Tuesday, January 4, 2011


we love indian food, particularly from the more veg-centric southern regions. when we heard about mayuri (rft's best indian restaurant for 2010) for the first time last month, we
had to give it a shot, despite the long drive to the west side of the city. what's great about mayuri is that it offers indian food from both the north and the south, as well as indian-chinese options. as you'll see, it was totally worth the drive. [see edit at bottom of page.]

creve coeur

tucked away in a shopping plaza (next to a tj maxx, much to our pleasure!) on olive blvd., mayuri is a place you have to hunt for, though we don't mind that at all. we arrived on a cold, snowy night, not expecting to find a large crowd. sure enough, we were the only folks in there for the first fifteen minutes or so, but then the place began to fill up. the chief reason we mention this is because of the clientele: over 90% indian. (in case you don't know, this is a good thing. whenever we encounter a restaurant serving up ethnic "x" cuisine, we're always comforted when we see large numbers of ethnicity "x" happily eating the food.) in any case, the restaurant is clean and nicely decorated.

this is a tough one. our waiter was more than competent, not overly-attentive, and spot on with food recommendations; however, his table-side manner left a lot to be desired. we're pretty sure he just didn't like clark's face and/or his surly disposition. either way, the waiter took care of us just fine, and we appreciated his suggestions for vegetarians.

we wanted to begin the meal with
gobi manchurian because we love indian-flavored cauliflower, but they were out of cauliflower and we had to "settle" for vegetable manchurian. thank gods for happy accidents! these indian-chinese fried veggie balls were insanely good, balancing sweetness with just the right amount of heat. their texture was much like tvp, so they stood on their own very well and provided a nice contrast to everything else we had later. seriously, this appetizer is worth the trip. hell, the sauce alone is worth the trip! from there, we moved on to our entrees, with palak paneer for clark and vegetable chatpat for lois (full spiciness on each dish). we decided to go for "thali" for each entree, too, as we'd never seen a thali option before, and we were anxious to try it. turns out, thali translates (very) roughly to "insane amounts of food"! on top of the huge portion of the entree, we also received dal, tamarind soup, rice, papadam, and an array of other tasty morsels. we were basically swimming in food, but we didn't mind one bit. when the food is this good, we say bring it on. the vegetables were cooked beautifully and both dishes were gorgeously presented. the only drawback of the evening was the relative absence of heat. we like our food spicy, but the food at mayuri didn't deliver much of a wallop. we've encountered this before while eating at other ethnic restaurants, and our guess is that chefs go easy on non-natives who usually don't know what they're asking for.

from the addition of kidney beans in the dal to the abundant (and pleasantly surprising) lemongrass in many dishes to the fact that the paneer actually had its own flavor (!), mayuri has raised the bar for indian food in st. louis. there is no doubt that we'll be going back, though next time we intend to hit the buffet where, strangely, we hope to eat less.

b [the original grade of "a-" has been adjusted to reflect the experience of our second visit.  unlike our first visit, this time the food, as one of our readers pointed out, was indeed terribly salty.  it was salty enough to ruin the entire meal, and things only got worse when the palak paneer arrived oily, pale, and flavorless.  it appears we may have gotten lucky on our first visit.]

vegetarian-friendly score:
Mayuri Indian Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I am a big Indian food lover and my experience with Mayuri is that it is among the worst restuarants I've ever been too. The food I got there was incredibly greasy and salty. It took a long time to prepare even though the restaurant was empty on a Wednesday evening. The staff were nice but not attentive.

  2. thanks for commenting, steve! obviously, one of the pitfalls of restaurant blogging is that reviews can only ever be representative of the blogger's unique experience. restaurants, as you know, can be wildly inconsistent; all we can do is report on what was served to /us/. in any case, we're actually heading back to mayuri tonight for a second visit. if things are radically different from our first trip, we'll be sure to let everyone know. again, thanks for the comment!