So, it seems to be all the rage these days to head out on a Sunday and eat huge amounts of food mainly at really good value prices. You can head to a carvery or maybe to a Sunday buffet – allowing you to eat loads and then sit at home in front of the telly watching a movie; sounds like a perfect Sunday to us!
We went to Maaya Indian Kitchen & Bar located in The Hub to try out their Sunday offering – a Family Buffet at lunchtime, and the pricing looked really good; all you can eat for £13.95 for adults, £6.95 for under 12s and under 5s eat for free.
The restaurant is a little tucked away, not on the main piazza (although we have just heard of plans for them to relocate there making the restaurant bigger with outside dining space) so once we’d found it, we headed inside and were shown to our table. There were three of us dining including an eight year old - well, it is billed as a family buffet.
Out of the corner of our eye we could see the array of dishes laid out near one of the front windows. Shiny serving dishes lined up with lids pulled down, ready to explode into life when we were ready. First up we ordered a few drinks, nice to see a non-fizzy option of apple juice available for children. Then we were let loose…
Small person was keen to discover what was on offer and went happily along the line opening up the lids and peering inside, each dish labelled below with what it actually was, so you didn’t have to guess. There was a really fresh salad to one end with some cold starters including chicken tikka which caught small person’s eye. But the star of the starters was the huge pile of freshly cooked, crispy onion bhajis, were they seriously good? … could we really eat as many as we wanted? This could get messy.
So, after bhajis, chicken tikka, spring rolls, mini poppadums, all manner of dips including mango chutney, were piled high on plates and we sat down to enjoy. Now, the art of enjoying a good all you can eat buffet is not to go in too hard, you have to pace yourself. This wasn’t necessarily what the small person did and after several bhajis and a good few poppadums, he was already starting to flag. But after a short rest to do some colouring – he was back and raring to tuck into the mains.
We didn’t actually count the number of mains on offer but it was a really good selection including rice – there was chicken, lamb, dhal, vegetarian options and more. Some spicy, some not so spicy. And this the great thing about a buffet, you can try a little bit of everything, find out what you like and then head back for more. And they even bring you out freshly cooked, straight from the oven naan breads, which were incredible, probably the best I’ve ever tasted.
Suffice it to say, we were stuffed but it didn’t stop there … they do offer desserts. Not a huge range but just enough if you want to finish with something sweet. Small person loved the strawberry cheesecake and we enjoyed the traditional Indian dessert made with milk, roasted vermicelli and sugar, a bit like a rice pudding (sort of).
Overall, the family buffet is amazing value for money – less than £14 for a three course meal, and some. You can’t really go wrong, all the food looked freshly cooked and tasted amazing. All that was left was to squeeze ourselves out of the front door and decide what movie to watch all afternoon.