Food Review: Silver Thali at Maiya’s

The new Maiya’s restaurant has recently started a concept called the “silver thali”. Served on the third floor, it is advertised as “fine dining”. And the high point of the meal was supposed to be the “40 items”. Despite the steep price tag of Rs. 350, I wanted to try it out, and hence chose this place when I had to treat my cousin and cousin-in-law last night.

It is an extremely small place, the hall where the “silver thali” is served, on the third floor. Mindful of the 40 items that were to follow, we decided to take the stairs. We were made to wait for a brief while while they set up our table, and in we went. The dinner began with a speech by the owner of the restaurant explaining the “concept” of the 40-course meal and advising us to just “have a taste” of each of the items in the meal, and we could then revisit the items we liked if we still had stomach capacity. The freaky part of his speech was that he asked us to recommend his meal to friends and relatives – it wouldv’e been ok if it were after the meal, but I don’t know what the guy was doing telling us this before we’d been served.

The most freaky part of the meal was the waiter. Given that it was positioned as “fine dining”, it was fair on the restaurant’s part to recruit someone who spoke English. Unfortunately the guy couldn’t speak Kannada. So here we were – three Kannadigas (ok – two; cousin-in-law is technically marathi) eating proper Kannadiga food, and not able to discuss it with the waiter. Also, the waiter had some complicated fundaes about the direction from which to serve, and he kept coming behind us and between my cousin and me in order to serve me. Was very freaky. And the number of times he told me “and for you, sir” suggested he was a steward in his previous job.

We enthusiastically counted the items as they arrived. We lost count midway through the meal, but I think there were 40 items – counting each variety of papad separately, and the chips, and the beeDa. Most of the items were of better-than-decent quality. They also had some “exotic” items such as the tambULi, the lime rasam, “gojju-amboDe”, etc. Surprising thing was there was just one big sweet – and then there was paayasa made of hesarbELe (this is the paayasa usually made at death ceremonies) and some grapes “gojju” which  tasted like chyawanprash.

The worst part of the meal, though, was the rice, which was hard – and this made it very difficult for me to enjoy any of the rice-accompanist items (majjige huLi (similar to the north indian kadhi) , sambar, rasam, tambULi, etc). Thing is they cook rice once for all the people dining in the fine dining area, and so it would’ve become slightly cold by the time you are served, especially if you’ve gone late. The grains were too big and didn’t gel well with the accompanying items – which were too watery to gel with this kind of rice. In fact it was similar to the rice they make at Shiok, but that kind of rice is perfect for Thai stuff, not for Indian stuff.

The rest of the items were ok, but I still wouldn’t recommend this thali. There are too many items, and the service is a bit freaky, and it is overpriced. They don’t seem to know how to do the fine dining stuff. They make excellent food though, which is why I recommend you to visit the Restaurant. However, I advise you to go to the first or the second floor and have the normal thali (priced at Rs. 125). Excellent food. Significantly better service. Better “experience”.

Silver Thali at Maiya’s, 30th Cross, 4th Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore:

Cuisine: South Indian vegetarian

Meal for three: Rs. 1050 (alcohol not served)

3 stars;

Menu (whatever I can remember):

  1. Choice of grape and ginger juice
  2. Tomato soup
  3. fruit chaat
  4. Kosambri
  5. lady’s finger dry curry
  6. cabbage and chickpeas dry curry
  7. vegetable saagu
  8. onion-and-potato saagu
  9. poori (oh, there was no chutney; #fail)
  10. gojju-AmboDe
  11. some yellow bengali sweet
  12. onion pakoda
  13. bisi bele bhath
  14. aloo dum pulav
  15. raita
  16. potato chips
  17. plain rice
  18. tambULi
  19. mixed vegetable majjige huLi
  20. sambar
  21. tomato rasam
  22. lime rasam
  23. normal papad
  24. small papad
  25. fryums
  26. baaLka mensinkai (fried salted chillies)
  27. hesrbELe (moong dal) paayasa
  28. pickle
  29. curd
  30. buttermilk
  31. grapes gojju (the thing that tasted like chyawanprash)
  32. choice between hot chocolate fudge and fruit salad with ice cream
  33. beeda
  34. water

16 thoughts on “Food Review: Silver Thali at Maiya’s”

  1. You are wrong about associating hesarubeLe paayasa with death ceremonies. The standard items for ‘shraaddhada oota’ are vade and sukrunde in my part of the world.

    HesarubeLe paayasa on the other hand, is the quickest ‘sweet’ one can churn up. You’ll find hesarubeLe paayasa in our place on most Fridays for example, as my mom would need some sweet for naivedya for her Friday pooje (which is different from her poojes on other days in the sense that she would sit in the pooja room for 5 minutes instead of the customary 1 minute)

    Reply

    skimpy Reply:

    ok my data shows 2-way implication here. as in, i’ve had hesarubELe paaysa in and only in death ceremonies. which leads to my implication.

    or maybe it’s a community thing – that outside of south kanara, this paaysa is a tithi thing.

    Reply

    Ravi Reply:

    I asked around and found that you both are right.

    HesarbELe paaysa is normally done on thithis and it is not done on Habbas.

    Other than that, it is done for sumne eating and so, it may have been done on any random friday that’s not a habba. :D

    Reply

  2. The thali at Maiya’s used to be 50 (limited quantity) or 100 (unlimited+some other stuff)) on weekdays, with only the 100 buck thing on weekends. Food was ok, nothing exotic, but the ambience, hygiene and the service was light years ahead of most other south indian hotels. This was when they were very close to my place in BTM, but I didn’t particularly like it the one time I visited in Jayanagar. They also had (and this continues to be a problem) no idea how to manage the crowd.

    Reply

    skimpy Reply:

    it’s 75 for limited and 125 for unlimited here in jayanagar.

    and this place in jayanagar is huge. total of 5 floors, so crowd management is less of a problme.

    Reply

  3. 40 item thali! What would they think of next :P But speech before meal is a no-no!

    Reply

    skimpy Reply:

    yeah. wnated to give speech back but was hungry so concentrated on thulping

    Reply

  4. Got the same critique of the silver thali from my cousin but then he owns a hotel himself, so I took it with a pinch of salt :P Now that you have seconded it, I shall go for the regular thali sometime!

    Reply

    skimpy Reply:

    which hotel does your cousin own?

    and the regular thali is definitely worth it

    Reply

  5. South Indian vegetarian cuisine and bengali sweet!! When did they make Bengal slide down to south? :P

    Reply

    Ravi Reply:

    Even Poori must have taken a free ride with them. :P

    Reply

    Udupendra Reply:

    It’s Bengal-uru after all.

    Reply

  6. i must take your word that the food here(Maiya’s jayanagar) is good. it must be seeing it sooooooo crowded. the place may be huge, but the management has no idea how to control the crowd. went to the hotel but dint get dine there. one of the people from the hotel told we have to give names and wait for the table.there were about 75-10 peoplewaiting right in front of the stairs. most people there seem to be waiting there for 45 min. there seemed to be some confusion when a batch of people started walking down the stairs as there was no space for them to walk out.

    once again planned to go there. got the phone number from just dail to call and book a table if possible. three times i called got a automated voice at the end of which the call got disconnected. the other number seem to have been withdrawn.so dropped the ideaof going there.

    i still do want to go there atleast once to see whether the food there is worth the trouble and time.

    P Shetty

    Reply

  7. I have tried both gujarathi thali and the south indian thali there. for the hype created it is not worth.
    They make us wait so long but they bring the items one after another which makes us to hurry a bit while eating.
    i don’t recommend this place to anyone.

    Their bakery in ground floor is good.

    Reply

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