All reader reviews by ian_springham

Mai'da Indian Eatery

The food, service, atmosphere and value for money at Mai'da are hard to beat.

My wife and I visited on a damp Tuesday late afternoon, having booked after seeing the glowing reviews and fancying a change from our usual Indian eateries in Tooting. The fact that we had turned up 25 minutes early was not a problem, even perhaps welcomed.

The menu caters for a wide range of tastes, both vegetarian and non-veg (predominately) north Indian cuisine, along with Chinese-inspired dishes. In order to help maintain a clean palate, smoking has always been banned here and no alcohol is served. The range of fruit-based "mocktails" more than makes up for the lack of alcohol, along with a range of teas and lassis. Mai'da also specialise in milkshakes, incorporating almost any brand of popular chocolate bar; with a combined age of 94, we resisted such temptation as being designed for a much younger palate.

As we were both somewhat chilled by the weather, we opted to drink masala chai, which was subtly yet perfectly spiced, followed by water (from Mai'da labelled bottles) throughout the meal.

To start, we shared a dish of mushroom and potato kebabs, along with one of grilled paneer slices; both perfectly cooked and tasting quite sublime, each served with a salad garnish, a chili and half a lime. Lime pickle, raita and mango chutney accompanied each course.

For a main course, we shared again. This time a spinach and onion dish with a mixed vegetable curry; accompanied by an onion kulcha and a masala paneer, served in a bamboo steamer more familiarly used for Chinese pancakes - a masterstroke in keeping the flatbreads warm and maintaining their texture.

The sublime flavour of the main ingredients, plus the subtleties of the spices used, made these truly dishes to savour.

Service was friendly and attentive, yet discreet, a surprising feat as we were the only customers that wet late afternoon. Pickles, water and any other requirements were replenished quickly and without fuss or intrusion.

The restaurant is bright, spacious with a contemporary feel. There is a large upstairs dining area, a smaller one downstairs, along with private rooms with low tables and leather floor cushions. From the menu and layout, a wide audience is catered for, from single diners and couples through to larger groups inclding families with children.

The bill came to around £25 before the 50% food discount; just under £15 once the special offer had been applied. We both agreed that we would have been happy to have paid the full price, such was the quality of the food, service and general ambience. Mai'da cannot be faulted for value for money.

Along with the bill, we were asked if we would like to fill in "customer feedback forms", which asked for names, contact details and our thoughts on our experience at Mai'da, along with the entry to a draw, I believe the prize being another meal there. These were completed willingly and with justified praise for this wonderful restaurant.

We will definitely return at any time in the future that we are in inner London and within reach of the Central, Circle or District lines.

Friday, September 28, 2007
Overall rating 10 stars
Food 10 | Service 10 | Atmosphere 10 | Value for money 10

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