Indian dinner at Amber in Santana Row, San Jose, CA

I had recently written my review of Amber Cafe at Mountain View. As promised here is a follow up on the Amber family of restaurants with my review of Amber Restaurant in Santana Row.

It was a business dinner and we were a large group of people. Some of the people in the group were Indian, others multinational. Amber offered a good place to sample Indian food that was tailored for a global audience. The restaurant is located in upscale Santana Row neighborhood of San Jose. The ambiance of Amber is one of opulence. It is a good place to have dinner, sights and sounds wise and a really solid Indian restaurant showcase in the Valley.

We were famished and decided to start off with appetizers. For the vegetarians, we ordered  Tandoori Cauliflower and Panchpooran Paneer Tikka. Most of us had mango lassi. The appetizers arrived after a while. They both tasted great but the Tandoori cauliflower was a bad idea. It was nothing but mildly spiced cauliflower florets taken from the tandoori over. We had barely a handful of florets and the dish price was all of $15.95. To call that overpriced would be a glorious understatement. The paneer tikka portion size was also measly for the price. But at least there was some effort that went into making the paneer tikka and it tasted good.

For the main course, we ordered multiple assorted bread baskets to go with the entrees. We ordered two vegetarian curries – Subz Malabar and Khubani Kofta. I didnt want to eat much of the curry and decided to go with a Mizuna and Black Figs salad with goat cheese. The salad was great. I loved it. I sampled the Subz Malabar and the Khubani Kofta, both of which were pretty good. I would not call them outstanding but they were definitely tasty. I would have liked more koftas in the Khubani Kofta.

The overall party felt good about the dinner and in that aspect, Amber had done what it promised. It offered a high class Indian dining experience (with a suitably pricey bill to boot). With my 3 years in Bay Area, I could have picked a place that was much cheaper and offered much better Indian fare but Amber offered an ambiance that suited the needs of the group. For that, it is a South Bay standout.


Ambiance: 9.25/10. The place looks great. Simply one of the better if not the best looking Indian restaurant in the South Bay.

Service: 8.5/10. Service was good, not great. It was slower than I would have liked but the size of the group and a relatively busy dinner time would explain the delay.

Food: 8.25/10. Good but nothing spectacular.

Price: 7.5/10. It is very expensive for the Indian food they offer. No other way to put it. You pay a sizable premium for the name and the ambiance.

Restroom: 9/10. Nice and clean.

Overall: 8.25/10. A worthy place for a special Indian dinner when you are not worried about the final bill. Otherwise, there are better options in South Bay.