The trouble with Tribbles is that they keep multiplying. If you’re a Trekkie fan from way back, you’ll recognise this reference illustrating the proliferation of Indian restaurants in Perth. Am I just imagining it or are they multiplying like Tribbles in every suburb at an alarming rate? I say alarming because the quality of some of these establishments is questionable. I’ve tried one too many with underwhelming experiences. I’ve become much more discerning these days and won’t dine Indian unless I’m fairly confident of getting a good meal. My two friends on this occasion are also lovers of Indian cuisine, and we were hopeful of a good experience based on word-of-mouth and online reviews.
Our mid-week dining night was quiet, but then there’s plenty of competition in Freo and restaurants usually fill out later in the week. Maya has plenty of tables, including an upstairs room that serves as a bar area. Some interesting art work, a dark wooden staircase, and sparkling chandeliers added some character to the decor.
Our starters were Chowk Ki Tikki – scrumptious potato patties with chick peas, chilli, cumin and 3 sauces (including my favourite tamarind sauce); and Tiger Prawns – Shark Bay tiger prawns with pineapple and tomato chutney. Although the tandoor-cooked prawns sounded promising, they were a bit on the dry side.
Our Fish Qmin curry with saltwater barramundi fillets was spicy and creamy at the same time. Flavoured with cumin, chilli and fenugreek and cooked in coconut milk, this was a noteworthy dish, and as good as some of the better fish curries I’ve had before.
The Chicken Mumtaz, commonly known as butter chicken, was the standout dish of the evening. With chicken pieces that had the desired marinated smoky tandoor flavour with a rich creamy tomatoey sauce, this is the best version I have had in Perth. I’ve had so many appalling versions of this dish that I rarely order it, but I’m so glad we did. It’s heartening to know that while there are a plethora of mediocre Indian restaurants around the traps, there is thankfully a handful of top notch establishments that don’t cheat on the preparations, and don’t dumb down the ingredients.
The garlic naan was the perfect accompaniment to our meal, along with a bowl of Basmati rice. We were too full to contemplate dessert, but we did manage to down a few glasses of reasonably priced SSB during our meal.
The wait staff at Maya were cheerful and friendly, and the wait time for food was brief. Most of our dishes were beautifully flavoured and well presented, and I’m eagerly anticipating a return in the colder months to sample one of their degustation menus. Recommended for lovers of good Indian food.