer, actor and The Luxury Collection’s newest Global Explorer.  There we chatted and mingled - all sorts of other food writers and experts were there.

Then through to the restaurant.  We were seated at large tables; large enough to get a good group, small enough to talk easily.  More wine was offered, with water (served in copper mugs - very traditional) and then the eating experience started.  At Bukhara no one uses cutlery, so we were given large bibs to wear.  The lack of cutlery was expected for the poppadoms, but it really came into its own when the main courses of vegetables, meat and prawns came.  It was great fun to eat these with fingers, dipping them into the signature dhal.

I was expecting something special, and I wasn't disappointed.  Even though the experience was already so memorable, and such fun, the food itself was superb.  Cooked on specially shipped tandoor ovens, by equally specially shipped chefs, including Executive Chefs Manjit Gill and JP Singh (pictured) this was a pop-up that focussed on both experience and food.

Bukhara is sold out for its entire London run, but it may well return.  If and when it does you have to try it!  Update - more covers have been added!  Follow the link below:

Link - Bukhara London

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