Key Milwaukee

November 2013

An A-Z visitors guide to Milwaukee Wisconsin. Sponsored by Key Magazine Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Page 57 of 63

Key RESTAURANT OF THE MONTH among the top in the city continues to delight diners daily and offers choices for meat-lovers and vegetarians. The dinner menu also offers lamb, chicken, seafood and vegetable appetizers and entrees. WHILE MAHARAJA has been Milwaukee's foremost Indian restaurant for 16 years, its original owners, Balbir Singh and Baldev Bolla, believed it was time for a change – nothing drastic, but an updating to meet the needs of a changing clientele. "We saw new dining trends and felt we needed to make changes to stay on top," said Balbir's son, Prince Singh, who is leading the changes at the popular restaurant at 1550 N. Farwell Ave. on Milwaukee's near east side. Maharaja's commitment to authentic, traditional North and South Indian cuisine has not changed, but earlier this year the menu was slimmed down from more than 200 dishes to 66, each with its own flavor profile. The chosen 66 dishes are the most popular, pleasing "regulars" and already attracting "a lot of new faces," says Singh. Some of the menu items are now featured as specials on specific days. In addition, a new wine list is being introduced, along with new cocktails and craft beers. Still to come are physical changes both outside and inside the restaurant that is just minutes from downtown hotels. A popular luncheon buffet that is consistently ranked 58 The subtle and exotic flavors of Indian food come from the array of spices that are used, including cardamom, cinnamon, clove, coriander, nutmeg and saffron. There is a range of "heat" in Indian food, so whether you like your food with a bit of bite or not, count on lots of options. The dining experience at Maharaja begins with thin, crispy Papadam made from gram flower and black pepper, served with spicy onion, mint and sweet chutneys. It comes promptly after you are seated, a luscious introduction to what is to come. Appetizer choices at dinner include fried Pakora, vegetable, cheese or chicken dipped in chick pea batter; catfish marinated in yogurt and spices or the renowned Samosa, a fried pastry stuffed with spiced potatoes and green peas. The Mulligatawny Soup combines lentils and vegetables, while Coconut Soup combines coconut with cream, pistachios and more. There are a number of other Indian specialty breads listed on the menu that can be ordered, including versions stuffed with ingredients such as potatoes or nuts and raisins. "Roasted in the Tandoor" describes an Indian specialty involving aromatic herbs, cultured yogurt and ground fresh spices basted on foods that are then roasted in a charcoal clay oven

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