As one of the very few family-run restaurant chains left in Singapore today, the Maharajah name is synonymous with culinary excellence, akin to its literal reference to “great king”. Located in Singapore ‘s Orchard Road , the Orchard Maharajah serves authentic North Indian cuisine. It has been twenty years since they first opened doors and now they four more outlets, including a Mexican/Italian café.
Diners who wish to get away from the sweltering heat of the day may opt for seats indoors. The décor is simple yet reminiscent of the Moghul era with framed pictures of the Moghul ladies as well as an intricately-embroided carpet, a gift from a patron. Alternatively, an al fresco dining area is also available for individuals who wish to enjoy the warm hospitality of sunny Singapore , but rest assured as this section is well ventilated with cool fans.
The secret of North Indian cuisine lies in a cylindrical clay oven better known as the tandoor. It is believed that this method of cooking retains the flavours and juices in meat and bakes bread such as the naan and pratha in a healthy way.
If you are tired of the usual Tandoori chicken, why not be adventurous and partake in something more ‘uncommon’. Embark on your culinary adventure with the Tandoori Fish ($15.50), comprising of marinated fish roasted in the tandoor. The fish is pleasantly moist and succulent on the inside, while the exterior is slightly crisp and well-flavoured by the spices used. Other must-try dishes include the Chicken Tikka Butter Masala ($16.80) and Lamb Goa Curry ($16.90). With bite-sized chicken pieces first baked in the tandoor, the former is served in a spicy, and slightly sour, butter sauce that is the perfect dip for Maharajah’s range of naans . Only fresh chicken and young lamb, not mutton, are used in the chicken and lamb dishes respectively. While rich in spice and flavour, the meat sauces are not overly spicy and thus, suitable for most individuals. Those who need their greens can try the Vegetable Jhalfrazie ($12.50), which is basically an assortment of vegetables cooked with spices and cottage cheese.
Notable staples to accompany the rich sauces of the meat dishes include the Pudina Pratha ($3.90) and Kashmiri Naan ($4.20), served in generous portions. Prata-aficionados take note, as the common prata takes on a healthy twist with the use of wholemeal flour, baked in the tandoor and glazed with mint. The chopped fruit and citrus peel on the Kashmiri Naan is a sweet surprise with every bite and provides a different dimension of flavour when dipped into your favourite curries or sauces.
Pamper your sweet tooth with desserts like the Gulab Jamun ($4.90) and Kulfi ($6.10). The former boasts of spongy balls of thickened milk drenched in sweet, scented syrup. The Kulfi, on the other hand, is an interesting Indian take on ice cream. Made with fresh milk, slices of it are drizzled with chopped pistachios, giving the creamy dessert a nutty texture as well. The perfect drink to complement the saccharine desserts would be the Maharajah Tea ($4.50). Laced with delicate spices, the tea is fragrant and yet, not overpowering, providing you with that all-important boost of caffeine.
Having been served warmly by a waiter named Biru, it is conclusive that the service staffs are generally hospitable and familiar with the menu. Good recommendations were made in order to ensure guests a pleasant dining experience.
SD Food Advisor’s take on Orchard Maharajah
Interestingly, the cuisine served here at the Orchard Maharajah is recommended for a safe initiation into the North Indian culture. Notably, the items chosen may not be high on the list of typical North Indian favourites, yet it is impressive that these dishes still boast delectability and high standards synonymous with the Maharajah group of restaurants. With such emphasis on the freshness and authenticity of ingredients and service, one can be assured of quality and consistency, something that is truly lacking in some establishments these days.
Other Maharajah North Indian Restaurant’s Outlet
Boat Quay Shop Houses, Boat Quay, 41, 049830
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