Competition: Win lunch for two at Maaya: 'it's not just good food, it's great food'

'We aim to convey our passion for Indian cuisine through a unique blend of ethnic and progressive dishes infused to create a fresh and modern taste of India,' Maaya says by way of an opening statement, which also talks of a menu that takes inspiration from 'generations of traditional family cooking and travel through the bustling street bazaars of India...each dish carries its own story of origin.'

But inside Maaya, the perfectly placed Hub-side dining establishment is showing no signs of bustle.

It's all particularly serene away from the kitchen, and even later when a party of 20 people file in, they are deftly seen to, drinks delivered, menu served in quick-smart time.

But our dining experience begins with a pair of vegetarian traditional starters – samosas and bhajis.

A stodgy, dense onion bhaji accompanied by a limp lettuce leaf or two can be such a disappointment, but when delivered with just the amount of delicate crispness and presentation, those little balls can be fried fabulousness, and Maaya fall into the latter category.

The samosas too prove a taste sensation, and there is no skimping on portion size here.

But we don't want to peak too early.

We've an interesting main course to work through, and with a keenness to get a real taste of the veggie opportunities here, we plump for a Vegetarian Thali, and bring in a couple of side dishes for sharing – Massaledar Aloo (Dry roasted potatoes tampered with cumin seeds) and Palak Paneer.

The table is a sea of spicy deliveries, with serving dishes aplenty and a presentation to get excited about.

The whole point of a thali is to try a little bit of this, and a little of that – just enough to get your tastebuds warmed up, and Maaya's collection of opportunities is a warm flavour-fabulous array.

To be truthful, the tarka dahl and the spiced potatoes take the edge in the category marked 'Best Dish,' but really, there is nothing but good things happening on our table.

It's not just about taste, it's about waste, or rather the lack of, and with a serving size ideal for two, dishes are duly emptied at just the right time.

A pause before desert, and then a mango brulee is shown to the table.

In turn, a short time later we show the staff a plate so clean it looks unused – Maaya do a particularly good brulee it turns out, and with a shine of seductive caramelised sugar, we were won over on first introductions!

If you want good food, dine elsewhere. 

But if you want great food with added flair, and at no added cost, make a move on Maaya.


> Total MK has teamed up with the restaurant to offer one reader lunch for two at Maaya – and they'll throw in a drink too!

To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us where Maaya is located.


Is it:

A Theatre District

B The Hub

C thecentre:mk


Send your answer to: putting 'Maaya for me' in the subject box.

Remember to include your name, address and a daytime telephone number.

The first correct answer picked at random on Monday, July 25, 2016 will win.


> Prize is lunch for two people, with one drink each

> No cash alternative

> Entrants must be aged 18 years or older

> Editor's decision is final