Chef Bikram Das couldn’t be happier to finally have the chance to show off his creative flair at Amber India in San Jose’s Santana Row.
Yes, it’s only recently that he’s been able to fully do that. Because Das had the unfortunate timing of arriving as head chef in March 2020.
Initially, he had high hopes that the restaurant would be able to succeed with food to-go.
But his optimism was dashed, when he realized that many of the apartments at the upscale retail-restaurant-housing complex were corporate-owned, and thus, largely empty during the pandemic.
However, with both indoor and outdoor dining now offered, Das is thrilled to offer an array of classic dishes, as well as contemporary ones that take inspiration from Italian and other Asian fare he’s cooked at hotels in India.
I had a chance to sample some of his handiwork, when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant last week.
There are plenty of outdoor tables right in front of the restaurant, which provides for a great people-watching vantage point, especially with a craft cocktail in hand. Santana’s Revolver ($14) is a take on a Manhattan, a potent blend of Bulleit Rye, Tia Maria, and Angostura orange bitters for a smoky, honeyed-vanilla punch.