A visit to Bur Dubai is a must before I travel to the Philippines. Simply because there is no Bur Dubai in the Philippines. If there is, I am sure it won’t be as good as the Pani Puri or Pav Bhaji in Bur Dubai. One thing I am sure I will not find in the Philippines, Vegetarian Thali. While looking for goodies to buy for my friends and family, I was also in a hunt for a good vegetarian thali. Thali refers to the metal plate that a thali meal may be served on. The idea behind a Thali is to offer all the 6 different flavors of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent and spicy on one single plate.
Maharaja Express is a newly opened restaurant in Meena Bazaar. After our shopping, we head to Maharaja Express for a thali experience.
I ordered the limited thali since I am not that hungry to order the unlimited thali. The limited has the typical dishes include rice, dal, vegetables, roti, papad, dahi (yogurt), small amounts of chutney or pickle, and a sweet dish to top it off.
The vegetables are as follows:
Manchurian Vegetable Balls – This is a famous Indo Chinese brown tangy sauce with chopped ginger, coriander, and chopped tomato flavor. I’m curious how they made the veggie balls as the texture is like meat. It tastes amazing with the sauce.
Potato and Bell Peppers- What I like about this dish is the vegetables are not saggy. Bell peppers were still crunchy and the potatoes were well cooked. If it was not too oily, this will be an amazing dish.
Sweet dal – the sweet dal tastes similar to pumpkin soup. I finished my roti when I tasted this. I don’t usually eat rice when I have a thali meal but this sweet dal was an exception.
Mini Samosas– I am not sure if it is a samosa. The wrap is definitely like a samosa but the filling is not. I think it has cumin, minced moong, turmeric, and chili. I am sure they used more ingredients because it was so tasty I wouldn’t mind for another serving.
Carrot Halwa – is a carrot pudding but Maharaja Express’s version is sugar-coated carrot bits. It’s too sweet and oily.
Fafda- a fried snack made of flour with pepper on top usually served with Jalebi.
Jalebi- sweet fried flour pretzels.
The food is delicious but would be better if it has less oil. I am rating Maharaja Express 4/5.