by Kamla Srinivasan
Mt View, California
January 10, 2006
Samarkhand is located in Gem Plaza, on the busy and narrow Infantry Road. Note: This is one-way street and parking is sometimes difficult to find.
Samarkhand is a largish restaurant with really dim lighting, and it takes a while for your eyes to adjust. There are waiters walking around in Northwest Frontier attire, Pathan suits with a turban, and some sport a fierce-looking moustache and beard.
The menu resembles a newspaper, and it has a little write-up on Samarkhand and the famous calf hunt. I only wish they did not have that picture and instead a picture of some building or people.
The choices are pretty vast and include kababs, tandoor, grilled meats and vegetables, and the usual suspects: nans, rotis, kulchas, and parathas.
We ordered paneer tikka. In fact, there were quite a few paneer-inspired dishes. We ordered a tandoori khumbh or marinated mushroom with kabab masala. This was okay, and not something I would order again. We had chicken makhani, which was a great hit with the group I was in and is something they would order again. The other chicken dish that was a big hit was the Desi Dum ka Murg, which had herbs and a hara masala. Clearly, the meat dishes are great hits at this place. For dessert we had kulfi, phirni, and gulab jamun. The phirni was okay, the kulfi was rich and delicious, and the gulab jamun was nothing extraordinary.
The downside of eating in this restaurant is that service can sometimes be slow, and getting your orders on time can be a challenge.
The choice of the name of the restaurant led me to believe that we would have great Northwestern Frontier food, but that was not the whole story. There were a few dishes that were good, but the rest were dishes with a dose of heavy, rich gravy. Watch out how much you order. You might want to take it easy and order less and then go from there. It's worth one visit at least.
From journal Bangalore, the IT capital of India