It’s unwise to have starters – because curry portions are hearty – but if you’re feeling reckless, the chilli bites – perfectly crisp and fried fresh to order – are excellent. The samosas, too, will ruin you for the ordinary takeaway variety.
Then it’s imperative that you order the lamb curry on – or off – the bone. A rich tomato-based Madras sauce is redolent with spices, and beautifully balanced. The butter chicken is also very good – and creamy, rather than tomato-ey – so a good counterpoint to the lamb. Scoop it all up in flaky, buttery paratha.
There’s a good page of vegetarian dishes – the paneer options are great.
All curries are available from mild to vindaloo – so tailor your order to your chilli tolerance. If you find yourself breathing fire, order a cucumber raita to cool things down. The wonderfully salty-sour mango lime pickle is also worth adding to your order from the sides menu.
Finish with a vermicelli pud, or a Lindt chocolate brownie.
There are wonderfully thick mango lassis (also great if you’re breathing fire). Alternatively, order a bottle of Cederberg Bukketraube or gewurtztramminer, with sweeter notes that go well with the curries.
Perched on the corner of Kloof Nek, this converted house has a cosy interior that’s good for a hearty meal with friends.
Staff are helpful and food comes out in good time.
You’ll likely leave with a box of leftovers – so lunch tomorrow is taken care of.
Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Add the mango and lime pickle to your meal for that real 'just out of an Indian kitchen' feel.
Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
A small but representative wine list has some of the excellent wines of Diemersdal on offer.
Friendly and informative about the cooking, which can be complicated to some.
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.
Though they do not have a tandoori oven, they do make delicious naan bread and parathas, an essential accompaniment to this sort of cooking.
Wonderful, wonderful food...an excellent winter destination for curry lovers. You will not be disappointed.
Had a wonderful evening, dinner was superb - excellent lamb breyani and chicken korma. The service from our waitress was fantastic. Thank you Daniel.
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.
Had an awesome dinner, great Indian food and wine selection. Will be back soon - loved the paneer.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We had an awesome experience at the Maharajah on Friday night, the food was excellent as well as the service. Compliments to all.
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.
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.
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.
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 ,-)