The finest in Indian hospitality
by Alika Gulyan
Being fond of Indian cuisine and having lived in Japan for more than five years, I have visited many Indian restaurants in Tokyo. To my great pleasure, I have found a little treasure that really stands out. Bukhara serves a comfortable homemade menu of a quality normally reserved for the tables of the best families in the north of India. Established on Aug. 1, 2003, the restaurant has welcomed people from all spectrums of life: Japanese and foreign businessmen, politicians, comedians, artists and more. In fact, Bukhara regularly caters for Embassy receptions for Singapore and Brunei, sometimes serving at the Imperial hotel.
Though they are famous in the Azabudai and Roppongi areas for their ¥1,000 buffet lunch, their dinner menu offers a wider variety of the finest Nothern Indian cuisine that remains faithful to its roots. Among their specialties is the super tender boneless chicken marinated in yoghurt, then barbequed in their Tandoori oven with a mix of special herbs and spices (Tandoori Chicken, ¥800 for a small plate, ¥1,500 for a large one), butter chicken curry (¥1,600), lamb and chicken kebabs (around ¥1,500), prawn masala (¥1,600) as well as an extensive list of mouthwatering nans and desserts.
My favorite curry—that I always order with every visit—is palak paneer (¥1,400), a delightful spinach mix cooked with cottage cheese and traditional spices. For lovers of exotic food there is their special “IQ curry Tatekawa Danshi,” named in honor of the famous rakugoka (comic story-teller) of the same name, and made from lamb’s brain with assorted vegetables and spicy sauce.
Such unique items are not the only reason I am a regular. First of all, the menu changes seasonally, so you never tire of the same dishes. Secondly, all the items can be customized to your taste and diet preference upon request (with an abundance of vegetarian-friendly options). And finally, the very competent polite manager Amit and the always smiling chef make you feel welcome and comfortable. If you’re lucky, you can meet the outgoing owner, Markus, who can share with you his experiences working as an interpreter for a slew of significant historical figures, including the former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, former Indian President Zail Singh, as well as the Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa and many more.
The stories may be beyond the reach of mere mortals, but the cuisine is delightfully accessible. Bukhara is the easiest ticket to the delicious and exotic northern India. Once you try it, I’m sure you will return to take this adventure again.
3-4-14 Azabudai, 2F, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 106-0041
Bukhara can cater for up to 50 seated or 100 standing buffet guests.
For party packages, seven days advanced reservation is required.