Our visit to Amaya was completely last minute, spontaneous, and our first. We walked in not knowing what to expect and we were both impressed by the décor, especially with respect to other Indian restaurants in Rochester. Having comfy chairs and a couch, in a living room like setting, to lounge in while waiting for a seating is such a nice touch. We were seated immediately but I can imagine a fun social vibe should there be a wait time. Past the ‘sitting room’ the bar prominently stands out, again a surprise for an Indian restaurant in this area…I can see enjoying drinks with Indian appetizers as a nice change-up for an evening out vs. going to a bar/pub. We did not order any drinks. The wine list seemed wide enough to fit most tastes. Same for the beer selection.
Not knowing what was on offer, we asked and were promptly given a quick tour of what was an extensive set-up for Amaya’s Sunday Brunch. The best way I can put it is that if you want to stay Indian in your food selection you can, or you can add a few ’American brunch’ offerings like the roasted lamb, shrimp cocktail, omelets, cake, etc. I tasted the roasted lamb and it was good. All the better for those in your party who might be timid to try Indian dishes.
The quality of the Indian dishes stood out. They were less heavy than the “typical” Punjabi food that many restaurants in our area serve. And the selection was different than one would find in a typical brunch offering. Yes, there was Chicken Makhanni, so fear not if you are longing for a standard. The lamb in a red sauce was excellent. The cubes were tender, high quality, melt in your mouth…an unexpected difference from the tough and chewy meats I‘ve experienced at other brunches. Here’s another example: the whole eggs in the egg curry had been lightly battered and very lightly fried, a simple step and one that elevates the dish. There were two fish dishes, one grilled whole in rubbed spices, something I have not come across in other local Indian restaurants for brunch. There was a small carving station for the lamb and fish, as well as an active cooking station for small dosas, omelets, and for tandoori/dry cooked chicken/lamb.
As for suggestions for improvement based on this visit: some of the dishes were not marked; one of the wait staff was new and needed more training/time; a simple hand-out of what’s included in the brunch and the dishes on offer for that day would help.
Additional points: Amaya’s staff were pleasant and informative, dishes were cleared regularly, water refilled promptly. The booth we sat in was comfortable… I mention this because some booths are too deep, making them uncomfortable for some, at least they do for me. The restrooms were shiny clean! Always a good indicator.
We had an enjoyable experience and a delicious brunch.
Overall: We will be going back! I encourage you to find out for yourself.
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