Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Restaurant Review: Amber India

Amber India - dinner on August 13, 2013

Have you ever gone to a restaurant where, no matter how good the rest of the menu looks, you get the same thing every single time because that particular dish is so good and that's all you want?  Well, that's me, Amber India and their Butter Chicken.  The only reason I've even had anything different is I usually go with a group of friends and since we can't put in an order just for 6 Butter Chickens, they get something else and I get Butter Chicken.  We all share our entrees family-style so it works out. 
Butter Chicken
I recently went to Amber India with an old college roommate and while I got the Butter Chicken, she ordered the Lamb Roganjosh which is "stewed Colorado lamb chunks, fennel seeds, brown onion & yogurt".  It was well done and the lamb was tender. I tried it, approved, and went back to my Butter Chicken.
Lamb Roganjosh
Just like with the Butter Chicken, I also have to order naan every time as well.  I've made naan when I was in culinary school and I don't mind admitting I'm a wimp about sticking my hand in a 500-degree tandoor oven and trying to slap a round of naan dough hard enough and fast enough to stick to the sides of the hot oven and extracting my hand before my flesh gets burned in the process.  There's a knack to doing it and I don't have it.  So I appreciate naan made by anyone else and pay it proper homage.  Plus, the naan at Amber India is really good and it comes out warm to hot.
The drawback to Amber India is they're pricey for what you get.  According to their website, they have 7 locations in the Bay Area.  I've been to two of them: the restaurant in Mountain View, CA and the one at Santana Row in San Jose.  The one at Santana Row seems pricier but I've never done a menu comparison to check.  The dish of Butter Chicken which would probably serve 2-3 people, assuming they ordered something else, isn't overly large nor overflowing with chicken but it's $20.95 as was the Lamb Roganjosh which was the same size.  That's not including basmati rice which you have to order separately.  Naan is also a separate charge. So you can easily spend at least $30-$40 per person (no drinks) without over-ordering or overeating large portions.
Basmati Rice
I recommend going there for lunch instead as they serve a buffet lunch for a flat cost of $16.95 and you (or I) can eat all the Butter Chicken and naan you want.

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