- 15th St , Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
- +971 2 642 9959
Al Muroor – is a part of the city we’ve mentioned in detail before. From bakeries to eateries and spas to salons, it’s an up-and-coming neighbourhood now rammed full of great restaurants such as Soulfull, Jones the Grocer and Shabby Chic. Competition for customers is naturally very high. Sitting on the edge of this location is Maharaja Palace, an Indian restaurant situated inside the Ramee Royal Hotel Apartments. And unfortunately, we were left thinking it might need to up its game to lure away custom from all those new kids on the block.
You’ll find it by taking the lift from the apartments’ lobby, which exits straight into the entrance of the eatery. A load of fish bobbing around two large fish tanks greet you as you enter, along with a waitress in a sari.
The décor has a touch of the colonials about it, thanks to some rather clever cabins for guests who want a bit of privacy. It’s a big restaurant, you could easily fit 20 or 30 people in here. The décor is all big wooden beams and dark frames around the windows.
Two HD TVs line the walls which were showing the news on our recent visit. We opted to sit in one of the train-style cabins, which is a fun way to dine, as the waitress had to slide open the door to serve our dishes and you have a bell to ring if you require any help. The only gripe we have about these cabins is the décor is a little old and worn. One of our sofa seats had a rather big dent in it and even the bell looked tatty.
We visited on a Friday lunchtime during the Holy Month of Ramadan, so we don’t feel it fair to pass comment on how busy they get, but the one thing that did frustrate was how slow the service was. Our waitress, while not unpleasant, was a tad stand-offish and did justify her slow pace by saying she was serving on her own. She seemed to be answering the phone a lot, so we can only assume that delivery orders were keeping her from looking after us.
The food was unfortunately lacklustre. To start, we ordered the hari ghara kebab and the kurmura jheenga prawns. The kebab of spinach patties were almost fluro green, nicely presented and well cooked, but were disappointingly bland and served, bizarrely, with tomato ketchup. The prawns in pastry resembled spring rolls (with tails sticking out of the end). The prawns were moist, tender and well cooked but let down by the rather ordinary pastry casing. It was the kind you’d buy from the supermarket and throw in the oven at home.
For our mains, we opted for the palak paneer lasooni and the chicken biryani. In a bid to be healthy after one too many iftars, we opted for the spinach-filled variety of the paneer (cottage cheese cubes) dish. The thick creamy sauce was moreish, but if you’re not a big fan of garlic, you should steer clear, as the taste was almost overwhelming. As we’re fans of the vampire-repelling onion genus, we’ll class it a success. The biryani, while looked great in a metal pot with a bread lid encasing the top, again frustrated. The chicken was well cooked, but the earthy, almost bitter taste meant plenty of the ample portion was left over.
Maharaja might be a palace, but the food unfortunately isn’t fit for a king at the moment.