South Bay: Amber

It is no secret that my father doesn't particularly enjoy Indian food.  According to him, the flavors are too intense, too heavy.  He makes an exception for only one Indian restaurant: Amber.

He went there once for a business dinner and ever since then, he brought up Amber every time my sister or I mentioned a craving for Indian food.  I was never too excited about the idea.  Amber is located inside Santana Row and we all know what that means.  Big dollar signs.  No thanks.

But my dad finally wore me down.  It just got to a point where I couldn't say no without hurting his feelings.  My dad succeeded in dragging my mom, my ahyi, and me to Amber one Saturday evening:


We arrived pretty early, so the restaurant was pretty quiet:


Super swanky decor, as to be expected.

When our server brought us a plate of samosas that we didn't order, we thought it was complimentary:


Our glee quickly evaporated when he came back to apologetically whisk it away.  Sigh.  Should have known it was too good to be true.  Well, at least I got a picture of it, right?

Our server recommended the garlic naan, so that's what we ordered:


Not all you can eat, so eat sparingly!

He also recommended the butter chicken as Amber's most popular dish:


All the entrees came at the same time.  Before I could even lift my camera, our server scooped out a serving of each dish onto each of our plates.  Please ignore the half-eaten look of the photos.

There weren't many pieces of cauliflower in the cauliflower and cashew bezule to begin with, so this photo looks particularly sad:


The photo really doesn't do the dish justice.  Prepared with mustard, curry leaf, coconut and lime juice, the cauliflower was refreshing and creamy and so very delicious.

My favorite of the night though, was the jaisalmeri bhindi or crisp sliced okra:


The okra was so thin and fried so crisp that they had the texture of chips.  Paired with the fresh tomato cubes...wow.  So good.

Even though my ahyi doesn't eat lamb, she urged us to order the balti gosht:


The balti gosht was made with lamb, cumin, mint onions, and peppers.

Surprisingly, the meat dishes paled in comparison to the veggie dishes.  I was shocked.  I'm a card carrying carnivore.  I never thought I would ever enjoy vegetarian options over meat ones.  But it happened.  Hell has frozen over.

The food was definitely good, but was it worth it?  I don't know.  $20.95 for that little pot of butter chicken?  $16.95 for the okra?  The portion sizes are way too small for the prices.

Sorry, dad.  I'll be sticking to my hole in the wall Indian joints.  Amber is just too posh for my tastes.


Amber
377 Santana Row #1140
San Jose, CA 95128
(408) 248-5400
http://www.amber-india.com/

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