Chirag Desai

Bukhara of Samlesbury


Father’s Day celebrations found me at a family favourite one Sunday evening. Bukhara in Samlesbury is commonly known as having ‘authentic’ Indian cuisine, though I have never figured out if the attributes of being ‘authentic’ referred to the chefs being south Asian, or the food being truly Indian inspired? Needless to say, we all have our favourites, and this is particularly busy haunt for the Asian communities in the North West.

For starters we ordered a meat feast of mixed grill, which consisted of lamb and chicken kebabs, tandoori chicken, lamb chops. This was accompanied by one of their signature dishes and a particular favourite of mine, as I have made it many a time at home, Thai mango salad. This salad is not as authentically Indian as it is Thai, but nonetheless a great accompaniment to the starters. The salad consisted of a carrots, peppers, onions and mangoes topped of with coriander, and a honey mustard dressing with red chili and pepper.

For mains we ordered Akbari chicken Masala which was extra hot, far too hot for my liking, but my father loved it; and Lahori ghost which was delicious, the lamb was perfectly cooked and the spices perfectly chosen to compliment this dish. the balance was just right. This was all served with fresh nan bread which was soft and brushed with butter. The new desserts menu was the highlight of my evening, I opted for the Apple tarte, another special on the menu, however it was a big letdown, as fussy me could tell that the apples were pre-prepared and had gone slightly brown. The family ordered traditional Indian falooda (a milk based dessert, with sago, rose water, and dumplings of kulfi ice cream inside it), the chocolate waffle meltdown which was amazing and probably one of the best things on the menu, and a mint parfait which was as standard as prepackaged ice cream desserts can get. The biggest fail on the menu I felt was the lack of locally sourced produce, mainly in the form of Huntley’s Ice cream, whose farm is a mere 1 mile up the road.

The ambiance was great, with a family oriented atmosphere, to a restaurant which is always busy and very lively of a weekend. If you’re in the North West of England, why not try this countryside gem, nestled in between dairy and sheep farms midway between Preston and Blackburn. It promises to be a find, and will not disappoint.