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Prize night

We treated our curry rant competition winner Siobhan O'Donnell, and chums, to a £100 tab at the Mayur. Did they have a good time? Er, we hope so...

Published on September 28th 2010.

Prize night

Having been granted £100 to spend in the Indian restaurant of my choice, writes Siobhan O'Donnell, the first person I called was my best friend and regular “partner in curry”, Danielle, followed by our respective partners in life, Andy and Rob.

We were all terribly excited about the forthcoming excursion, and the other three were determined I should pick the venue myself.

I was keen to try somewhere new and, after taking recommendation from colleagues and the Liverpool Confidential readers and ranters, I settled on the Mayur on Duke Street.

Nestled under the modern apartments that have been constructed at the top of Duke Street, you would expect it to reflect the contemporary design of its surroundings. But for a Victorian terrace dweller, with a mountain of DIY to tackle, it felt like I’d stepped into the pages of a lifestyle magazine and I loved it.

I think it’s always a good sign when the kitchen is open and you can watch the food being prepared in front of you. We had a perfect view of the long stainless steel counter, which produced the dishes and aromas that whetted our appetite from the moment we stepped in the door.

We ordered papads (lighter, crispier poppadoms) and chutneys while we perused the wine list and menu. Danielle likes merlot, I’m a fan of shiraz so in the end, we ordered a bottle of Chateau Indage Tiger Valley merlot-shiraz, from the Sahyadri Valley, India; a really, gentle, drinkable, fruity wine.

To start I chose tikki (grilled potato cakes, made with cashews and dates), Andy ordered paneer tikka shaslik, Rob opted for samundri ratan, whilst Danielle, having never seen it on an Indian menu before, tried tuna ke paarchey (tuna steak).

The food was immaculately presented and the smells, as it was placed in front of us, were fresh and exciting. The boys both liked their food, but Danielle was happy to provide a few more details. The tuna was apparently griddled to perfection, with moist, flaky fish atop a delicately seared underside.

My aloo tikki and chutney were exactly the right combination of sweet and spicy flavours and substance. For the main course I ordered subz thaal to give me the opportunity to try a few different things. In other restaurant it might have been called vegetable thali, meaning a tray with various vegetable dishes, but in this instance I received an onion bhaji, another aloo tikki, grilled vegetables, paneer and a tomato sauce dish with garlic naan.

As somebody with a wheat allergy, the chance to order gluten free naan was a pleasant change. Unfortunately, wheat free bread often fails to live up to expectation and sometimes fails to materialise at all. The gluten free naan bread had the texture of a biscuit and I’d recommend that anyone with an allergy order rice instead (do tell them if you’re coeliac as the spices contain gluten).

Andy selected murg tikka lababdar (chicken), Rob ordered elaichi ka bhuna gosht (lamb) and Danielle ordered chicken jalfrezi. They were all offered the opportunity to have their food made hotter if that was their taste but I think only Rob accepted.

Danielle left some of the chillies on the side of the dish and the waiter laughingly gave her the option of having them wrapped as a snack for later, which Danielle politely declined.

I noticed that while no particular part of my dish had seemed hot enough to overpower the variety of flavours within, a lovely feeling of warmth had enveloped my mouth in layers.

I’d love to be able to cook in a way that strikes that balance. We all agreed that the food throughout had tasted light and healthy. The preparation seemed to have completely bypassed the method found in some curry kitchens that seems to involve swamping the food in oil and butter.

We were feeling rather pleased with ourselves until the dessert menu arrived and we all admitted that – yes, we’d rather like some of the nutty kulfi on offer. It was the perfect end to a superlative meal.

The bill for all of that came to £124.50 (£100 of it courtesy of Liverpool Confidential). The restaurant has some stairs leading up to the front door, which would pose an obvious problem for wheelchair users but, personally, if you’re able to get in there, you definitely should.

Siobhan and friends dined, announced, as Liverpool Confidential's curry rant winners. Find Mayur in the East Village complex, Duke Street, Liverpool L1. Tel: 0151 709 9955.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Liverpool ConfidentialNovember 26th 2007.

Even we want to go now. Joel!

AlexNovember 26th 2007.

I went last night after reading this article (it made my tummy grumble) and can confirm that it's an amazing place, without doubt the best curry restaurant I've been to so far. And while the food is amazing (and refreshingly different), the toilets and the decor are out of this world! I'll defo be going back. The staff are really friendly too. 10/10 for the Mayur! (hey Liverpool Confidential, how about a weekly/monthly top 10 curry houses?)

Siobhan O'DonnellNovember 26th 2007.

Sorry for the error. I did have a look around the place and didn't see the alternative entrance, so really added it as an afterthought. Incidentally, you bathrooms are also beautiful. Siobhan

victoriaNovember 26th 2007.

My mouth is watering...!Mayur sounds delicious, it is now top of my "restaurants yet to visit" list.This is a fantastic article, really informative and yet a pleasure to read, thank you for your words of wisdom oh Curry Queen!

AnonymousNovember 26th 2007.

Thanks for the review. It will encourage us further to maintain and improve our service and food. We do have a wheelchair entrance form the square at the back and also a disabled bathroom. Wheel chair users are most welcome.ManagerMayur

SteveNovember 26th 2007.

Yes Mayur is indeed one of the best Indians in the City, we love the place its decor is tasteful and its curries mouthwatering. Our friends can't wait to go back.

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