It’s hard to forget my first time at an Indian restaurant in Taiwan, it was in Taipei and left me traumatized. While patiently waiting for our food, Mr. 小強 showed up on our table, and then went hiding in the tray of clean utensils. Horrified, I mentioned it to my friend, who unemphatically thought I was hallucinating, until he confirmed it as well. With Mr. 小強 in mind and not knowing his whereabouts, but certainly too close for comfort, the food that arrived felt rather unappetizing, and utterly disappointing it was. At some point, the owner left the cramped kitchen, with his dirty polo marked by spots of flour, it looked rather unprofessional, and kind of explained the presence of Mr. 小強.
Needless to say, after this horrific episode (#FirstWorldProblem), I wasn’t in a hurry of eating Indian food again, but not wanting to let one rotten apple spoil the bunch, I gave it another chance when returning to my stomping grounds.
Behind a no-frills name, Maharaja, boasts a nicely Indian-style decorated restaurant, with a semi open-kitchen and flat screens running some catchy Bollywood. The three chefs are Indian, all very professional looking in their chef attire, while the servers, all Taiwanese, wear some sort of kurta or sari which look nice on them as well. The whole place has a pleasant atmosphere, and appears to be well-received in the community. On the few times I went, on the week-ends, I always saw some big family gathering going on.
The chefs clearly know what they are doing. I know I would not trust myself with those huge skewers in the kitchen, or don’t get too close if you see me with one, haha.
For first-timers, the set menu is actually a pretty good deal I think, everything is pretty much chosen for you, and you only need to decide your carbs, bread or rice, that is the question. Don’t worry, there’s no wrong answer 🙂 .
A few weeks ago, while watching The Lunchbox at the Eslite Art House, many times through the movie, all I wanted was to dash out of the movie theater, and storm into Maharaja. And so, when back in Kaohsiung, I seized the first opportune time to go, and indulged with the menu for two. Here’s how it went down:
All in all, I recommend Maharaja, it may be tad pricey, but worth it, in my opinion. They also have two locations in Tainan, manned by professional Indian chefs as well, and if the quality is as good as in Kaohsiung, then it should be a safe bet.