Maharaja 瑪哈印度餐廳 (khh, tnn)

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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.

Tandoori goodness in the making.
Goodness in the making, can you guess what? 😉

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.

Chicken Biryani (230NT) and Mumbai Lamb Seekh Kebab (300NT).
The lamb kebab comes highly recommended, the meat was tender, well seasoned, kind of reminded of merguez.
The chicken biryani held its own too.
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Aloo Gobi (200NT) and Palak Paneer (290NT).
Solid rendition of those two indian classics. I liked those threads of ginger on the palak paneer, a little Taiwanese touch. XD
Promotion on selected naans, and the set menu for 2. For parties of 3/4 people, another set menu is also available. For a glimpse at other pages of the menu, check the Additional Reviews links at the end of the post.

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:

Appetizers: tomato soup (tamatar ka shorba), chicken soup (gaffari shorba), masala papadum, vegetable samosas.
The soups were OK, but I’d gladly exchange both of them for one more portions of papadum or samosa which I liked much better.
Chicken tikka, good stuff, ’nuff said.
The mango lassi was good but they put ice cubes in it, which weirded me out since I rarely put ice in my yogurt, so make a mental note of requesting for no ice if you prefer your lassi thicker, as I do.
Butter naan, and garlic naan. Aloo gobi and murgh makhani (red butter sauce chicken) curry. All delicious. Both plates were left sparkly clean.
Kheer, indian rice pudding, cardamom flavored, portion wayyyyy too small for my love of this dessert.
Kheer, indian rice pudding, cardamom flavored, portion wayyyyy too small for my love of this dessert, haha.
But this is really the final full stop of the meal.
But the final full stop of the meal, after settling the bill, is the mukhwas, those sugar coated fennel seeds acting as a palate cleanser. I love it, its candy-like sweetness and refreshing taste. Don’t forget to get a spoonful on your way out!

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.

Website: Kaohsiung (Tainan 1, Tainan 2)
Additional Reviews+Photos: pixnet/nigi33kimo, pixnet/windko0813, pixnet/tiersen (Tainan)
Price: 400NT+ (+10% of service fee)
Menu: Chinese and English

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2 thoughts on “Maharaja 瑪哈印度餐廳 (khh, tnn)

  1. I have the feeling that each Indian restaurant I visited so far was named Maharaja, seems to be a very popular name 🙂
    Anyways, once a while I like Indian food but it is pretty heavy (at least what I choose and like) so I never go more than once a year

    Like

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