So I finally made it to the Taj Mahal, after a long drive from the Northern Suburbs along the coast in Summer. Always a beautiful drive. We live in such a beautiful city.
The Taj Mahal is run by Pukka Pakistanis… from Pakistan…. No really, this is the real deal. Pakistani waiters, head bobbling, Indian accents deluxe. There’s great potential here. The food is really good, but I found it expensive for the overall experience. The restaurant runs a takeaway downstairs and upstairs is the sit down area. The decor is spare. The white walls pretty bare except for a small section at the front and leftover decor from some long ago party still hanging from a cross beam. It’s quite spacious and little chance of feeling crowded.
Our waiter took our order for starters which came in record time. Some nice options, different from what you usually see in most Indian restaurants. They also cleared our starters in record time. Felt a bit rushed with the waiter hovering while I put the last morsel into my mouth so he could whisk away my plate.
The menu is quite extensive. Also available is a buffet which I found to have mostly the regular options so we ordered a la carte. The Butter Chicken is admittedly one of the best I have ever had. We had Palak Paneer, Cashew Chicken and Lamb Madras with heaps of Garlic Naan. It’s a pity that Indian restaurants don’t serve some kind of veg or side as part of the meal like most other restaurants do. If you want a side you need to order another main veg dish. Makes the meal pretty expensive overall. The food was quite good. But I would say that for the general ambience they’re a bit overpriced. Their prices range on the same scale as Bukhara or Annapurna, and both of these have a whole lot more atmosphere and vibe than Taj Mahal.
One of the drawcards is that they have an area allocated for Namaaz at the back of the restaurant. The downside to this though is that people use the rest rooms for Wudu which leaves the place a bit messy. This does not need to be a problem if the management ensures that the toilets are cleaned timeously but this was not the case on the night that we were there. Men’s room floors were wet and messy. It may be better to arrive with wudu if you’ll be needing to make namaaz.
They’re definitely a family restaurant so child friendly. But not in a Spur way, just casual and easy. In my opinion, a pretty average experience. It’s unlikely I’ll want to drive all the way to Hout Bay for a visit considering there are plenty of great Indian restaurants much closer. But it’s good to know there are options on that side of the world.
Casual Dining, Dinner, Lunch,
Medium | R100 - R300, Pricey | R300 - R600,