Meet Your Good Neighbor Front Porch Series: Amber Indian Cuisine
When Bala Polachi moved to Wisconsin from the heat of India in 2005, it was a bit of shock.
“It was very cold!” he said, thinking back to that frosty October day.
While the cold weather took some adjustment, Polachi quickly warmed to the people of Wisconsin and today he co-owns Amber Indian Cuisine, a Middleton restaurant that wows diners with its carefully crafted dishes.
“Everything is made authentically,” said Polachi, who owns the restaurant with Masi Parimanam, the restaurant’s main chef.
Amber Indian Cuisine is located on University Avenue and it has a large dining room that seats up to 150 people. The menu is as expansive as the space, with dozens of traditional items from important regions of India.
“We do (food) for the north, we do (food) for the south and we do (food) for the Indo-Chinese,” he said. “You can try different things and try different flavors.”
Amber’s popular dishes include chicken tikka masala — cubes of white chicken meat that are roasted in clay oven and folded into a rich creamy tomato sauce and vegetable biriyani — aromatic basmati rice cooked with assorted fresh vegetables and rich Indian spices.
Polachi studied business and hospitality management in India before moving to the United States — he said his education has been invaluable in running the restaurant.
“Treat people with respect and do the hard work,” he said. “You’ll never fail, if you do the hard work.”
The pandemic posed enormous challenges to the restaurant industry, and last year Amber Indian Cuisine was forced to temporarily close its popular buffet, instead relying on carry-out service.
During these months, the phone kept ringing, as loyal customers called in order after order.
“Without their support we would not have a business,” Polachi said. “They are like family members.”
About Amber Indian Cuisine
6913 University Ave, Middleton, WI 53562
Hours: Open daily, 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.