While deciding what I wanted to eat for my last supper in Montreal, I was drooling over the photos from my auto-scheduled post on Namskar (what, you think I'd actually blog while on vacation?) and had mad cravings for Indian food.
I told my friend Ken so, and was about to suggest that we go to Allo Inde, a lovely little place that provides great food and service for relatively reasonable prices. Then, Ken texted back a list of seven Indian restaurants that we could try, including Buffet Maharaja. Still reeling from the previous meaty food babies I had on this trip, I said, "Buffet Maharaja is INSANE! There's SO MUCH food!" Clearly, that night was not the night to start rehabilitating from my vacation eating.
I was not kidding when I said that Buffet Maharaja was insane - according to its website, it boasts the largest Indian buffet in North America. There was a long row of meaty curries plus traditional favourites like tandoori chicken, a vegetarian corner, a grill station that made fresh naan and skewers and a huge dessert table which included a chocolate fondue. For those who are averse to exotic foods (aka kids dragged there by their parents), there was a sizable selection of salads, plus a station of "Western" foods like fries, onion rings and pizza. And if that wasn't enough, some of the dishes rotated in and out as they were being made, so there was literally more food than met the eye.
Despite my initial desires to fill up more on vegetables, we started on the row of meaty curries where I grabbed a small scoop of basmati rice, chicken and beef curries, chicken korma, beef vindaloo (*actually* spicy), and lamb saag. We then moved on to the vegetarian corner and grabbed some peas, aloo gobi (cauliflower and potato), aloo bhaji (spicy potato) and dal. Then we wandered over to the grill station and grabbed some fresh, so-hot-it-was-almost-crispy naan.
At this point my food baby was getting quite far along, and we had barely made a dent in sampling all the Indian food that was available (we decided it'd be ok to skip the fries)! Plate 2 included some tandoori chicken, shrimp on a stick, skewers from the grill, zucchini, okra, spinach, eggplant, a couple pakoras, and of course, more naan!
It was time to admit defeat, but not before a little bit of dessert! The chocolate fondue had unfortunately been used up and I generally find Indian desserts to be much too sweet, so I opted for a lot of fruit, a pudding cup and a couple of halwas.
I'm usually a bit weary when it comes to buffets because usually the quality of the food suffers, but I found the food at Buffet Maharaja to be fresh, hot and very authentic tasting. The only bad note of the night was the pudding - they weren't labelled according to flavour, and I grabbed a banana one that tasted just like banana-flavoured medicine! It was so disgusting and artificial I must've only had two bites. The halvas (carrot and coconut) were quite sweet, but I really liked the coconut one because it gave it a little bit of a bite.
Buffet Maharaja is a fun yet classy place, and there is so much food that there's something for everyone. Despite being a buffet, the quality of the food does not suffer, and the service was also very friendly.
1481 Blvd René-Lévesque O
Montreal QC H3G 1T8
Mon-Wed Lunch (11:30 AM-3:30 PM): $10.99, Dinner (3:30 PM-11 PM): $14.99; Thu-Sun Lunch: $11.99, Dinner: $16.99. 50% off for children aged 4-10, 10% off for seniors and students.
*From the song Spectacular Spectacular on Moulin Rouge!