Looking to eat where Indian folks go? Maya Vegetarian in Surry Hills.
[UPDATED APRIL 2013]
Maya on Cleveland Street in Surry Hills is a longtime legend, attracting Indian Aussies, expats, students, Surry Hills locals and visiting vegoes. Be warned this place can get busy: it took us a couple of attempts to get a seat at Sunday lunchtime, but we don't mind waiting with a schooner at Bar Cleveland across the road. There's a bit of a party vibe as India is playing down the road at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Ten points to the guys with the 'Swarmi Army' flag on their car.
We're a bit obsessed with vegetarian Indian at the moment. We enjoy the meaty Australian version of Indian food but it makes us feel like crap afterwards. This vegetarian stuff however, man, it's just right. Every India traveller we've met tells us the vego food is far tastier than the non-vego food. And Wikipedia says 31% of India is vegetarian. We dig it.
Tandoori gobi paratha - $7.90. Flat bread filled with tiny pieces of cauliflower, served with pickles and yoghurt dip. Delicious.
South Indian Thali - $14.90. A selection of curries with rice, bread, papadum and dessert. A Punjabi Thali is also available with a different selection of curries. Shawn gobbled up the cardamom infused dessert and declares it his new favourite spice.
Rawa masala dosa - $9.90. A thin, crispy, crunchy semolina pancake with a mild potato filling, served with a small dish of plain watery curry, green yoghurt dip and an insanely delicious dip we think is made from capsicum.
The dessert range is overwhelming, but fortunately we have our Shanghai to sort it out for us.
Many of the Indian diners leave with a box of sweeties, Shanghai wisely does the same.
[BACK AGAIN APRIL 2013...]
Veggie somasa - $2.90. It can be a good idea to get a ready-to-go starter when the joint is jam packed because it can take a while for your meal to arrive.
Kadhi Parkora - $9.90 (Thursday special) - chick pea flour & yoghurt curry with rice, pickle and papadum. The chick pea flour is cooked into little fritters, swimming in a tangy yoghurt gloop. Mr Shawn considers working his way through all the daily specials...
Aloo Tarkari - $9.80. Potato curry with three poories (light puffy round bread pieces) with pappadum, pickles, rice and a dessert of spice milk, rice and sugar.
For dessert we get carrot halwa - $21.90 per kg ($4 worth does us easy). Fresh mushed carrot with milk, sugar and mixed nuts. Awesome.
Maya Vegetarian is at 470 Cleveland Street Surry Hills. Phone 02 9699 8663. There's also carnivorous incarnations of Maya upstairs and across the road.
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Afterwards we visit Surry Hills celebrity Dasher the Wonderdog, a 14.5 year old fixture on the Crown Street pavement. Dasher loves a pat and loves licking curry off Shawn's arms, right up to his elbows. Dasher has his own facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/271499635243/
Sadly Dasher is no longer with us but his lounging legacy lives on, we are chuffed to see his outline on the pavement has been maintained.