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  ISSUE OF JANUARY 2003
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A Taste Of Afghanistan

Lakshman V goes to Samarkand in Bangalore to savour some north-western cuisine

More often than not, visitors frequent Bangalore's new fine dining restaurants and nightclubs expecting a whole new dining experience that would inevitably leave them spellbound. Truly so, tourists are bound to discover a few hidden gems in unexpected places in the most mystical and magical circumstances. One such foodie destination is the Samarkand, a theme based north-west frontier restaurant. Launched by the BJN group of hotels of the Museum Inn fame, the restaurant, a first of its kind in the city, has sought to recreate the rustic ambience of Samarkand, a place known for legendary personalities, culture and lavish delicacies. Prakash B Nichani, managing director, Museum Inn and the brain behind Samarkand, said, "The crowd in Bangalore is always open to change and very experimental, when it comes to trying out new cuisines. The ambience in the restaurant has been created keeping in mind the rough arid terrain of Afghanistan. The response has been terrific and we intend to launch more such restaurants in the near future."

Exquisitely designed by Shiraj, a renowned architect, Samarkand features 4 different divisions which can accommodate around 140 people at any given time. The interiors of the restaurant incorporates a unique combination of subtle elegance and sumptuous luxury deeply influenced by the northwest frontier provinces. The dim lit surroundings, rough stony floorings and walls, aesthetically designed low-seating tables and wooden chairs valid insights in to the glory of the Afghan era. To add to the ethnicity of the restaurant, a portion of the roof is tastefully adorned with decorative shiny objects giving it a sparkling blue sky look and making it an ideal place to sit, relax and unwind after a hard day's work.

This apart, the glory of Afghan is well depicted on the rugged walls through classy paintings, ethnic paraphernalia used by men of yore.

Further accentuating the finesse of interiors are the flame like torches mounted on the walls giving it rather a romantic look. Being an theme based restaurant, the samarkand offers a wide variety of rare Afghani and Peshawari delicacies. This is further complemented by exotic tandoors, kebabs and other drinks from the Central Asian regions.

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