Saturday, June 9, 2007

Amber Cafe

We're fans of Amber India in Mountain View and Santana Row, and we'd often driven past the Amber Cafe down the road on El Camino, but hadn't stopped in before last night. When we found ourselves in the mood for Indian last night, we decided to give it a shot.

We tried the Bombay Lamb Frankie wrap, spiced lamb wrapped in an egg paratha (like a thin tortilla with cooked egg on the inside); the chicken khaas combo with chicken curry, nan, dal (yellow lentil curry side), and salad; and cholewale samose (samosas stuffed with cumin potatoes, green peas, and garbanzo beans). It's a fast casual dining setup, where you order at the counter and take a number, and then they bring it out to you.

Service was pretty quick. The samoses came out first. With the tamarind sauce and the mint chutney they provided, they were delicious, warm and crispy, and they came with a side of garbanzo beans, onions, and cilantro with a barbecue-type sauce. Once the cilantro was brushed off, the side was pretty good too.

The main course arrived promptly after we were done. Mark started on the wraps, while I started with the chicken curry, which surprised me by having bones in it. It was good, and I didn't really mind de-boning the chicken. I have a pretty low tolerance for spice, and this curry wasn't too bad. The curry and wrap both came with a coleslaw-like salad of beans, cabbage, and carrots that was nice and vinegary. I guess the salad of the day gets changed up depending on what they have, but this one was pretty good.

Nan is one of my favorite parts of an Indian meal, and the nan they served us was hot and fresh, not quite the best nan in recent memory (that honor goes to Bombay Garden), but definitely top notch. I liked the dal, too--it wasn't spicy at all, was nice and flavorful; if anything, a little soupy for my tastes.

The wrap was surprisingly good, and it came as a pair of thinly rolled wraps, so we each got one. Good flavor to the meat, and I liked the egg paratha.

We were both very full when we left. This one definitely goes on the list of places we'd recommend. Hot, fresh food, not too expensive, and fast.

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