Before we begin, we would like to personally address all the individuals who’ve written in to tell us that our website is so funny that we ‘should really write for BuzzFeed’. I know we joke around on this site a lot, but we mean this in as serious and threatening a manner possible; we hope your family dies in a freak combine-harvester accident.
Thalis are, for all intents and purposes, Indian buffets, and an inseparable part of Mumbai’s culinary history. It’s no coincidence that we’ve been able to successfully avoid reviewing them ever since our website’s inception, but thanks to an internal company-wide memo requiring us to view vegetarians as people, today things change. And what better way to show our vegetarian friends that they will have a place in our reich than by getting a Gujarati thali at Maharaja Bhog, because all vegetarians are, by definition, Gujarati.
At first we assumed that with a name like ‘Maharaja Bhog’, the restaurant would just be Shiv Sagar with delusions of grandeur, but we were very much mistaken. It could almost be described as palatial, with solid brassware on all the tables, chandeliers on the ceiling, sitar solos playing on the intercom, and a waiter with an ornate watering can who’ll wash your hands when you walk in. Honestly, it felt a little bit like we were on the set of Padmaavat. After putting money in a piggy-bank shaped like a cow (if only they knew where we’d been just an hour prior), were ready to place our order, which wasn’t too difficult because they only serve one thing, the veg thali.
The thali at Maharaji Bhog comes with around ten different items, which despite our attempts to make fun of, were actually rather good. But before we get dragged into a long drawn out conversation about raita, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention this odd sandalwood and saffron sharbat we were served that smelled (and tasted) like a pretty Hindu girl’s bedroom, and was unbelievably refreshing. The service was efficient to the point where we had to shoo our waiters away because they were replenishing our food faster than we could eat it. But of all the exceptional things we ate that day, some were more equal than others.
There’s no better way to start a meal than with a Dahi Kachori, except of course saying Grace. It was not as messy as we thought it would be, and fairly sweet overall. It almost made us forget that we’d rather be having 20 rupee Pani Puris by the side of the road.
As part of a mandatory vegetarian outreach programme our corporate overlords instated only last week, we’re required to mention that the thali had a whole assortment of delicious veg dishes. From dal to paneer, from aloo to kadhi, there was plenty to choose from and then reluctantly chew and swallow. There was even a methi dish that didn’t completely repulse us. Truly, truly astonishing.
The Aam Ras at Maharaja Bhog was without a doubt our favourite part of the thali. It tasted genuine and fresh, and although they kept reminding us to eat it with a puri, we ended up lapping it up like gleeful cats, much to the disapproval of the other patrons, who found our actions uncouth.
The Decree: We liked Maharaja Bhog, we liked it a lot, there wasn’t a single thing that comes to mind that even slightly ticked us off, and that’s saying something. Okay there is one, they serve soybeans in one of the accompaniments, which we wouldn’t recommend you eat because it will turn you into a woman, and that’s exactly what the globalists want. Aside from that it was great, a little on the expensive side, but still a nice, refreshingly pleasant place for a one off meal. We always found ourselves wondering what we’d be eating when the government eventually banned all meat, looks like we found the answer. Should you go here? Yes.