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“Stop press: Basil Fawlty moves to Birmingham” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Maharaja

Maharaja
Ranked #311 of 2,186 Restaurants in Birmingham
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Indian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Late Night, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff
solihull
Level Contributor
87 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Stop press: Basil Fawlty moves to Birmingham”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2014

This used to be my curry restaurant of choice in Birmingham, although I hadn't visited in the last 5 years. Wow, what a disappointment. There always used to be a really warm welcome from the manager himself, and the staff were always friendly and attentive, and the food was always excellent.
Visited with two friends on Saturday evening at 6.30, in advance of a concert starting at 7.30. There was no welcome of note. We were shown to a table and the first thing of note was that another table was complaining about cold and undercooked chicken. The complaint was poorly handled and the couple left their meal, settled up and walked out very annoyed. Then the table next to us complained about and undercooked sea bass dish which was changed.
Our orders were quickly taken for drinks and popadums. Neither were quick to arrive though. We had to chase up the orders for both. Then another waiter came along and tried to take our drinks order again.
We placed our orders. The starters eventually arrived followed, soon after, by the main course. They took the mains away. Then it took ages for the mains to reappear. When they did, we had been there for over an hour. To put this into context, there were never more than four other tables in use during our visit.
When the main course arrived again, mine was barely warm. They offered to replace it but we were already late for the gig so I declined. In their defence the dish tasted fine; just not hot enough. I had a couple of spoonfuls of my friends' dishes and must say they were excellent.
Given the attentive service I was used to here previously from the old manager, I tried to catch the eye of the manager on several occasions to chase up on our orders or complain. It was noticeable that he spent the whole time behind a reception desk counting money or something. It was apparent that he knew I was trying to get him to come over but he was pretending not to have seen me. After my main dish had been taken away I actually called over to him that I wanted to talk to him. The only explanation he could offer for the shambles over which he was presiding was that 'someone from the kitchen had called in sick'. This really didn't stack up, as they were not busy. He mumbled that I wouldn't be charged for the main course but this was rather begrudging and unapologetic.
If it wasn't for the fact that my friends' food was very good I would have rated the place a 1. To put this into context, if I had reviewed this place when I was a regular visitor it would have been a 4 or 5. All the ambience and service pride has disappeared. I noticed the 1st June review from Pufcboy and agree with his view that the serving staff seemed to be nervous of the surly manager. It was almost as though he resented having people in his nice clean restaurant.
This is definitely one to avoid now. There are plenty of fantastic curry restaurants in Birmingham that will make you feel welcome and valued, and serve great food.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
4 Thank TonyfromSolihull
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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373 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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    41
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Greek first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
29 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Awful Chicken! Taking advantage of Hippodrome location.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2014

I always try to be balanced in my review but find it very hard on this one. On arrival they were welcoming enough. A very surly manager whose presence clearly impacted his staff.

Service was OK, order taken. The poppadoms were very nice, but the overpriced small glass of flat diet coke was a little disappointing.

As you will see from my other reviews, I almost always order Chicken Dhansak on my first visit to an Indian, and just over 30 minutes later (bit slow) it arrived.

I’ll start by saying the rice was a generous portion and the Naan bread was very tasty and as ordered. That’s the end of any objectivity I can muster.

The chicken was AWFUL! It was clearly very cheap cuts of meat. Fat linking the less than generous potion together. Lots of chopped tomato and pepper to try and make the food look more than it was. Back to the chicken. Cutting pieces in half showed that there was very little white meat involved, but some of the meat was very clearly grey in colour, I of course complained and was not going to eat any other meat dish in that restaurant.

The manager was polite and tried to explain that it was the thigh, but I could see bits that were not breast, and this was not a natural colour for meat! He did offer any other dish as an alternative, but I felt unwell by the sight of my food so was not going to order anything else.

They did remove this from the bill, but nothing else! I should also mention that this was overpriced anyway! Clearly they benefit from Hippodrome footfall, but I would not return here is it was free for life!

The manager was very keen to know if we were local. Not sure if this was to offer us a free meal, but even though we are not local I hope the power of the internet helps put people off.

Strongly advise people to avoid!

  • Visited May 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Pufcboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath England
Level Contributor
106 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“Fabulous , central and reasonably priced !”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 27, 2014

Birmingham is justifiably famous for Indian cuisine .The Balti houses are fun but are well away from the centre and the flavours are unsubtle .
This restaurant , almost next to the Hippodrome theatre , is in the very centre and the food is Michelin quality . And i have dined at Gymkhana , the best in London .
One can choose small or large portions, from a menu that is vegetarian friendly too .
Wine lovers are in for a treat . Bollinger is cheaper here than on the shelf at Tesco. Pelorus sparking wine from Cloudy Bay is a gem .
It looks as if there has been a major makeover . It would help if the lights were dimmer .
Exquisite .

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank DominicBathEngland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“An indian restaurant in the chinese food district.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 13, 2014 via mobile

We stumbled across this when desperately lookin for a curry in a place predominantly featurig chinese retaurants. Im so glad we did as i ordered a Goscht dish knowing i used to like one from an indian restaurant in brighton and it absolutely blew it out of the water. Every mouth full was amazing. Dare i say, the best curry i have ever had! The waiters were very attentive, polite and quite justifiably proud of their restaurant. Lovely decor and good wine too. Definitely try this place!

Helpful?
Thank Hannah T
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Lost its edge”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 1, 2014

we have been going to Maharaja over the years and have always been more than happy with quality of food ,since resent refurb the menu has changed and food has lost its old Maharaja flavour ,don't know why maybe a new chef

  • Visited April 2014
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank James L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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