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
500

Critic's review

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.

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  • 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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Facilities

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

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