When I stepped out of the car aroma of warm spiciness wafted through the air on the humid spring night. I looked around and thought, “Is that coming from where I’m headed?” Oh yes it was.
I was heading towards Mayuri Indian Cuisine. Tucked next to Trader Joe’s in upper Bellevue only 10 minutes from Bellevue College, Mayuri specializes in Northern and Southern Indian dishes at affordable prices.
On this Friday evening, the restaurant was bustling with mostly families and couples, appetites in tow. The room was packed, tables were filled, and a large group was waiting by the door.
A friend and I walked in and were greeted and seated right away. The menu was filled with pages of traditional Indian dishes. Being an avid Indian food eater and having traveled to India once before, I definitely knew my way around the menu. But, for the Indian food virgin, navigation was also easy – the menu thoroughly described each dish, being informative, while inducing some anticipatory mouth watering.
My friend made his way to the “Tandoori Specialties” section of the menu. The dishes in this section are all cooked in a Tandoori clay oven. He selected the Tandoori Mixed grill, which included, chicken, lamb and shrimp.
I went with an old favorite, Chicken Makhani, which is boneless chicken cooked in butter sauce. A must have accompaniment to any Indian meal, we also ordered Garlic Naan, which is bread baked in the Tandoori oven and topped with fresh garlic.
We were very well taken care of by our waitress; our orders were taken immediately, and water glasses filled promptly. Despite the busy evening our dishes were brought out quickly. Thank goodness for that because we were hungry and the dishes around us looked and smelled incredible.
Our waitress came out of the kitchen with a sizzling plate of seasoned goodness, and after catching a whiff of it I desperately hoped that it was headed for our table. My senses were rewarded as it happened to be my friend’s Tandoori Mixed Grill. My friend’s dish, along with my Chicken Makhani, Garlic Naan, and basmati rice were all served family style, in individual dishes for the table to share.
I started off with the Chicken Makhani and paired it with some rice. After spending a few seconds enjoying how good it smelled, I finally dug in. I was delighted to find, and was shocked it was even possible, that it tasted even better than it smelled. The spices all aligned perfectly, and flawlessly combined with the butter sauce.