Food, and that too local delicacies, are as important a part of visiting a new city/country as is sightseeing. Udaipur has its share of good and not-so-great restaurants and owing to an exhaustive research beforehand, we were sure where all to go and could manage it well during our 3-day visit there.
Our 2nd night’s dinner in Udaipur was at one of the most popular and sought-after restaurant called, Ambrai. The AWESOME location, right on the Pichola Lake facing the Lake Palace, will bowl you over on a clear starry night. And the décor, just perfect for an open air restaurant, with tables laid out in a big courtyard facing the lake. The tables near the edge offer the best and unobstructed view of the city at night. What made it special for us was that we were there on the eve of Diwali. The entire city was lit up and you could see it on the waters of the Pichola Lake. Heavenly!!
How Is The Food In Hotel Ambrai? We ordered Chicken Reshmi Kebabs for our starters and Lal Maas for the main course with Laccha Parantha (Indian bread). They have a good variety of wine and beer – allthough a little expensive for a place like Udaipur. The food frankly is average with little inputs coming in from the unconcerned waiters. The kebab was dry and nothing close to what we expected. Disregarding the short-coming of the kebab, we waited for the famed Laal Maas. The dish looked fantastic – all red, living up to its name with soft succulent boneless mutton pieces. What we underestimated was the ‘laal’ part or the chillies … it was one of the hottest dishes we have ever had and had our head started spinning in seconds of tasting the darned thing. Beer did not help, neither did water or anything. Frankly, the taste was perfect. We wished we had insisted for a medium/milder version – which I am not sure they would have entertained. We heard others also complain about the excessive chillies in the dish later on and wish we were warned. We ordered Kheer (Rice Pudding) for desserts to combat the Laal Maas. A life-saver!!
A Word About The Staff @Hotel Ambrai: Sadly, the staff at Ambrai is not very friendly. If I were to not mince words, they are arrogant with a definitive bias towards foreigners. It is so appalling that Indians have to face racial discrimination in their own country. While you will find them tom-toming all fair-skinned (no pun intended) visitors, you will find them ignorging your table for napkins, water or even the menu-card. Disgraceful!
A point to note – they don’t take reservations after 9pm apparently, so try and reach there early if you want a good lake-facing table.
How To Reach Hotel Ambrai? Once again, Ambrai, being located in the old part of Udaipur city, was not an easy place to reach. Even the restaurant staff advises using the rickshaw for easy navigation in the narrow lanes.
Is Hotel Ambrai Worth It? Yes. From the perspective of the ambience, fantastic view and the experience. And not necessarily from the perspective of good food or good hospitality.