Sunday, April 6, 2008
It's hard to imagine that I didn't like lamb at all not so long ago. Now I can't stop eating lamb chops, lamb loins, rack of lamb, and more! Yum Yum YUM! This was actually the first place I ate on the night of my arrival to SJC Airport. We went to Santana Row for dinner, but we arrived to early so we dilly dallied around. You will notice all the drink places we stopped off for. We thought that Amber opened at 5PM but they didn't open until 5:30PM. From the outside, Amber looked very modern and pretty. As you enter the decor that sticks out in my mind was the starry ceiling. It definitely was not your typical Indian decor, but I really liked the feeling and ambiance. The glittering lights adorned above and across on the walls by the bar really give off the feeling that you were off in your own universe. That is until a lot more people arrive and the volume level was cranked up sky high. Other than that I really enjoyed the stylish decor.
We started off the night with the Paneer, Feta & Spinach Phyllo appetizer. Baked cumin spiced paneer, spinach, & feta phyllo rolls that come with two types of sauces. They gave the typical mint and tamarind sauces for you to add flavor to the phyllo rolls. I didn't like their mint sauce because it was quite salty and their tamarind sauce was a little to pungent for my taste. The phyllo roll itself was very light in flavor so you would need sauces to really bring out the taste, but as I mentioned the sauces weren't great. Eventually I decided to just eat the appetizer with no sauce, but it was really bland. I definitely don't think I would get this again because it's not worth the price if it wasn't delectable at all.
Ms. Lin loves this place mainly for one dish and one dish only. It's the Frontier Kebab that really sold this place. Lamb chops prepared in a ginger and yogurt sauce. This was one of their signature dishes and rightly so. The meat was extremely tender and flavorful. Each bite was juicy and a perfect combination of savory delights. Even though it was made with ginger, you really can't taste the flavor of ginger. At first I was very skeptical because I despise the taste of ginger but I was pleasantly surprised about this dish. The lamb chops were laid atop raw onions on a hot sizzling platter. This dish comes with 4 pieces of lamb chops for the price of $28, which I guess is normal price. If you come down Santana Row, you should DEFINITELY come try this dish.
For our second dish we decided to try the Achari Lamb Pasanda Kebab, Achari spice flavored lamb picalla kebabs. Since Ms. Lin raved about the other lamb dish, I thought that we could get another dish that sounded similar. Alas, I wish we ordered two orders of the Frontier Kebab if I knew it was that good. This dish was decent, but not anything to die for. The best part was that it was boneless pieces of lamb, but they were a little bit dry. Overall the meat was tender, but nowhere near the tastiness of the other dish. At first I didn't like the Achari flavor. As the meat cooled off more and I took more bites this dish, it started to grow on me more. This dish might have tasted better if we didn't have the other dish, which was miles and miles beyond in flavor.
We ordered the Kulcha, leavened bread stuffed with Masala Potato. Somehow the server made a mistake on our order and brought us the Assorted Bread Basket. I was wondering why there were so many pieces of Kulcha and why they were all different. This was only decent, I didn't really like the bread that much.
All in all this place was fairly good. It really wasn't an authentic Indian restaurant. The best thing was that one lamb dish and that was what sold me. Had they charged me for the bread basket then I would give a really bad review because I didn't even like the bread. The server a little hesitantly changed the price on our bill. Overall this place was like a middle to high end Indian restaurant with a little touch of fusion. I would come back again for the Frontier Lamb and maybe try some other dishes. The ambiance and food did leave a good enough impression, although thinned my wallet. =P