Monday, May 30, 2011

Back to Maurya for 1000 points

Maurya Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

A little while back I mentioned 1,000 point tables from Open Table, the online restaurant table reservation service when I went to the Granville Room.

Another 1,000 point table (which puts you halfway toward a $26 voucher), and one that's very easy to get 1,000 points with, is Maurya Indian Cuisine. It's fallen off the map from Dine Out Vancouver now, but back in 2009, it came out well ahead of the competition, and it's most popular dishes on the Dine Out Menu are still proudly featured. I recently caught up with an old (vegetarian) friend there. Our order came out to...

  • Chaat Tikki (2009 Dine Out Vancouver Award for best appetizer) potato and pea cakes pan-toasted, served with chickpeas, mint chutney, tamarind chutney, and yogurt
  • Chicken Chettinad (2009 Dine Out Vancouver Award winner) marinated chicken in South Indian chettinad paste of coconut and poppy seeds; South Indian specialty served with rice and naan bread
  • Garlic and Basil Naan Indian leavened bread flavoured with chopped garlic and basil
  • Malai Kofta vegetable and cheese dumplings in a creamy cashew sauce scented with cardamom
  • 2 glasses of wine

The total was $66.10, $90 after tax and tip.

The Chaat Tikki was one large block of potato cake, about the size of a hockey puck. Despite the menu listing, it was a single cake, with a token salad on the side. Curiously tasty for a potato cake, even without the chickpea mix and chutney.

Chicken Chettinad was blocks of white meat swimming in an orange curry. It looked and tasted somewhat like butter chicken, though not quite. I ordered it spicy, and in hindsight I think that was a mistake as there was a bitter overtone to the spiciness that competed with the delicious curry.
On the plate it didn't look like much curry, but once you add in the bowlful of rice, token salad, and naan, you were stuffed.

The Malai Kofta was three large balls each slightly larger than a golf ball. Again, it didn't look like a lot, but the potato base helped to make it filling, and my dining partner was stuffed after savoring every last bite and drop of curry with her Garlic Naan. Although the menu says "sauce", it's actually more like a small quantity of thick soup in its consistency and the amount you got.
The Naan didn't look like it had any basil, but that might have been because she specifically asked for garlic naan without looking at the menu, and the server may have had the basil held. Not much of a cashew taste to the sauce.

There is a separate and, to me, very disappointing dessert menu with just three items, one of which was ice cream. We gave it a pass.

Overall a solid choice for an Indian restaurant and you're pretty much guaranteed to leave stuffed.
The room is one big high-ceiling dining hall that can accommodate very large parties. The square tables can fold out into rounds to seat even larger groups. We went on a Saturday evening, so there was quite a number of diners and buzz -- very much different from the half-empty room during Dine Out Vancouver 2010.

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