I picked up a bunch of dining passes from VANEATS.ca a while ago and invited Sab's family for an Indian fine dining experience at Maurya. The restaurant is located on West Broadway and looks like a quaint little house from the outside. The inside is like a classic and elegant living room with high ceilings which fits in with the theme.
On the table was a fancy stone candle holder which added to the ambiance.
Since we had dining passes, we didn't have to place an order apart from specifying whether we wanted mild, medium or spicy for each of our dishes. But the waiter didn't write down what we said and had to come back to confirm, which I thought was a bit unprofessional. Also the dishes took about 45 minutes to come and everything came at the same time. I had expected the appetizer to be served first, but apparently there was no order and the dishes got cold quickly before we had a chance to finish. The highlight of the meal was the garlic and basil naan which was very savoury and flavourful.
The mixed greens and beets salad, seekh kebab, and mixed vegetables came on the same plate as a small appetizer. The seekh kebab is an Indian sausage made with minced lamb and spices and grilled on a skewer. It was very rich and moist and not that musky since the spices covered it up quite well.
The chicken chettinad is an award-winning dish (2009 Dine Out Vancouver Award Winner), and it's a good alternative to run-of-the-mill butter chicken. The sauce was rich and creamy just like butter chicken sauce, but it was made with coconut paste and poppy seeds instead of tomatoes. I really liked the flavour and would probably prefer this to butter chicken.
The daal maurya is a vegetarian dish of black lentils cooked overnight. I thought it would be like a bean stew, but it was actually very watery like a thin soup. I couldn't think of another way to eat it other than drinking with a spoon; it wouldn't even stick to the naan I tried to dip inside.
The overall flavour of all the dishes were on the salty side, so I wouldn't recommend this restaurant for someone with milder tastes. The service we received was not close to five-star service either. I'm not sure whether this has to do with the fact that we were using dining passes and didn't order any drinks, but water was not refilled and no one ever came by to check on us. This added to the relatively high prices for regular menu items means I probably wouldn't be a return customer.