We were in Milwaukee on Friday evening to pick up a cousin. When we saw him arrive with a “where is food” look on his face, we decided to dine at Maharaja Restaurant (4 stars in Yelp) on 1550 N.Farwell Ave.
Located in downtown Milwaukee, Maharaja has its own FREE parking right across the street.
Things went from good to bad to ridiculous to awesome to disaster from the time we parked to when we returned.
As we entered the restaurant, we were greeted by a smiling, well-dressed Sardarji, who I believe was the Owner as he did nothing else. Our table was neat; the chairs were comfortable and stable unlike the shithole places on Devon Street (Chicago).
Our table was located frustratingly close to the kitchen entrance. The cheapskate owner perhaps wanted to accommodate four more guests. This revealed possibly something about their hygiene, which I will come to later. The cheapskate also kept the lighting so dim that we had a hard time reading the menu or looking at each other.
Menu & Food
The Sardarji had the audacity to label the food “North and South Indian” cuisine considering the imminent ‘southern’ catastrophe he was soon to unleash on our table.
One page was dedicated to South Indian items.
The morons goofed up on spellings. They served “Tomatoe” Uthapam and South Indian “Combe”.
Masala Dosai – Offensively, Disgustingly Bad
We were surprised to see Kancheepuram Idly, a rarity, but hardly to our surprise it was not available. Our Sardarji waiter did not know the menu well. He insisted that Tomato Soup was not on the menu until we pointed it out.
Our first set of items arrived…
Coconut Soup… never heard of it, didn’t expect much, this was to quench our curiosity. After the first sip, I was looking for a place to spit. It was a diluted version of Paal Payasam (Milk Kheer) with half cooked shredded coconut from a can. Who in the right mind makes soup so sweet? Again, who in the right mind orders a Coconut Soup? 😉
The Tomato Soup was ok. It’s hard to mess that one.
Miserable South Indian Fare
The South Indian “Combe” appetizers arrived – tiny and tasteless Medu Vadai, Idly, Paruppu Vadai and Cutlet.
Idly dough was not fermented, Vadai was stale and the side Sambar was lousy and disgusting.
This “Combe” is an insult to humanity and we believe it denigrates South Indian food!
The Masala Dosai raised my expectations. It was neatly folded and served with several chutneys on the side.
One bite into the Masala Dosai left me in tears.
You see, the Dosai was cold, the dough was not fermented, and the Masala was hot. The uneven temperature raped us of the Dosai eating experience.
The Coconut “horror” chutney was watery, the tomato “stinking” chutney was stale, and there was tomato ketchup! Only the “Pickled Onions” was somewhat edible although it is not a recognized side for Dosai.
Decent North Indian Food
Disappointed, we moved on to the North Indian fare and I am glad we did.
The Gobi Paratha was a delight; it had the right mix of Gobi and the dough which started salvaging our nearly dead taste buds.
The Malai Kofta left us asking for more. I am not a big fan of this item but this was very good. The Kofta was evenly mixed and well cooked.
Our taste buds were completely revived with the Chef’s Special Naan with Onion and Potato fillings and the awesome Baingan Bhartha, which was cooked to perfection. The perfect blend of spices and tangy flavor was yummy.
Biriyani – Obscenely Hot
However, our revived taste buds were brutally slaughtered by the “Hot” Vegetable Biriyani. Like true Indians, we ordered it hot while everything else was Medium. One spoon of this Briyani had us gasping for water to put out the fire in our mouth. We applied Raita as a balm on the tongue. The bastards added a jar full of red chili powder.
Tis’ depressing that when we ask for ‘Hot’ Indian food, these restaurants mindlessly heave a ton of red chili powder into the medley with nary a thought to the proportions of other ingredients, inevitably turning the dish into an inedible disaster.
Like SI, we too hate wasting food but we had no intention to burn our entire digestive system and the other related systems.
Maharaja Milwaukee – Awful South Indian Food
If the idiots think that keeping clean plates, forks, knives, glasses and napkins alone is hygiene then they need a slap in the face. Coming back to our vantage point – proximity to kitchen entrance, a waiter took our half-used Chutney tray away without asking. It had the spoon we used to transfer chutney to our plates.
Although we could not see the kitchen, we were not pleased to see the waiter reemerge from the kitchen within seconds bearing a Chutney tray with a spoon and serve it to another guest! Caesar’s wife should be above suspicion, comprende?
Water was refilled, plates were cleared, food was served quickly, and our order was taken promptly. However, when we told the waiter about the inedible spice level of Biriyani, the rascal asked us to stick to Medium level in future. 🙁
The waiter also asked us to lift up the empty plates and hand it to him. We don’t mind helping but it is not something we, patrons particularly like being asked to do.
This impostor serves fake South Indian food to gullible American population in the mid-west who probably don’t know much about Indian food.
If you really have to eat at this restaurant then stick to North Indian food at mild or medium spice level only.
Cool! Can you change Naveen Kumar to Naveen?
Just returned from Lincoln Lawyer (Matthew McConaughey, Marisa Tomei).
Review coming in a couple of hours.
Good! It was on my “May watch” list.
yOh you are in USa? try out saravana bhavan in US and Anjappar in US? they are very great restuarents one friend ofmine living in piladelphia (sic) told me that anjappar is very best there than herebut its a littkle costly .. saravana bhavan is very good for vegetarians and anjappar is good for non-veg eaters. try out these two restuarents.
Im sure you will not be disappointed.
Please show the below to your friend in piladelphia (sic):
Anjappar Chettinad USA – Awful Service, Lousy Food
Saravanaa Bhavan NYC Review: Orgasmic Heaven on Lexington Ave; Ooh, Aahh, Oh God, Yes, Yes!
Saravanaa Bhavan Edison Review – Murder Most Foul
Good work Naveen.
Would like to see more of your reviews for the restaurants from mid-west area.
These restaurant owners supposedly hire only the best chefs from India right? When you open a restaurant, it is only logical that you hire the best of people. I assume there are no shortage of good chefs from India.
Then why do most of the Indian restaurants suck here? Is it because of difference in quality of ingredients that we get here vs what we have at home? or just the chef got lazy after coming here?
My take on why many desi places suck is that they lack the attitude, vision and basic ethics. They don’t strive to do their absolute best. They focus on petty things and make every attempt to save a penny.
One of things I look for in a restaurant is how well they maintain their rest rooms! The way their maintain the rest rooms is how they maintain their kitchen, quality of food and service.
1. You write: The way their maintain the rest rooms is how they maintain their kitchen, quality of food and service
Very true. That and whether they get basics like Dal, Samosa and Naan right.
Another thing that really, really gets our goat is the cold chutney. Lazy bastards,
2. Will look at your second piece after finishing Lincoln Lawyer review.
sorry for that spelling mistake it is philadelphia
hey you reviewed that also ah??
maybe their service is poor, but here its awesome peoples flood there sometimes is difficult to get tables also..ive eated many times in anjappar there its is very good and tasty foods. because of bad cookers there it might taste bad..
if you come to india try out indias anjappar…
You write: ive eated many times in anjappar there its is very good and tasty foods. because of bad cookers there it might taste bad..
You are right. Too many bad cookers here in Indian restaurants here (USA).
Here’s one more Indian restaurant in Edison (NJ) with bad cookers:
Karaikudi Chettinad NJ Review – Kaatu K**dhi Chettinad; Plain Awful, Disgusting, Sick Food
I have never tried Saravana Bhavan in the US. I avoid it in Chennai as well. I used to prefer Sangeetha Apoorva to Saravana Bhavan. It is like Target vs Walmart.. 🙂
I once had Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu in Karaikudi Chettinad in Chennai and it was awesome – a rare menu item.
Karaikudi Chettinad here is Plain Awful here.
It’s Friday….and we’ve already started started Fostering. 😉
I am also done for this week. Been painfully hectic @ work. Hoping to unwind with a few drinks – I prefer Sparkling White wine, White Zinfandel or Cocktails to beer. I tried Blue Moon the other day… it had a unique taste, a thick feel and it went well with a slice of Orange peel.
Looking forward to the India – WI match at dear old Chepauk. I wish they grow some grass around the pitch area. The outfield looks ok but the pitch area looks awful on screen.
1. We like sparkling wine too. 😉
If you like cocktails, keep Dole Orange-Pineapple (100% juice) or other Dole 100% juice handy. We mix Gin with Dole Piña Colada….good.
2. SL crushed NZ today at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. SL 265-9, NZ 153-10
India-WI at 5AM EST on Sunday. Must remember not to drink Sat evening. Hard to wake up.
Please dont insult using bad words. They may provide bad service but anyway food is food. Food is called Annalakshmi so we shouldnt insult the food. IOf you dont like that just dont go there. if peoples start not going there , then they will realise their mistakes and provide good food with better quality.
by the by, is all food items in hotels very costly???
You write: by the by, is all food items in hotels very costly???
For the quality these crappy Indian restaurants provide, even a penny is too much.
That said, an all-you-can-eat buffet with a good choice can range from $9 to $17 depending on whether it’s a weekday or weekend and whether it’s lunch or dinner.
Entrees range from $10 to $20 each depending on what you order, appetizers are around $4-$7, desserts usually $4-$6.
Kumaraguru, I guess I caught some bad habits from SI. 😉 I have restricted myself to using only garden variety insults. Sometimes these insults tell how one truly feels. “F*ck” is such a powerful sentiment when used appropriately. 😀 I think these reviews serve as a guide to people to make up their!
SI – What is your opinion about the use of expletives in food reviews?
You write: SI – What is your opinion about the use of expletives in food reviews?
We’re fine with it. After all, the goal is to convey our true sentiments after the meal.
Most of our Indian restaurants here have no scruples. They serve spoiled food, employ illegal immigrants, show scant regard for hygiene, treat Indians badly….and to show any mercy toward these blackguards by pussyfooting on the language in the reviews would be a sin.
if they charge that much as you say, then you’re right in expecting very good quality. That said, im ashamed at the irresponsible attitude of indian hoteliers . Even in foreign countries, if they do like this it creates a bad name for the country even from NRIs. bye
“One of things I look for in a restaurant is how well they maintain their rest rooms”
Wow!!! Are you anywhere from the Anna Nagar area in Chennai? My father used to say the exact same thing!!! I have heard these exact words 1000 times since my childhood and ever since I do the same thing. First thing, visit the restroom… if its clean, you can safely assume that the food will be decent at minimum.