If you don’t like Indian Food, think again

Maharajahs Haveli Indian VillageMaharaja’s Haveli in Quakers Hill is the kind of place that is best experienced rather than described, as there’s nothing else like it in Sydney. The closest picture that can be painted is one of an Indian Village with a marketplace atmosphere. On display within the huge premises are life-like Indian cultural figurines depicting everything from ordinary village life to the Royal lifestyles of the Maharajas – and there’s even a vintage village bus!

The Maharajah’s experience began 25 years ago when owner Satinder Benepal opened his first restaurant in Kirribilli. Within
a short time Maharajah’s became renowned as one of the most innovative and authentic Indian restaurants in the city – featuring regularly in newspaper food reviews.

Fit for a Prince

Maharajah’s Haveli in Western Sydney opened in 2008 as a new concept that retained their ideology of treating every customer like a prince and serving food befitting a Maharaja.

Maharajahs Haveli Atmosphere

When you first walk in, you find yourself in the informal ‘Vedah’ area comprising a variety of food stalls. From snacks to sweets, Sikri Kebabs to Romali Roti and the ever popular Kulfi ice cream, there is no shortage of food choices.

Snacks and Street Food Made Right in Front of You

Snacks include Gol Goppa and Chaat, Thali and Breads like Naan and Roti, and the ‘crepe like’ Dosa.  Made from rice flour and lentils, the crispy thin Dosa is rolled up into a tube as large as your arm. This Southern Indian snack is tasty enough on its own but comes with a range of dipping sauces and vegetable soup. For a heartier meal, the Masala version is filled with potato and spices and folded ‘crepe-style’ over the filling.

Indian snacks

Another part of the unique experience in the ‘Vedah’ is to see all snacks made fresh right in front of you by highly qualified Indian chefs. One of their chefs, Noreen Aamir, was crowned Cooking Queen on Indus Vision in 2009, and was the host of regular TV cooking shows before moving to Sydney in 2014.

Indian snacks

Formal Dining

For those looking for a more conventional restaurant experience, the separate dining room provides a more refined and intimate atmosphere for those seeking a quieter dining option.

There is a wide range of entrees to choose from but the Haveli Mixed Platter provides a good mixture of meat and vegetarian starters. The Samosas have a buttery and flaky pastry that encase a generous amount of potato and mixed vegetable filling that is laced with visible spices and packed with flavour. Onion Bhaji is India’s answer to the Onion Ring, fried crisp and crunchy, these are dense with filling but not at all oily. The Chicken Tikka does have some heated spice, along with the rounded range of flavours you’d expect from this dish. My favourite was the Hara Kebab – a deliciously light vegetarian patty filled with peas, paneer (cheese), spinach, and the surprise of peanuts.

Samosa, onion Bhaji, chicken tikka, hara kebab

Authentic Dishes and Westernised Favourites

Main dishes cover everything from the classic westernised Australian favourites to the more traditional Goan Fish Curry, Duck Mouli and Balti Beef.

Even if you don’t like the heated spiciness of Indian food, the ever popular Butter Chicken is for you. Juicy boneless chicken in marinated in a sweet and creamy rich sauce without any hint of heat, and will appeal to anyone who doesn’t think they like Indian food. The Lamb Korma is equally creamy and rich, is only mildly spiced, and works as a beautiful sauce for the tender lamb pieces.

Jalebi, roti, naanYou can taste the freshness of the food in everything from the cucumber raita to the vegetables in the samosa, and the quality of the meat cuts is what makes their dishes exceptional.

Don’t Forget Dessert

For dessert, you will be hard pressed to decide between the fifty varieties, all made on the premises from Desi Ghee and with fresh khoya. The bright orange Jalebi is a sticky and crunchy pretzel like sweet that will make it hard for you to stop at one. They offer many flavours of Barfi – from Chocolate to Coconut and the more traditional Besan flavour. The Mango variety tastes very similar to a Mango Lassi, however has a
fudge like consistency similar to that found in caramel slice.

Indian sweets

If you don’t have room left for sweets, it’s good to know you can take them away for later.

Order Ahead or Sit Back and Relax

mango barfi, fifty varietiesBecause everything is made by hand and to order, it’s best to sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere while you give the chefs ample time to prepare you the perfect meal. However if you are in a hurry, you can order ahead or online and still eat in or takeaway.

Maharaja’s Haveli is a great place for any event including parties, special occasions or just a simple family lunch. Kids love this place for the great range of snacks and sweets and there’s always something to look at.

Many Experiences – One Building

To experience an entire country in one building, it’s worth a visit to Maharaja’s Haveli where you will leave with an array of flavours on your tongue, and memories of visiting an Indian Village in Sydney’s West.

Maharaja’s Haveli
14 Douglas Road

Quakers Hill NSW 2763
Phone: 9626 1913
Open: Daily 10am to 10pm

As reviewed in Sydney Hills & Hawkesbury Living