Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Review by Susu

You know buffets ... they tend to offer huge amounts of substandard, bland, unappealing food to feed the masses efficiently. Potluck buffets -- church gatherings and the like -- are the most common, and all those flavors tend to muddle into the same thing. Buffet weddings and banquets ... well, who goes for the food, anyway?

So there's not much that can be said about buffets. Yet, Indian restaurants around here offer a buffet on weekends. One price, all you can eat. Yeah, okay, not bland, but all the same and scary, right?

Maurya in Woodhaven, NY actually offers a buffet of items from the lists on their regular menu. The surprise is that the buffet food is of the same high quality as their à la carte fare. Food is made fresh (can take a long while, since it's all from scratch) and brought out when it depletes. A basket of freshly baked naan is brought to the table.

Maurya is the name of an Aryan dynasty in the 11th and 12th century who ruled over northern India, with Chandragupta Maurya being their most powerful king. They claim sophistication and tradition on their interpretation of classical Indian cuisine, as well as military might.

The owners of Maurya explained they wanted people to get to know them in a less imposing way than handing out menus full of exotic names. It works -- we were so impressed with their buffet that we come back for regular à la carte meals and takeout. Like many Indian restaurants, they also offer a 'tasting menu' of popular items, in vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions. Both versions have many dishes served in little silver serving cups (about 1/3 cup per item), arranged on a platter, and include soup to start. It doesn't look like a lot of food, but you will waddle on out of there!

The buffet retails for $9.95 per person for lunch, $15.95 for dinner, and is offered on weekends. They change some things slightly, but always offered are:
  • Goat Curry -- bone in, for those who enjoy sucking, in a dark, spicy gravy. Very much like a vindaloo with fewer onions
  • Chicken Tikka Masala -- boned tandoori chicken pieces in a tomato and butter sauce
  • Peas Pullao -- basmati rice with red onions and peas
  • Alu Gobhi -- cauliflower, potatoes and other veggies in a curried, herbed cream sauce
  • Palak Panir -- tofu-like homemade cheese in spinach and cream
  • Daal -- stewed, spiced lentils
  • Chicken Tikka -- Chicken cooked in a tandoor oven with onions and lemon
  • Naan -- flatbread baked on the side of a tandoor oven
  • Samosa -- spiced potato and peas formed into patties and fried
  • Pakora -- mixed veggie fritters
  • Malai Kofta -- cheeseballs cooked in mild gravy
  • Papadum -- lentil crackers, spicy, served with chutneys and sauces
They have much more than this, of course. Good seafood items (someday, I will try their lobster tikka), quail tikka, mixed naans (stuffed with chicken or potatoes or mint or onions or ...), rice dishes, and less commonly known plats, too. Their food is so good and so fresh and varied, that it's inspired me to study the cuisine.

Of course, studying is all academic ... for sustenance and the best of the real thing, I plan to go to Maurya!

Disclaimer: The opinions and observations noted are the property of the author. Neither Wookieehut nor any associates makes any claims or lucre from the posting of this report or review. Enjoy!