A TASTY meal if you've got the time.
photo: Ján Svrček
Where: Mozartova 27
Tel: 0905/854-616 or 02/6280-1272
Open: Mon-Sun 11:00-22:00
English menu: No
Rating: 7 out of 10
If an Indian restaurant in a non-Indian city doesn't call itself the Taj Mahal, it often plumps for Maharaja (in the same way Irish theme pubs call themselves either the Dubliner or the James Joyce). Bratislava's newest Maharadža, an Indian-Bengali restaurant perched above the castle, having picked the name, now faces the daunting task of introducing ever-suspicious Slovaks to the delights of Indian cuisine.
As is traditional in Indian cuisine, the menu does not offer any pork or beef dishes, but this is no disappointment in pork-happy Slovakia. The combination of chicken, mutton, lamb, shrimp, salmon, carp and vegetarian meals with six or seven different sauces add up to a very satisfactory selection. Given the additional offer of soups, starters and side dishes, you can get a very palatable four-course-meal without any repetition. Prices are very reasonable, with chicken and carp starting from Sk159 and the most expensive dish costing Sk299 ($6.30).
I apologise in advance for confusion regarding the food we had, but the Slovak names on the menu were phonetic renderings of the Indian original. Parota niramiš, or spicy vegetables with fried Indian bread as a starter, was delicious. Murgi šag, chicken breast in spinach and garlic relish, and Niramiš ragon džoš, vegetables in ginger-garlic sauce with onions, peppers and tomatoes, were mildly spicy, well flavoured and very tasty. If you like it really hot, there are also options which will definitely leave you breathless.
Though the dishes at Maharadža all have beautifully unpronounceable names, the menu is very customer-friendly because the meals are explained in detail. And if you still should be in doubt about your choice, you get plenty of advice from the very friendly waiter.
A disappointment was the offer of deserts, because for someone with an appetite for sweets like me, nothing but cake can complete a meal, and the Maharaja only offers fruit and ice-cream. Unfortunately, not even my all-time favourite Indian drink, mango lassi, was available, so we had to make do with coffee and an aromatic, cinnamon flavoured Bengali tea.
It is also unfortunate that the professional job done by the waiter is spoilt by the kitchen staff, which takes a bullock-and-cart approach to preparing the food. Although we were the only customers on this rainy Monday, our lunch break extended to almost two hours because the courses took a monsoon season to arrive.
Maharadža restaurant lies in the Červený kríž residential area near the Slavín monument on castle hill. Located opposite the pharmacy in Bartókova Street, it is reasonable easy to find and has parking right in front of the restaurant.
19. Aug 2002 at 0:00 | Saša Petrášová