Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar
01908 242 665
The Hub, 2 Rillaton Walk, Milton Keynes, MK9 2FZ
Have you ever received a nicely wrapped gift and thought ‘I know what this is?’ And then, on unwrapping your present – found you were wrong? This wasn’t the present you expected at all? In fact, it was far nicer than you ever imagined?
We encountered a similar scenario as we approached Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar in The Hub. This is, after all, an Indian restaurant. Like the unwrapped gift, we were pretty sure we knew what to expect. How very wrong we were!
Relaxed and intimate
Maaya is a modern restaurant not just in appearance but in its approach to food. Beautifully decorated, the surroundings are fresh, and with perfect lighting – the scene is set for a relaxed and intimate dining experience. Then, from the perception of modern, transcends a rustic feel which comes across from the menu containing authentic Indian cuisine. A menu that includes a selection of dishes that put simply, are an absolute delight.
We decided to order some drinks first, accompanied by two spicy and two plain poppadoms. We wanted to enjoy these while taking our time over what is an intriguing menu. As we made our choices my guest commented, “Just from eating these poppadoms and the delicious chutneys – you can tell the food here is going to be seriously good.”
My guest and I were both taken by the ‘Street Snacks.’ These dishes are aptly named. They are authentic street food dishes from India and it is these dishes that immediately make Maaya a dining experience with a difference.
A brilliant introduction to food at Maaya
Delhi Paari Chaat was my choice to start. Crispy delicate pieces of pastry topped with chickpeas and potatoes, accompanied by sweet yoghurt and tamarind. Deghi mirch sprinkle. My waiter kindly pointed out this was a cold dish. I was keen to try something new. I’ve never had the pleasure of eating anything quite like this before.
Beautifully presented, I adored the contrasting textures between the subtle crunch of the pastry and the soft potato and chickpeas which were brought together amazingly well by the gorgeous yoghurt. This was ultimately a generous looking starter, but proved to be incredibly light.
My guest opted for the Spicy Chilli Chicken. Calcutta style Indo-Chinese chilli chicken with onions and peppers in soy sauce. How could I possibly have menu envy when I was so in love with my own starter? This was delicious! As the description implies, this almost tastes like a Chinese dish, but the flavours were far superior to any Chinese variety I have sampled. As you may have gathered by the “I” in the last sentence, yes, I had to pinch some from my guest and try it for myself. This dish looked outstanding, and it possessed a lovely spicy kick too.
For our main courses we I decided to order the following and share. Murgh Jalfrezi was our first choice of curry. Chicken strips with bell peppers in an onion and tomato gravy spiced with garam masala and fresh green chillies. The second, a surprising choice given neither of us would class ourselves lovers of fish was the Hinga Tawa Masala. Pan griddled tiger prawns with black pepper, crushed coriander seeds and caramelised onion. Both these curries were incredibly tasty. I particularly loved the tiger prawns. They were huge, meaty and cooked to perfection. We needed all of our garlic naan to finish off the remainder of the amazing sauce.
What already endears me to the food at Maaya is their ability to produce dishes that taste incredibly fresh. There’s a generous amount of heat in the above mentioned Jalfrezi dish for example, but it’s the freshness of the ingredients and incredible flavours that shine through. I also loved the way the accompanying rice and onion bahjis were served in miniature saucepans. Cute!
When my guest mentioned the food here would be “seriously good” – they were not wrong!
Maaya means business!
Ever feel the need for a generous lunch but simply don’t have the time? Maaya offer an Xpress Buffet Lunch, which is available on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12pm until 2.30pm. With over 20 dishes, sides, salads and starters, there’s plenty to choose from. The cost is just £6.95pp.
Find out more about Maaya by visiting their website: www.maayamiltonkeynes.com