Buhari Restaurant: Chennai

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By Danish, from Various media sources

Buhari is an iconic landmark in the heart of Chennai city on Anna Salai earlier known as Mount Road. It was established in 1951 by AL Buhari, a former Sheriff of Chennai.

The story started very early when Buhari went to Sri Lanka from his village in Tirunelveli district on the southern coast of India. He left for education purposes even though he was only around 10 years. He started trading in food and groceries to support his self sponsored education. After finishing his education Buhari realised his calling that his future was in the culinary industry. With this view he set up the first Hotel De Buhari in Colombo which later on became the start of a wonderful journey and a great legacy

Bihari returned to Chennai (then called Madras) and set up the first Buhari restaurant on Mount Road. He combined the fine dining of British with Indian food to shape a whole new dining experience for the food loving patrons. It was the first restaurant in the post independent Madras which gave a new meaning to the term Restaurant and Fine dining.

Buhari Hotel started in Mount Road still stands in its original location but wholly revamped. Over the years Buhari has created a lot of new dishes that revolutionised the culinary industry. Buhari introduced the mildly spicy Biryani of Colombo with a boiled egg nestled in a bed of saffron infused rice. The extremely tasty chicken fry introduced in 1965 and called the Chicken 65 still continues to be the most signature dish of the restaurant. They were also first in introducing the Juke box which played contemporary hit songs to make the atmosphere lively and boisterous for the patrons. Also they were the first to introduce the Espresso machines making cup after cup of coffee for the coffee lovers of the south

The traditional quality and taste of the Buhari signature dishes are still being maintained by the third generation of the family of Buhari. Buhari passed away in 1996. The family has taken an oath not to compromise on the quality and quantity of its food thereby keeping its patrons coming back for more

They have lots of branches in various parts of the city. In the 1960s the Buharis at Marina was a most popular hangout for the youth. [It was one of the first restaurants in India with a juke-box] However the first Buhari on Mount Road continues to be the pride of the family and still standing tall after more than 70 years.

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