Hot décor

Maharani, Calahonda, Spain

This small but beautifully decorated Indian came highly recommended by locals. Run by an Iraqi guy who used to import spices for the other curry restaurants but decided he could do better, the exterior has beautiful wooden laticework, while the interior has a fantastically electic collection of lights, wall fittings and other objects. A trip to the toilets up the spiral staircase gives a great birds’-eye view of this little gem of a place.

The days when this place was overflowing at the seams with reps and sun-seekers thanks to the timeshare business has passed but it remains popular. It’s cosy inside for winter but has plenty of room outside for table in the summer.

The menu is a bit limited, although all the classic options are there. There are only six choices for appetisers but the Mixed Appetisers (€9) are a good option with onion, brinjal and cauliflower bhajees, chicken tikka and lamb seekh kebab piled up.

Quite unusually the super hot Phall (chicken €8.50, lamb €10, prawn €11.50) is actually listed on the menu (and not left to request only) so the chicken version was ordered to raised eyebrows from the owner along with its ‘junior’ cousin, Chicken Vindaloo (€8.50). They lived up to their expectations on the heat front but both had a slight rawness to the taste as if the spices neeeded frying off a bit more.

The Chicken Tikka Masala (€9.50) was tasty, although strictly for those who like it very buttery and the meal topped off with Pilau Rice (€4) and Butter Nan (€2.75), and all washed down with ice-cold draught beers.

Maharani, Ctra. Nac. 340, Urb Dona Lola, Calahonda. Tel: +34 (0)952 93 10 53. Open: daily from 6pm to midnight.

Maharani snapshot

Food ① ②

Decor ① ② ③ ④ ⑤

Value ① ② ③

Atmosphere (late on Monday night, out of season) ① ② ③

Service and friendliness ① ② ③ ④

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