Restaurant: Mayuri Indian Cuisine
Last visited: January 17, 2010
Area: Surrey, BC
Address: 12677 80th Avenue
Price range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!
- Family owned
- Authentic (for North Indians and myself, but if you ask a South Indian person the menu is but the execution is not so much)
- Serves South/North Indian cuisine
- Specializes in South Indian cuisine
- All vegetarian
- Popular for dosa (20 varieties, not 30 as advertised)
- Lots of homemade Indian bread options (about 9)
- Lots of starches
- Big portions, good value
- Dairy free options
- Gluten free options
- Vegan friendly
- Extensive menu
- All ages
- Seats 50
- Busy during lunch
- Fully licensed
- Dine in/Take out
- Catering and party hosting available
- Open Mon-Thurs 11am-9:30pm
- Open Fri-Sun 11am – 10pm
Recommendation: Mysore Masala Dosa, Mysore Cheese Dosa, Thali, Marsala Chai (It’s especially good here). These recommendations are mine as well as from Indian people that eat there. They used to offer these amazing raw banana pakoras; it’s still on the menu but sadly not offered.
This is about my 5th visit to Mayuri Indian cuisine. It’s not really a hole in the wall but it is kind of in the middle of nowhere between industrial complexes. My Indian friends introduced it to me first and since then I have brought my non-Indian friends as well. The vegetarian and non-vegetarian friends liked it and for most it was their 1st time. Everyone was more awe’d by the overall experience rather than the food itself, but nobody complained about the food – except some dishes were a bit too spicy. I like spicy, so it was fine for me.
I am quite familiar with North Indian food (home cooked and restaurant) but not South, so from my “Indian” perspective and the perspective of my Indian friends Mayuri is considered a good restaurant for South Indian cuisine. They do serve some North Indian food, but I would classify them much more as South Indian. Everyone orders dosas and they have some South Indian rice specialties that are hard to find elsewhere.
For me, a restaurant has got to be good if your friends of that culture keep bringing you back. Also you know it’s authentic when you’re the only non-Indian in there, and I’ve been the only non-Indian all 5 times. Personally, I think Mayuri Indian cuisine does a fine job. It serves great food, made upon order and at a great value. Don’t underestimate the entirely vegetarian menu, I get so sleepy every time I finish eating here – the portions are big and they’re heavy in starches.
I’m going to treat this review like South Indian cuisine for beginners…
On the table
Mysore Masala Dosa – 5/6
- Crepe stuffed with Potato Curry, Filled with Spicy Special Sauces $7.45
- I’m still so sleepy and full from the dosa…
- Dosas are huge; anywhere you go you’ll find them this big. It’s really unique looking and don’t be overwhelmed by the size. It’s only the middle that has about a bowl and a ½ full of potato curry, the rest is just the crepe. It’s still incredibly filling though.
- The potato curry is spicy, not too salty and flavourful. It’s not saucy or soupy, but very creamed and thick although there is no cream. It’s almost like a mashed potato curry but with some small tender chunks of potato. There’s also onions, ginger, garlic, carrots, peas and spicy Indian spices, but you can order it mild.
- The crepe is made of lentil flour and it’s really thin and crispy until you get to the part where the potato curry is. When it gets wet or touches sauce it becomes flexible and almost chewy.
- They put a thin layer of tomato paste on the inside giving it a tanginess. It’s also seasoned generously with garam masala (freshly ground Indian spices) and some chili powder. It’s quite salty in the beginning, very aromatic and then the spiciness hits you just after.
- With the combination of the spicy crepe and spicy potato curry, this dosa had my nose running – but I like my heat so it tolerable for me. I did have a hard time tasting the other food after though and had to allow a break in between…and some water.
- The dosa is served with sambar (lentil soup described below) and 2 kinds of chutney: coconut and ginger.
- The coconut is sweet and there’s dried coconut flake in it. It’s not that creamy and very light tasting and makes the dosa mild if it’s spicy.
- The ginger chutney was more like chili chutney. It was bright red and very spicy, but still good.
- If you’re adventurous and want to sample everything then order the Mayuri South Indian platter, that’s what I did my 1st time. I didn’t really like the extras, so I just order the dosa now.
- South Indian Platter includes:
- 1 dosa (Chose your own dosa for $1 extra).
- Idli: steamed rice cakes, almost like polenta in texture. It’s bland like plain rice is but it’s used as the ‘bread’ for the soup.
- Vada: a deep fried donut similar to a honey crueller from Tim Horton’s but it’s savoury not sweet. It’s not salty either; it tastes like the deep fried denser version of the Idli. It’s quite bland and very filling.
- Sambar: lentil soup – this is good! But it com es with any dosa, not just the platter and you can order it separately too.
Thali – 4/6
- Two poories, Plain Rice, Flavored rice, Daal, one Fry, one Curry, Sambar, Dahi, Sweet, Papad $11.95 (I don’t know what the menu means by “one fry”)
- This has everything, but the kitchen sink in it! My mom calls it “Indian nachos” lol. I enjoy the variety so if you want to sample everything go for this. However this is more of a North Indian combination platter. I wouldn’t call it authentic North Indian, but it’s a North an d South Indian fusion – essentially its North Indian dishes made by South Indian people.
- You can order each of these items individually as well. It’s meant for one person, but could easily feed 2.
The Thali Breakdown
- Poories – 2/6:
- Deep fried whole wheat bread.
- This is deep fried bread so it’s really crispy and almost tasted like deep fried pita bread made out of corn meal.
- I wasn’t really a fan and prefer roti or naan. The poorie is stiffer but as the cool down they taste a bit stale.
- Papad: Also known as papadums. These are typically served as appetizers and you eat them with chutney. It’s a thin crisp wafer and they’re very aromatic. Not really spicy but more salty and made with lots of cumin, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Plain rice: is just plain Basmati rice…it was very white though.
- Flavoured rice – 6/6:
- I’m pretty sure it was there “hot pongal” rice, but I’m not certain. The description sounds like what I was eating.
- This was delicious. It was rice with moong daal (yellow split pea, similar to a lentil) cooked with black peppers and seasoning. It’s not spicy though. It tastes like a puree of creamed curry lentils and rice. Just think of it as baked beans and rice but with curry instead of tomato sauce. It was savoury and I really enjoy ed it! It’s delicious with the raita (which is basically plain yogurt).
- It was like Indian risotto, but mushy.
- Channa Masala – 3/6:
- It’s 3/6 here, but when it’s made well it’s a 5/6 for me. This is chick peas cooked in a tomato based sauce. It was savoury and very tangy and simple.
- It’s a North Indian vegetarian dish, and they don’t make it extremely well here, but it’s decent. It’s a small portion, and I would only order it as a main at an Indian restaurant that focuses on North Indian cuisine.
- The one here is a bit watery and not as flavourful. It’s not their specialty.
- Tomato Daal – 4.5/6:
- This dish is stewed lentils cooked in tomatoes and Indian spices. It was the most savoury of the 3, very mild, and I really liked it.
- It was creamy (but no cream), saucy and it’s very healthy too. Well they probably use some clarified butter in it, but it doesn’t taste like they use a lot.
- It’s not as rich as a butter chicken sauce, but it’s similar. It also has some mustard seeds in it, which were great.
- The only thing is that it’s not as thick as I would have liked it.
- Paneer Butter Masala – 6/6:
- Paneer cooked in rich creamy sauce is how the menu describes it. I think they did a great job with this dish.
- Paneer is a cheese, but I question if it’s homemade here – I doubt it. It’s an Indian cheese similar to cottage cheese but firm, not hard though. It’s a very hearty cheese (almost like chicken) but mild in flavour.
- The dish tastes like butter chicken, except made with paneer. The sauce is a tomato based sauce and it is not spicy at all. It’s a bit tangy, but not as tangy as the channa masala.
- This dish has no dairy, but probably some clarified butter to give it that richness.
- Sambar – 6/6:
- Thick lentil vegetable soup. I really like the sambar here. It’s not too watery and very flavourful. The beans are slowly cooked so they break down into the soup.
- It’s not really a spicy soup, but almost like tomato based vegetable soup made Indian style.
- Traditionally, you can order idli (those rice cakes) and break pieces of it into the soup and let the patties absorb the flavours of the soup.
- Sweet/Rice Pudding – 1.5/6:
- The rice pudding didn’t taste like it was made that day. The rice was hard and it seemed almost pureed and very bitty. It was too sweet too and had no rose water or cardamom.
- Achar – 1/6
- This is definitely an acquired taste for sure! I’ve never liked it and I always give it a chance. It’s the most sour and salty thing you’ve ever tried…not a fan.
- You’re supposed to have a bite of it in between chews of everything else, but I’m still not warming up and I don’t find it enhances anything. It kinds of breaks everything up, but I’ll let my water do that.
Mango Lassi – 4/6
- It was a bit on the watery side and it was made of mango puree (not fresh), ice, and yogurt. It wasn’t too sweet and I liked it, but I’ve had better.