Maharaja Indian Restaurant

Where are you eating and what do you think? What's opening, closing, succeeding, failing?
Chuck_Schick
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:52 pm

Geez, thanks Wags. I just tried saying that four times fast and sprained my tongue.

I'll be sending you the bill.

Meph
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Postby Meph » Thu May 31, 2007 9:22 am

To sum that all up. He's wrong, Maharaja is good and the Chicken Vindaloo is fine and quite spicy. The decor inside(Odana Location) could use a little touch up, but the food is out of this world.

zelda
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Postby zelda » Thu May 31, 2007 10:48 am

I like Maharaja on Odana quite a lot - have never been disappointed. I even like their lunch buffet and I'm a person who usually avoids lunch buffets because it seems that places generally focus on quantity rather than quality at buffets. However, I just had the chicken vindaloo last week and was disappointed to find that it wasn't "hot" spicy. It was very tasty, but not hot. Maybe they see a woman of a certain age and automatically tone it down?

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Postby NullDevice » Thu May 31, 2007 1:30 pm

I went to Swagat the other day and they asked me if I wanted it "mild" or "medium." I tried not to take it personally.

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Postby Meph » Thu May 31, 2007 4:05 pm

zelda wrote:I like Maharaja on Odana quite a lot - have never been disappointed. I even like their lunch buffet and I'm a person who usually avoids lunch buffets because it seems that places generally focus on quantity rather than quality at buffets. However, I just had the chicken vindaloo last week and was disappointed to find that it wasn't "hot" spicy. It was very tasty, but not hot. Maybe they see a woman of a certain age and automatically tone it down?


This is odd as I have ordered food from there "hot" and it was quite hot. It wasn't over powering but it did have a nice kick. If you wanted it crazy hot then ask for it and I am sure the cook will oblige.

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Postby Villanelle » Sat May 03, 2008 2:37 pm

I comepletely agree about the Indian food at Maharaja. I know everybody will probably cry about this, but I wasn't impressed with their food either.
I just moved here from a larger city where there was great Indian food and I feel that Maharaja is good for people who haven't tried really good Indian food.

I think it lacks in authenticity. Indian food is supposed to be extremely hot even when you order medium. When you order "very hot" it is supposed to make you consider a trip to the ER. That's the fun of it for lovers of spicy food. I guess, the mild sauce is appealing to the sausage and cheese crowd.

I tried their vindaloo and thought it tasted good, but it wasn't amazing and I didn't desire to have it again. Also, naan is a really important staple in Indian food. It is supposed to slightly crispy on the outside and soft and succulent on the inside. Maharaja's naan was just soft and limp.

I'm trying either Maharani or India Darbar next. Anyone prefer one over the other?

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Postby Das Binky » Sun May 04, 2008 6:57 am

Villanelle wrote:I just moved here from a larger city where there was great Indian food and I feel that Maharaja is good for people who haven't tried really good Indian food.

This is really a recurring theme for Madison imports (including me)... the [insert ethnic cuisine] food here just isn't as good as [much larger city I just came from]. And it's generally true. I haven't found any great Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Jewish, Middle Eastern, etc. places in town.

That doesn' mean they're horrible. Maharaja and Swagat both give decent and plentiful Indian food, and I've heard good things about both Maharani and India Darbar. It's not like eating Indian in London, but it does the trick. And you can find decent ethnic places from just about any persusion... Madison is probably over-represented for its size in terms of variety. But we are still in a relatively small town. The most authentic / tasty stuff you'll find is local, not international.

At least with Gotham Bagels downtown we finally have some passable NY style bagels. There's progress.

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Postby Veeder » Sun May 04, 2008 10:20 am

I've lived in two of the largest cities in the US and I think Maharaja is just fine.

$8.95 for a weekend buffet?! What is this 1960? And its good.

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Postby Villanelle » Sun May 04, 2008 3:13 pm

Veeder wrote:I've lived in two of the largest cities in the US and I think Maharaja is just fine.

$8.95 for a weekend buffet?!


It's not horrible at all, but price and quantity make it more appealing than the actual quality of the food and quality is what makes a restaurant good.

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Postby Veeder » Sun May 04, 2008 3:19 pm

Villanelle wrote:...and quality is what makes a restaurant good.


I strongly disagree. The relationship between the quality and the food and the VALUE of the food is what makes a restaurant good.

If the food is the best quality but a restaurant charges $400 a meal then - in my book - the restaurant still sucks.

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Postby Henry Vilas » Sun May 04, 2008 5:22 pm

I like the Taj on Park St. It's close for me, reasonably priced and tasty.

I've only been to the lunch buffet at the Taste of India on Monroe St. Also close to the Henry Vilas manor, but by the looks of their dinner menu, more pricer than the Taj. The Taj also offers many more entrees choices.

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Postby Villanelle » Sat May 10, 2008 11:55 am

We went to India Darbar last night for dinner and overall I found it a lot more satisfying than Maharaja.

The atmosphere was kind of like a chinese buffet restaurant--not my favorite ambience, but the food was good and we were happy. While WWE played on the small tv in their front room, we enjoyed our creamy mango juice and delicious kashmiri kulcha, naan stuffed with ground nuts and dried fruit. This is our favorite naan and they did it great here. I found the lamb vindaloo and lamb masala much tastier at India Darbar although we thought the sauces could've been thicker. We also ordered our dishes "regular spicy" rather than very spicy and found the amount of heat to be perfect. Also, the papadum was delicious.

The only things I would of changed would be the lemonade, which was watered down, and if the tv must be playing I could have gone for some nba playoffs rather than speedo-wearing men putting the "smack down" on eachother. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves and the food and plan to order a lot more naan in the future.

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Re: Maharaja Indian Restaurant

Postby john_titor » Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:55 pm

We went here last week.

As a fatboy that enjoys his food, cheap meals and being uncomfortably full, I won all three.

I tried the new Indian place on the square a couple of months ago. Meh. Sdame for place right off the square. We were headed to the other place off Odana (as were two other cars that we followed to Maharaja) but they were closed with a sign in the window about a new place.

Entering the restaurant, I am instantly the ugly American, as they in their impeccable ties and accents greet me and my un-washed hair, dirty-clothed self with eagerness, compassion and an inner-sense of peace that makes me feel that my wife's third table changing request would be met with grace and understanding. (it was)

A whole new appetizer table? = 3 plate meal. This was not up the last time I was there. I do not know the names of most Indian food. Six or seven different things + lamby meatballs. Fried veggie stuff which was quite decent. Sauce/chutney curious exploration did not disappoint at this stage. I skipped the two soups, coconut and tomato.

A lot of meat dishes on the entree table. They had more heat, by default, than any of the other Indian places I have eaten at recently. Not too hot, just enough to get out the flavor.

The goat curry actually had goat in it. I am used to dredging the abyss of the pot in attempt to find a piece of meat. Tandoori stuff good. Moist.

The vegetarian dishes were weak (tautology, I know) but one would think an Indian joint could kick out some spectacular stuff. Kind of watery and lacking in flavor.

Two types of rice, some sort of noodle that looked and tasted like a peanut-less pad thai. Good stuff.

Good, flavorful nan at the table decent lassis for the kids.

I did not have dessert.

2 adults 2 kids $30 +tip.(plant your corn early)

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Re: Maharaja Indian Restaurant

Postby persia » Mon Nov 02, 2009 9:40 pm

Indian restaurants in America that are in non-Indian areas seem to suffer from the blands. You can go to Devon St in Chicago and order the mild and it will be spicier than the hot in Madison. This doesn't seem to happen in other parts of the world, a Vindaloo in Sydney or Bourke in Australia is a proper vindaloo, a phall in Salisbury is as hot as one in Southhall. Why are Americans such pussies?

The Indian buffets here in Madison suck big time. They are overwarmed, underspiced and use cheap ingredients. Maharaja and Dabar are tolerable. THe one on Monroe Street is not horrible. The only one that even rates a "meh" is Swagat...

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Re: Maharaja Indian Restaurant

Postby TAsunder » Tue Nov 03, 2009 9:51 am

Indian Buffets in general do not represent quality Indian cuisine as a rule. And yes, I'm including the ones on Devon St in Chicago.


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