Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Maharaja, Harvard Square, Cambridge

I sat, staring over Harvard Square from my perch inside Maharaja, a new addition to the restaurant scene in bustling Cambridge.  As I viewed the scene below, it was a glaringly different scene to what I was experiencing inside the restaurant.  Maharaja, opened this past spring but just receiving their liquor license a week ago, is an oasis.  Ornately decorated, and filled with the music of India, it is an atmosphere designed to make their patrons feel like royalty.  Gleaming brass, high backed carved wooden chairs, elegant touches...no detail was left to chance.  Relaxing in this beautiful space, I knew I was in for a treat.

I began my meal with the Kakori Seekh Kebab.  Ground lamb, enhanced with spices, formed into kebabs, and served over sliced red onion with lemons and a house made hot sauce.  One bite of this appetizer and I was in heaven.  The lamb was perfectly cooked, fork tender, and full of warming spices.  Every bite was full of cinnamon, ginger, and clove, and when spritzed with a bit of the lemon, the acid played beautifully into this delicate dish.  The hot sauce served with this could have been eaten plain-with a spoon.  Now that is not a statement on it's heat level, because while it wasn't initially abusive, the more that is consumed the hotter it became.  The flavor present within this sauce was the real beauty.  Slow cooked for hours, the chili's break down with vinegar and the end result is spicy and tart, a wonderful addition to the kebab.

I referred my incredibly helpful server for my entree selection as I wanted to try something as authentic as possible.  He pointed me in the direction of Murgh Wajid Ali.  Murgh Wajid Ali is a dish that is truly for royalty.  It is a Chicken breast (or a Cornish game hen (traditionally)), stuffed with chicken and nuts, topped with a sliced hard boiled egg and served with a creamy Saffron sauce.  It is the height of decadence.  Visually, this was a beautiful dish- the creamy yellow sauce, a drizzle of yogurt, strands of saffron imparting their cheerful yellow dye, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, their ruby beauty shining like jewels.  Taste wise, this dish wasn't too shabby either.  The cream sauce was rich and dense as expected, but was cut with a beautiful tang to add complexity.  The chicken was perfectly cooked, and well flavored.  The genius of the dish to me however, was the mix of the egg, and the stuffing.  The stuffing added perfect texture with its chopped nuts, and then the egg, smooth and creamy offset this in the next bite.  Two opposite mouth feels, creating a wonderful harmony.  

Maharaja is a perfect addition to the Boston area.  Their feel is formal, their prices are fair, and they are staying true to traditional dishes from India.  It is a combination that has been missed, and one that we can now welcome with open arms.  

5 comments:

In and Around Town said...

Great Review! I am always up for trying a new Indian place!

Daisy said...

this place sounds extravagant. the hen sounds amazing.

Meesh said...

cool! i love indian, definitely have to check this place out

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

As much as I love all of your reviews, I think this one is the best one...love the way you talk about your whole dining experience!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Nice review! I literally live across the street but still haven't made it here. But now I want to!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...