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Mali’s Indian Restaurant

Mali’s Indian Restaurant
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Groups, Kids
Food
Coffee, Indian
Payment
Diners Club, Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R40

Critic's review

Nikita Buxton

An old Berea house sets the scene for a comforting Indian feast at this local gem, with dishes influenced by both northern and southern parts of India.

Food
Tiny bowls of softly stewed chickpeas and fried mustard seeds are brought to the table as tasty amuse bouche and this sets the scene for what’s to come: a serious feast of Indian flavours. Start with the mushroom manchurian, an Indo-Chinese speciality comprising deep-fried mushrooms coated in fiery Chinese spices. The gobi manchurian dry is sensational. Florets of cauliflower are deep-fried and mixed with a glorious sticky and spicy dressing, making for a messy and marvellous mouthful. The spicy prawns in chilli are also a hit.

On the curry front, the chicken tikka masala is wonderfully balanced, with a good spice kick and tender chicken pieces. If you’re after some serious heat, the lamb pepper fry in a dry-style gravy with green chilli and a generous helping of black pepper is just the ticket.

Vegetarians are also taken care of with a satisfying palak paneer with a sweet-and-savoury spinach gravy and pleasing chunks of paneer cheese. The lentil-and-bean curry (dal makahani) is also a comforting choice and great as an accompaniment to the meat dishes.

The sides here are meant for sauces and come in the form of mountains of jeera rice tossed with cashews, garlicky naan, or light-as-air paratha (be sure to order double a double portion).

For dessert, don’t miss out on the sodji. This warm bowl of sweet semolina porridge with raisins and nuts recalls nostalgic memories of warm porridge breakfasts. It’s absolutely moreish.

Drinks
A small drinks list includes some familiar wines and beers. If you’re after a bottle of something special to pair perfectly with your curry, rather take your own. If you’re going alcohol-free, there’s always a Bombay crush.

Service
Friendly, attentive and informative. Ask for the chef’s recommendations and you won’t be disappointed.

Ambience
The space, which is located in an old Durban house, is warm and comfortable. It’s simply decorated with hues of red and orange, making it a cosy spot on cooler days.

Best for…
A hearty weeknight feast with family or friends.

(2018)

Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their meals in full. Read our full editorial policy here.

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User reviews

  • Though the decor/setting isn't overly appealing, do not be fooled - this place is a gem. Good service, great dishes, an authentic taste experience! Go with a crowd or on a date.
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  • I noticed Mali's hasn't been reviewed on Eatout in two years, so maybe they have upped their game, because this was some of the best Indian I've had in SA and I've personally dined at all the top PTA, JHB and CPT Indian places. The ambience of the restaurant is very compact and homey, which suits the Indian style, so I have no complaints. Our food was also served in traditional copper bowls as expected, also very authentic and added to the experience as a whole. Our two waiters were friendly and very helpful, even when giving advice or answering questions about the dishes. We had the Butter Chicken and Chiken Chettinad, which were both simply perfect. Incredibly tasteful, yet not overpowering in any way, as many Indian places sometimes try to hard and kill the main ingredients. We ended off the meal with a very rare method of Sooji - made with carrot - it was truly Indian and absolutely to-die-for. Top Indian Cuisine!
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Menu

Set menu - Menu currently not available

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Booking required
  • Child friendly
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways

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