Maharani (Indian & Bangladeshi) Ipswich

Maharani (Indian & Bangladeshi) – Ipswich

Advertisement Advertisement HALAL STATUS Fully Halal food menu • Alcohol Served

Having been serving its community for a better part of a quarter of a century, Maharani is as much a part of the local area in Ipswich as anything else.

Launched by Manik Miah in 1993, this Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant is located on Norwich Road just outside the town center.

During that time, Maharani has acquired somewhat of a reputation, having been named the winner of the East of England award back in 2011 at the Bangladesh Caterers’ Association (BCA) awards – an organisation that represents over 12,000 restaurants from across the country.

More recently, manager Minhaz Miah was shortlisted as a finalist for ‘Male Rising Star’ at this year’s Asian Restaurant Owners Network (ARON) Awards.

While the interior could do with a touch of the modern, it does have that charming quintessential curry house look and feel so distinctive of a 90’s Indian restaurant.

And with a large and, dare we say, controversial wall mural depicting a pheasant shoot, with hunters dressed in a traditional pair of breeks and accompanied by gundogs, the place itself is listed for being an historical building that harkens back to a period when it was an old school butchery.

In recent times though, the menu, which otherwise comprises a whopping 170 items, was updated in July with the introduction of a vegan sub-menu.

DRINKS

Lassi – Sweet, Mango, Salty – £3.20 each

With the traditional three lassies on offer, the stand-out was the thick and tasty mango, which had bits of flesh providing some texture, but without being overly sweet.

And though the salty didn’t quite deliver on either the salt or the yoghurty taste one would expect of a well made version, its sweet counterpart was nice and frothy.

STARTERS

Poppadoms £0.50 with mint, mango, onion, pickle chutney dips

Papadoms with mint, mango, onion, pickle chutney dips, £0.50

These perfectly cooked papadoms came with an orange sauce, which, despite having meant to be a mint sauce (with the addition of colouring of course) sans the mint, was compensated somewhat by the mango, onion, and pickle chutney dips.

(TBC) Bata Chop – Spicy potato & minced lamb, deep fried, £5.75

These breaded minced meat patties were different, in the sense that they won’t be found on many other Indian restaurant menus elsewhere, but nothing special.

Other than being paired with a wedge of lemon, some lettuce, and a slice each of cucumber and tomato, what these certainly could have done with was a sauce.

In any case, except for its peculiar red tinge, the interior was moist enough.

Nababi Seekh Kebab – Kebab of smoked ground lamb with green peppers, onions & cheese. Minty flavour, £5.95

Again accompanied with the same salad combo, this plate of Nababi Seekh Kebab was strangely presented, having been topped with cheese and some semi-fried onions.

And though these were more red in colour than brown, especially on the inside, they had a nice texture to them, being just on the right side of soft.

They also tasted decent, with a good amount of heat, and the addition of the cheese and onions surprisingly adding an extra taste dimension.

Tawa Machli – Fillet of fresh water fish marinated in an exquisite masala pan, fried & served with lemon wedges, £12.95

Unlike the above two dishes, it would be a good idea to give the accompanying wedge of lemon a good squeeze over the Tawa Machli.

Having been pan fried, the masala marination allowed one to enjoy both the texture and the flavour of the fresh water fish.

However, not only did the additional ingredients of fried onions and green pepper make this an unattractive dish, but also managed to adversely impact the taste of the fish.

In the end, we resorted to picking out the fillets of fish to enjoy them for what they were.

MAINS

CAUTION – All dishes were presented in very hot plates, before being served on a large stand; so be careful!

Dora Machli Salmon fillets & king sized prawns cooked in a thick spicy sauce garnished with garlic, ginger, coriander & served with pilau rice

Dora Machli – Salmon fillets & king sized prawns cooked in a thick spicy sauce garnished with garlic, ginger, coriander & served with pilau rice, £13.95

This Dora Machli seafood dish comprised of fillets of salmon and king prawns.

And what a dish it was too, with plenty of moist salmon beautifully cooked in a spicy tomato-cum-onion curry sauce, with the large prawns still managing to retain that touch of chewiness so distinct of well cooked prawns.

Lamb Handi

Lamb Handi – a casserole pot with pilau rice served Medium hot £12.95

Literally presented straight off the hob and in the same pan in which it was cooked (so be careful!), this Lamb Handi was bold and brash and packed full of spicy flavours.

With a rich, deep, thick curry sauce, and with lamb that was tender and soft, you’ll be coming back for more.

Chicken tikka curry £7.45

Chicken Tikka Curry – medium hot and spiced with an Oriental taste, £7.45

RECOMMENDED

Damn the tandoori chicken in this tikka curry was cooked to perfection! With a spicy curry sauce with plenty of crudely cut grilled green peppers and brown onions, this was a good sized portion at just £7.45.

Lamb biryani £8.95

Lamb Biryani, £8.95

This didn’t quite live up to the expectations of the previous dishes had. With the rice and lamb both being dry, this lamb biryani failed to deliver on the robust flavours of a properly made biryani.

What’s more, while it had that obvious re-heated texture, this fairly spicy mixture was simply crying out to be paired with some yoghurt to help temper the heat.

Peshwari Naan Stuffed with nuts & raisins, sweet

Peshwari Naan – Stuffed with nuts & raisins, sweet, £2.45

RECOMMENDED

While this was advertised with raisins and nuts, it came with plenty of coconut instead, which actually turned out to be an awesome surprise.

As such, the resulting sweetness went really well with the spicy curries had. In fact, this Peshwari Naan is one of the better ones we’ve had in recent times.

Pilau rice £2.75

This portion of aromatic pilau rice was well cooked, with nice long basmati grains.

THE ROAR
Maharani
3.5 FTL's Roar
2.5 Pride's Roar (1 Roar)
Alcohol/ Pork?
  • YES/ NO
FSA HYGIENE RATING
Last Checked: 25/08/2019
Facilities
  • DISABLED FACILITIES
  • CHILD SEATING
Summary
Unlike many other local curry houses catering for their old and loyal clientele, Maharani, despite offering 170 menu items, along with the traditionally English servings of Jalfrezi and Vindaloo curries, does not compromise in the use of their spices.

There was simply no dumbing-down in this Ipswich Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant. Little wonder they've been going strong for almost 30 years!

The curries themselves were well executed, with strong bold flavours that were, by and large, well balanced, with nothing being overly harsh. Furthermore, with everything from the tandoor oven being superbly done too, we can't wait to see what Maharani will present further as we move forward into the 21st century once, as we've been reliably informed, they update their decor and menu.

Menu Recommendation

Drink - Mango Lassi

Main - Chicken Tikka Curry/ Dora Machli

Side - Peshwari Naan

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Maharani
46 Norwich Rd, Ipswich IP1 2NJ.

T: +44 (0)1473 232266 | W: www.maharaniipswich.co.uk

Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 17:30–23:00 | Sat-Sun 12:00-14:00, 17:30–23:00

 

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