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San Francisco Bay Area Indian Santa Clara Buffet

Mother May(uri) I - (Santa Clara Indian Buffet)

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Mother May(uri) I - (Santa Clara Indian Buffet)

katya | Jul 8, 2005 05:20 PM

My friends and I came up with some groan-worthy titles I didn’t use, including:

Biryanni Live at the Acropolis
Mayuri: Highly raita-d
Tikka a Hike to Mayuri for a Great Indian Buffet
Mayuri: Is it a winner or aloo-ser?
Paneer far wherever you are
Indians ate my balls (of delicious curried potatoes)
Makhanikin Skywalker

And two Yakov Smirnoff-inspired suggestions:
-In Soviet Russia, Russian Salad is made of Vodka and Potatoes. In America, it is only served in Indian Buffets and no one dares to eat any of it
-In America, Indian buffets serve the Russian Salad. In Soviet Russia, Indian Salad serves the American buffet!


I tried the Indian dinner buffet at Mayuri in Santa Clara with some friends last week on the only night of the week it’s offered – Wednesday. I traveled two hours door-to-door taking public transportation from work in San Francisco. The good news? It was worth it.

SEVEN REASONS WHY MAYURI’S DINNER BUFFET IS SO KICK ASS

The buffet consists of a huge spread of dishes, many of which I didn’t even have enough room in my stomach to try.

They serve lots of exotic dishes that I haven’t seen before, and the list changes every Wednesday.

It’s vegan friendly (in fact our vegan friend recommended the place), though that’s not uncommon for Indian food. Looking at the regular menu (which has a startlingly huge selection of dosas like at Annapoorna in San Mateo), they seem to specialize in South Indian cuisine.

The pressing question in visiting any Indian buffet is “How is the chicken tikka masala (CTM)”? Well, Mayuri doesn’t have CTM, but they do have chicken makhani, which tastes much more rich and buttery. It was a table favorite.

The price is only $10-$11 per person, which is very reasonable by dinner buffet standards.

Fresh naan comes to the table (as opposed to sitting barely warm in the buffet as at some places).

Oh yeah – the food’s great!

DISHES I TRIED

I asked my friends for their two favorite dishes. A star indicates ones that made the list.

- *Chicken makhani
- *Spinach cutlet (one of my favorites; lightly fried patty of spinach and flours?)
- *Dum aloo (melon ball size potatoes in a cream sauce)
- *Spinach dal (best dal I’ve ever tried and carries some heat; spinach and yellow lentils)
- *Kathal ki sabzi (good potatoes in this vegetarian tomato sauce based dish)
- * Mixed kabob (the boyfriend really liked the lamb, but didn’t try the tandoori - chicken; another friend skeletonized the tandoori chicken like I can only imagine a piranha with a cow)
- Make your own sev poori (that’s what I called it – there were poori – small “crackers” – and a cold potato mixture and together it reminded me of sev poori, but the spicing was off)
- Falafel (not good - too grainy)
- Banana carrot poriyal (I thought the ingredients didn’t meld well – physically and taste-wise, but the boyfriend liked the coconutty flavor)
- Idli (I’m not a big idli fan and this was no exception)
- Mint uthappam (not a lot of flavor other than dough)
- Beghara benghan (good eggplant in a decent yellow sauce)
-Tomatoes, cucumbers, oranges, cantaloupe
-Raita (good, with chunks of cucumber)

Dishes I Didn’t Try
- Papadam
- Soups including sambar
- Fish curry
- Undhija
- Paneer do piazza
- Goat curry (a friend reports that it had good flavor despite bits of bone she had to avoid)
- Dum biryani
- Vegetarian noodles (Indian chow mein)
- Russian salad (composed of fruit in a creamy dressing; my friends report that last time they served “Italian salad” which was similar but with vegetables)

DESSERTS

-Halwa (best of desserts I tried; sweet and studded with golden raisins)
-Fruit custard (good, but I picked around the canned fruit cocktail)
-Vanilla soft serve (one of my friends warned that if you don’t turn the handle the right way you end up with pre-ice-cream… if you know what I mean)

Service was fine in removing our old plates and refilling water. The restaurant is bright with a lot of mirrors (one blinded me while the sun set), and is quite large, though only about one fifth of the place was full.

MY RANKING OF BAY AREA INDIAN BUFFETS

I might be forgetting some:

1) Passage to India (Mtn View)
2) Priya (Berkeley)
3) Mayuri (Santa Clara)
4) Mehak (Berkeley)
5) Sargam (Walnut Creek)
6) Maharaja?. (Mtn View – on Castro St., can’t remember name but it’s not Sue’s)
7) Tandoori Mahal (San Francisco)
8) Khana Peena (Berkeley)
9) Rajib? (Richmond – Can’t find it online; might be closed)
10) Swarna (Walnut Creek)
11) India Palace (Berkeley)
12) Raj (Oakland)

I once ate at the buffet at Swagat (Mtn View) – I can’t remember well enough to rank.

Mayuri
2232 El Camino Real (at Los Padres)
Santa Clara, CA 95050
Tel: 408 248•9747
http://www.mayuricuisine.com/

(From their website – I’m guessing the hours are daily)
Lunch 11:30 am•3:00pm
Dinner 5:30pm•10:00pm
Dinner Buffet – Wednesday only

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