Dinner at Maazi, Matlock
The Flock have been meaning to visit Maazi for quite a while now but life has somewhat overtaken us a little bit. However, we synchronised our diaries and got the table booked before anybody could change their plans for last Saturday evening.
Maazi is located in what used to be the old Cinema building so you go into a fairly impressive lobby and up some Rose petal strewn stairs to reach the restaurant itself. Huge fragrant vases of Lilies perfumed the air beautifully and set the scene for the intricate interior with its carved woodwork and metal incense bowl -style lighting. Along one wall there is a white frieze that just looks like rippling water, it really is stunning.
We were shown to our table and had the napkins placed in our laps for us which is always a nice touch I think. Whilst we looked through the menu we munched on some Poppadoms and Pickles before deciding on Stuffed Tandoori Chicken Rolls, Trio of Tikka, Chicken Pakora and 2 Prawn Puri (both with creamy sauce rather than tomato sauce).
The two portions of Puri were served separately and the other 3 starters all came in a cast iron skillet with sautéed Onions, which again was a little different. The Puri breads were lovely and light and the sauce was very enjoyable with plenty of Prawns, and the Pakora were proclaimed to be the nicest my Mummy Bird had had. My own Tandoori rolls were quite spicy (which I like), not something you would normally expect from a Tandoori starter, but I really liked them.
The Mans trio ranged in spiciness from the mild to fairly spicy and the meat was very tender and moist. All the plates for the starters had been dressed with salad and swirls of paste very decoratively, and they looked gorgeous.
Our main courses were: Balti Lamb with Apricots, Caramelised Kashmiri (Maazi special), Macon Murgh, King Prawn Korma and Kerala Beef Chilli Fry. We also ordered Pilau rice, Lemon and Cashew nut Pilau rice, a Peshwari Naan and a Garlic Naan. The breads were not at all greasy and were freshly cooked, and they didn’t last long! We were all tucking in and chirruping with happiness, and some swapping of morsels was going on much to Chickadees disgust - she gets quite territorial over her plate.
The Lamb was very chunky and tender with lovely juicy plum Apricots lending moistness and sweetness to the dish, then a lovely warm hint of Cinnamon came through at the end. My Daddy Bird had gone for the Caramelised Kashmiri and the caramelised onions were nice and sweet which helped temper some of the heat of the spices, because as you know he doesn’t like too much spice. He said that it was a thoroughly enjoyable dish and he was glad he had chosen it. Mummy Bird was equally enthused with her selection of Macon Murgh; the chicken was juicy and tender and its rich creamy sauce was something that she could eat every day.
My Chick soon polished off her Korma, declaring it to be “delish“, so she was a happy camper. The Boy Wonder likes a bit of spice in his life so he was delighted with the kick that his Kerala Beef Chilli fry had to it. The Beef was nice and substantial and from a decent cut, not a fatty piece of scrap meat, so he soon filled his crop to bursting point. The rice all came in little bowls with lids on and had been cooked to perfection so that it was light and fluffy with all the grains separated ; again just a little different in its presentation to other restaurants.
When it came time to order pudding only the Boy and Myself stepped up to the mark (the Chick had ordered something that wasn’t available that night and didn’t fancy anything else), but all the adults ordered coffees. My dessert, Gulah Jaman, is an Indian sponge with Cardamom and syrup and His Nibs went for Kulfi, Indian Ice Cream. The Kulfi was gorgeously rich, and the pistachio variety was delicately flavoured with what tasted to me like Rose Water, which then contrasted well with the fruity zing of the Mango Kulfi.
The Man said it was very tasty, and he had been a bit reserved about the Pistachio version given that he isn’t a huge fan of nuts, so well done team Maazi for gaining another fan. My sponge was in the shape of thick sausages and was really moist, sticky and sweet with a glorious hint of Cardamom (I love that spice). The danger with this dessert is that it could be tooth-tinglingly sweet (like Baklava), but the addition of a scoop of Mango Kulfi dampened that perfectly.
All in all we had a terrific time at Maazi, the staff were all very polite, and the fact they were in traditional dress was a lovely touch too. Everything was spotlessly clean and the food was piping hot, so I was very happy. It was fairly busy so if you plan on visiting (and I recommend you do) then I would definitely ring and book in advance. Thank you for a fantastic experience team Maazi, you’ve earned your Hot Wings