onionbhaji
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r e s t a u r a n t s
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 Maharajah, Northampton
 Friday, 25 February 2000
  restaurant factfile
  also reviewed 3 February 2008

Maharajah's is quite a large restaurant having been cobbled together from three adjacent shops. There's a large bar/waiting area as you go in and the eating area is split into two by the building's original dividing walls. The décor has seen better days and a lot of the tables have holes in the wall where electrical switches had been removed. These were still in place at the odd table but their function remains a mystery. Someone at Maharajah's like fish. There's a pool of them in the waiting area and more tanks are inset into the walls in the dining area. It was a bit off-putting watching a particularly large fish trying to turn round in a tank which was only as thick as the dividing wall.

As custom dictates, three lots of onion bhajees were ordered. These were of the small round variety with 4 in each serving. They were quite bland, only a smidgin of spice could be detected, some seemed undercooked and doughy whilst others were overcooked and dry. They were improved slightly when smothered with mint yoghurt. The chicken pakoras, however, were very good. They were actually chunks of chicken tikka fried in a very spicy batter. The only complaint was that the batter wasn't crispy enough.

The chicken pathia main course had a good thick sauce but just wasn't spicy enough. There was also a hint of soap as if the waiter hadn't rinsed his hands after his last wash (but at least he'd washed them!). The chicken tikka bhuna also had a tasty thick sauce but was spoilt by the leathery tomatoes and several substandard chicken pieces. The chicken tikka massala came with the usual vibrant sauce, had plenty of chicken and was very palatable. The chicken roshuni was described as cooked in a garlic sauce and it certainly was. It's virtually impossible to have too much garlic flavour but this dish certainly came close. Nevertheless, it was still a reasonable meal. The two shushmi nans were quite good, not too much chilli but could have done with a little more keema stuffing. The kulcha nan also had a good texture was stuffed with well cooked and flavoursome vegetables. The plain boiled rice was.

The staff appeared to be friendly and helpful when we first arrived and we were quickly shown to our table. However, it then became almost impossible to attract their attention. One of our pints of lager was suspect but the waiter took it away with no comment or offer of a refund or replacement. It took 3 requests and twenty minutes from first asking for the bill to arrive. When it finally did, it had a single figure at the bottom. When we enquired whether this included the 30% discount available on a Friday evening, a simple "Yes" would have been sufficient. However, the manager stormed off and brought his calculator. Despite our protests, he proceeded to itemise the bill in a very loud voice (for the benefit of other diners) adding another five minutes to our waiting time. To save all this hassle, it would be far better to price each item on the bill, show the original total and then apply the discount. An otherwise enjoyable evening was marred by the erratic service.

The Scores

Food3
Service3
Ambience3.5
Value3.5

Which gives an overall rating of 3 bhajis.

DishRatingBy
Chicken Tikka Massala3.5HazelB
Chicken Pathia3IanD
Chicken Roshuni3PhilS
Chicken Bhoona3SteveB