Venues

Maharajah South Indian Restaurant (Cape Town)

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Cost
R130 avg main meal
Ambience
Authentic culture, Classic elegance, Family friendly
Food
Indian
Payment
Amex, Mastercard, Visa
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Critic's review

Jody Theodore

Food
The menu offers many choices which could very easily send your head into a spin. Luckily for you, the waiters are very knowledgeable and provide insight into the different options. The non veg snack platter is a very good start and allows you to sample the flavours you are about to experience. Moving on to mains, the lamb curry on the bone is delicious and for the vegetarians, you are surely spoilt for choice. Do try the paneer butter masala! As with any Indian meal, you need an array of accompaniments to enhance every bite – poppadums, parathas and raita are all available.

Drinks
A very good selection on the wine list. Everything needed to complement your curry meal is available here. Wines range from affordable to the decadent, for that special night out.

Service
Attentive waiters throughout the night make you feel very well looked after. Staff are knowledgeable and are quick to make recommendations from the menu – especially when it comes to warnings on their 'temperature' ratings (hot, medium and mild).

Ambience
There's a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. The small intimate space does mean that tables are limited and you might feel a bit left out if you are seated on the outside. Waiters are constant and always present, you get quite a homey feel – from the smells to the staff's warmth.

And...
Add the mango and lime pickle to your meal for that real 'just out of an Indian kitchen' feel.

(September 2016)

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  • Ingrid Jones

    Food
    It’s hard to find a restaurant serving authentic Indian curry the way you remember your mother and aunties made it. The Maharaj has been serving up authentic curries for the last 35 years. You can choose between mild, medium or strong on any dish, whether vegetarian, seafood or meat. If Vindaloo strength is your thing, you are in for a treat. The lamb off the bone curry has a rich, thick sauce, and one must have a paratha or roti with it to mop up all the juiciness. But then there’s also the prawn curry! Heaven on a plate. When in an Indian restaurant, try out the items that catapult you into an Indian taste sensation, like chilli bites, vermicelli pudding spiced with cardamom and cream, or lemon/lime pickle. It’s all about the food here – no fancy plating, no frills, just generous portions of real curry prepared by people who understand what the term ‘Indian curry’ means. If you want yellow, non-spicy curry, go somewhere else.

    Drinks
    They don’t have an extensive wine list, but there are some good options. If you want something specific, take your own. How about a lassi?

    Service
    Service is efficient and the waiters are knowledgeable about the food. They are not sommeliers though, so it’s best to know for yourself what kind of wine would suit your meal.

    Ambience
    Not a lot has changed at the Maharajah over the years. The restaurant is located in a converted house with two rooms of tables, and the street can get quite busy. The tablecloths are still orange, with a single flower or two on the table, the glasses are no Riedels, you’ll find no designer plates. But that’s not why you go there. It’s groupie heaven for lovers of Indian curries. If you really want to be authentic, ditch the utensils and eat the curry with your hands. Best!

    And…
    They do takeaways, for those of us challenged for time or not able to make a good curry. Better still, if you have a biggish function at your house or a smallish event, you can order from them, and pots of hot food can be collected if you pre-order with the correct quantities.

  • Greg Landman

    Food
    While the cooking of South India differs vastly from state to state, they all have some distinct similarities: the use of rice as a main ingredient, plenty of lentils and aromatics like garlic and ginger, and the use of coconut. Differing degrees of hotness using both dried red and fresh green chilies ups the ante and so it is here.  The dishes can be zooped up or down as you wish. A dish of mild chicken korma, for example, using a sauce of yoghurt, cream and nuts, becomes irresistibly rich without any heat, just the fragrance of the spices. The prawn curry is similarly delicate, as is the prawn breyani, highly aromatic with coriander and tamarind. If you want something hotter, order one of the lamb dishes, either on the bone or off, or the lamb rogan josh, slow cooked with yoghurt – but bear in mind that here “hot” means just that. The hot dishes are bound to bring a tear to the eye of anyone who has wandered into the Raj by mistake. Portions are generous, so pace yourself.

    Drinks
    A small but representative wine list has some of the excellent wines of Diemersdal on offer.

    Service
    Friendly and informative about the cooking, which can be complicated to some.

    Ambience
    If you want something upmarket and mysterious with quiet corners, this is not the place for you. Housed on the ground floor of a block of flats with big windows looking out on the traffic going up and down Kloofnek Road, here the food is what devotees from all over come for. The business has been in existence for more than thirty years and has long time customers who will go nowhere else.

    And...
    Though they do not have a tandoori oven, they do make delicious naan bread and parathas, an essential accompaniment to this sort of cooking.

    (July 2014)

  • A better-value alternative to some of the high-end spots, this restaurant is worth a trip for the meltingly tender, searingly hot lamb madras and the crisp, buttery paratha bread alone. Stand-out dishes: muttar paneer, chicken korma, lamb madras (off the bone), and paratha breads. (You can grab takeaways, too.)
  • Food
    This is one of the few places still offering a Durban curry, but the menu offers various styles of curry in seafood, chicken, lamb and vegetarian options. Starters include options such as samoosas, chilli bites and tikka masala fish. Meals are available in mild, medium or hot – and the hot is hot.

    Wine
    A very limited wine list with approximately ten reds and ten whites. They range from under R100 to a few hundred Rand. Corkage is R35 so it might be an idea to take your own wine.

    Service
    The waiters are friendly and are happy to make recommendations for those not familiar with Indian cuisine.

    Ambience
    The restaurant has simple décor, with some Indian-influenced design elements such as statues dotted around, small chandeliers and the white, red and gold walls. What it lacks in authentic décor it makes up for in atmosphere as the place is always buzzing.

    And...
    If you’re visiting for lunch you can order bunny chow even though it’s not on the menu. (DV, October 2012)

User reviews

  • Tracey Govender Went to this place on a whim and found it utterly surprising on a good level. The decor is simple and traditional but its better this way as the food is the reason anyone should venture into an Indian restaurant anyway. We ordered 5 different meals and all looked and tasted different. They each had different levels of 'hotness' depending on the level we had chosen. It was divine. I cook curry everyday at home and this was actually a lovely experience. Thank you guys
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  • Great all curry expereince. Best in the Cape.
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  • Brilliant food, brilliant service ! This is most definitely by far my favourite curry spot in Cape Town ! The food is simply delicious and well priced. The ambiance could be better, but the restaurant is clean and waiters friendly and helpful. Well done team !
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  • Jason and the team are brilliant. the food is pare excellence. I'll become a regular definitely.
    yours Gideon
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  • Delicious Food served with a smile! We have returned to this restaurant many time in the last year and love the succulent curries that are served. The food is fresh and service is good. Try the chicken on the bone or the Lamb curry - the best for me ! The paratha breads are simply the best !! See you again soon.
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  • Went to the restaurant in response to EatOut's review. Have to say I was very disappointed. Food not half as good as I anticipated. Decor outdated, service average. The sambals could not even be classified as sambals. There were 4 of us and all our curries looked the same. Portions were a good size but sadly not worth finishing.
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  • Wonderful, wonderful food...an excellent winter destination for curry lovers. You will not be disappointed.

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  • Had a wonderful evening, dinner was superb - excellent lamb breyani and chicken korma. The service from our waitress was fantastic. Thank you Daniel.

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  • Mouth watering lamb curry, best winter recipe ever....most amazing food in the world and that is certainly not an exaggeration. Will be back for more - a definite 10 stars.

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  • Had an awesome dinner, great Indian food and wine selection. Will be back soon - loved the paneer.

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  • One of the few places you can get a very nice, hot and spicy Indian meal in Cape Town! Our waiter was also great and gave us good advice on the best dishes to order. We'll definitely be back!

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  • On a recent visit the restaurant windows were all steamed up and we had the aroma of toilet at our table. A ventilation issue perhaps? What have you done to an old favourite?

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  • I had the most delicious Indian meal at the Maharajah. The food was divine from the lamb breyani to Chicken Korma we were very impressed and we will surely be back for more.

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  • From the decor to the uninspiring menu and overly acidic food, this is one of the worst meals I've had in Cape Town. I just can't see how this place receives rave reviews.

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  • After having an awful experience at Vintage India we were thereafter referred to the Maharajah Indian Restaurant - we had an amazing meal accompanied with warm and friendly service. I personally thought I was at home - the staff was great. Gosh the lamb curry was better than the Durban chow. Thumbs up to the Radisson hotel for sending us to the best curry house.

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  • Thank you for the amazing Indian cuisine - the food was out of this world. Best Indian restaurant made our holiday heavenly...beautiful city and beauiful food.

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  • Had a lovely time at the Maharajah. Amazing food, no words can describe the incredible taste of their butter chicken. The service from Kevin was excellent! Had an all round fantastic birthday evening out. Thank you.

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  • I generally moan at the quality of food in restaurants because the image of how a place looks tends to be more important than the standard of food that comes out of their kitchen. Having heard about the Maharajah from several close friends and associates I am pleased to announce that my experience was heavenly. I had the best curry at this establishment. They offer good wines and having tried a few of their dishes i was not dissapointed with any of the meals that we ordered. I am grateful to find a place that can make such a memorable dish. My mouth waters as I think of the Lamb off the bone. However I would like to suggest that the waiters learn to smile - they come across as stuck up. Can we please improve on this area, hence trying to perfect every aspect of the Maharajah.

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  • We had an awesome experience at the Maharajah on Friday night, the food was excellent as well as the service. Compliments to all.

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  • What Marvellous food, I had the best Butter Chicken in the world. Thank you to the Chef for producing such a high standard of food. This was really a divine dish.

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  • What a pity to have to read such a bad review. This is the number 1 Indian restaurant in Cape Town. Not to mention I have had the best North Indian dishes in this establishment. I say this not because I am a loyal customer but because for years and years I have been going back for this spectacular food. Such a pity Anton Ego - you should contact the owners as they thrive on customer excellence and the standard of the their food.

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  • What a disappointing experience at Maharajah! Having heard good things about this establishment, and being lovers of Indian food, we were hoping to find a new favourite in Cape Town. While the service (Kevin) was friendly and attentive, unfortunately the food fell far short of our expectations. It was difficult to tell the chicken korma and lamb rogan josh we ordered apart. In appearance, both had an unappetisingly yellow-pinkish tinge which reminded me of 1000 islands dressing rather than the rich, earthy colours I have come to expect from a curry. Both curries were virtually tasteless with no hint of chilli (even though we had ordered medium). We were unable to identify the usual aromatic spices that give these dishes their unique flavours. Although one expects these dishes to be rich, I might as well have eaten a tub of cream with some pink colourant. In light of the positive reviews this place has received in the past, I sincerely hope the chef had a bad night / misjudged his measurements, but I can't say I'll be back to have this confirmed.

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  • Been missing you since we left for Angola in February this year - but we back in August. Can't wait - hot lamb curry on the bone, good wine and charming service - see you soon ,-)

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  • Excellent food and great service.
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  • I ate at the Maharajah a week ago, a quiet Wednesday night, with 3 friends. We had fresh Kob curry, basmati rice and fluffy rotis.It was a very good curry, flavourful, a good balance of spices and the taste of the Kabeljou was enhanced. We felt so good that we finished off by sharing two of the famous delicately spiced creamy vermicelli desserts. Our waiter (Uncle) was attentive and kept a good rythm despite having about 5 other tables. The decor is very Cape Town Indian restaurant style, but they have added some curtains and put up all the pictures and created a bit of a vibe. Ive always loved their lamb on the bone, but if that fish curry is available then thats the other one to have.
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  • Its rare to find a restaurant in which absolutely everything is wrong. The decor and ambiance are depressing. It was boiling hot in the room, there is hardly any light. The waiters are hopeless and seem overworked. They got our bill wrong TWICE! And then there is the food... We had pappadums for starters (which were stale), then pickled mango (from a can), and raita which was tasteless. I had the watery lamb korma and my companions butter chicken was so bad we sent it back. Even the lassie tasted like plain watery yogurt.
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Dinner
  • Eat Out reviewed
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways

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