Monday, May 12, 2014

Maya Da Dhabha

 Maya Da Dhabha

All right, this one is about Maya da Dhabha at Surry Hills. The context- last weekend in Sydney for my mom and brother and its mothers day as well. We head out from Strathfield at 2 in the afternoon. The lunch buffet at Nilgiri’s is an option, but we want to do something in the city. Zaaffran kitchen closes at 2:30, so that’s ruled out. And suddenly we remember that Maya Da Dhabha had beb on my to do list for quite some time. So we decided to go for it and give it a try.
Now, may years back when I had come to Sydney for the first time and always craved for Indian food, I did go to these restaurants a few times, but somehow I stopped going there. A few reasons included the long walk from Central station and the fact that I found better restaurants at other places. After so many yars I was back in Surry Hills. The good part of Maya Da Dhabha was that the kitchen was open all time. We took a cab from Central Station and arrived here. Settled for a table at the entrance next to the big window, watching the cars and traffic go by. It was a bright sunny day.
The order- simple- Tandoori Chicken and Amritsari Fish. The main course, Goat Curry and Karahi Chicken along with a bread basket. Now the interiors were about ok. Like Surry Hill, one of the old houses, converted into a restaurant. Stereotyped interiors, music and feel. The table was a bit sticky and we requested for it to be cleaned, but the waiter assured and disappeared. We had to remind again. Very soon the appetizers appeared. The tandoori chicken half, was quite a surprise to be honest. I thought being in Australia, the size of the chicken would be descent but it was quite small. The chicken looked extremely tempting and tasty. Perfectly grilled, and with red color, it reminded me of the tandorri Chickens from India. But a few bites and it was just about ok. The chicken was a bit too small pieces to be honest. Texture wise cooked ok and looked really good but taste wise, just missing the punch and a bit bland. I wished the color and spices went hand in hand. I found the salt very less and not spicy at all. So in my opinion- just OK, not that great.

Next came the Amritsari Fish. I enquired which they used at the time of ordering and it was ling Fish, something we like as well.So this preparation was deep fried fish in a chickpea batter. Now the fish when presented looked golden and crispy. Taste wise, initial bite and it was god. Not out of the world but nonetheless good. By this time I realized, I gotta to make it tasty. So I requested the waiter to get chaat masala and lemon. Once I sprinkled a generous amount of chaat masala and lemon,it was perfect. Loved it.

Lets come to the main course. We got the Karahi Chicken and the Goat Curry. After finishing the starters, we were a bit full and wondered if we had over ordered. But the serving size of the dishes was quite mall to be honest. The karahi chicken was again ok. The curry was a bit weak and resembled the curry I make at times at home. Well I do think I am a good cook, but at times I have my bad days. This curry texture was similar. The water of the curry, kind of separate from the main curry components. Being Kadhai Chicken, there were diced onions and capsicums, but I think the dish, while edible, but missed the mark. Again, just about ok and not too wow.
The goat curry was good with a darker and more spicier curry. Liked the curry. Good taste. The quality of goat meat was varying.  Some pieces were soft and tender meat while a few pieces were extremely chewy and tough. So the dish was again ok. I liked the gravy but wished the quality of meat was uniform.

The bread basket had an assortment of breads. The garlic naan, butter naan, cheese naan, Kashmiri naan. Again the breads were just ok. While fresh, I have had better bread elsewhere.

The service was ok, although I wish they frequently visited the table.
The biggest blunder was when we cam home. We had requested for a take away of the chicken and mutton curry and the breads. I expected them to be separately done. When we came home, they were in one box along with rice. Now we hadn’t ordered rice at all and I was just wondering whose rice was this. We threw away the food with doubts on the rice.
All in all, an average experience. I would probably not go there specially to be honest. If you are looking for a good Indian food experience, Id rather suggest Zaaffraan, or any other joint.

431 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills

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