It was a chilly Sunday and some spicy Indian food was just what we needed to warm up. We headed to Maya Masala Indian Restaurant, which is nestled in Market Street, just off Gouger in the heart of the Market district.
We arrived a little after 6pm and found the restaurant empty, we even had to wait a few seconds for an employee to appear. After being led past a display case full of homemade Indian desserts and paneer (Indian cheese), all of which were available for takeaway, we had our pick of tables.
As we perused the menu and took in the atmosphere - Bollywood music, large and highly ornate paintings, and the fragrance of incense - we noticed it wasn't all that warm inside, all the more reason to get some hot and spicy food in our bellies.
The menu offered most of the popular Indian dishes, such as Korma, Madras, Chicken Tikki Masala, and a wide variety of vegetarian dishes; but, the main focus was on Maya Masala's specialty: South Indian cuisine. There is a whole section dedicated to this style of Indian cooking and features various types of dosa (rice flour pancakes).
The menu also has a selection of Thali, or tasting plates, which are an excellent choice when you're after a little taste of everything. They all come with rice, pickle, pappadam, and dessert and then differ according to what sort of style and meat/veg you choose. Finally, there is an extensive drinks menu with wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.
When we finally made our choices our orders were taken promptly and shortly afterwards a few more patrons arrived and the place began to warm up. Our entrée took some time but was worth the wait. We shared the Mixed Platter for two that consisted of two vegetarian samosas, two sheesh kababs, two pieces of chicken tikka, a tangy yogurt dip, and a fresh cabbage and carrot salad with a light Indian inspired dressing. The sheesh kebab stole the show on this mixed platter; they were seasoned beautifully and went perfectly with the yogurt sauce.
For mains we shared rice and each got naan and a curry: lamb roganjosh and lamb vindaloo. The naan was fluffy in the middle and crispy around the edges, just like any good naan should be. Both curries were seasoned well and the lamb pieces were of a high quality with most of the fat and gristle removed. The vindaloo was the hottest curry I have had in Adelaide and really hit the spot.
With the reasonable prices and selection to choose from it probably will not be long until we are heading back down Market Street.
Maya Masala Indian Restaurant is open 7 days for lunch and dinner, and on Sunday afternoons for a Special Buffett.