For a few years SevenStreets would walk past the Mayur Indian restaurant on the way to work, and had to fight off the delicious smell of toasting spice that wafted from it on a daily basis. A bit like Odysseus, only with tamarind instead of sirens.

Charging up the steps first impressions are good – though having a closed door at the end of a hefty flight of steps can’t be good for business? – the restaurant is warming up for a Saturday night’s business. It’s quiet, relaxed, smart if not exactly breaking the mold. An upmarket but slightly sterile take on Indian restaurant chic.

We wait while a table is prepared specially for us – a nice touch and sit down to take in an ambitious, exciting menu. SevenStreets enjoys a chicken tikka masala as much as the next man, but it’s nice to have the option of something a bit more adventurous.

How about lobster pepper fry (£26.95) or Malabar crab curry (£14.95) for the sort of dishes you’re unlikely to see in a Tesco freezer department, or most other Indian restaurants you could name?

A Samundri Ratan (£6.50) promises scallops, mussels and squid in a spicy tomato masala and works beautifully, the sweetness of the seafood working well with tomato, garlic and cumin. One small scallop seemed rather stingy, but the flavour of the dish and the way the seafood was cooked compensated.

At this point we order a second round or drinks and problems set in. We’d allowed ourselves the best part of two hours between arriving and a prior engagement elsewhere so had wasted little time in ordering.

But the minutes tick by while we await our main course and drinks. Quite a lot of minutes in fact. To add insult to injury our drinks are sat on the bar in our line of sight for quite some time while staff wander around the restaurant, appearing to do very little.

Having watched our drinks sit fizzing their CO2 into the atmosphere for five minutes we marched over, a little irritably it must be said, and simply carried them over ourselves.

With 20 minutes to go before we were due elsewhere in town our mains arrived. Our Shikari Thal (£17.95) featured some delicately-spiced salmon that was slightly overcooked but melt-in-the-mouth lamb, juicy chicken and monstrous king prawns were lovely.

A veggie Subz Thal was similarly varied and a real taste of authentic Indian food – paneer, fruit and veg, naan and onion bhaji – but the pea tikki was clearly burned and shouldn’t have made it to the plate.

The food was – generally – pretty good, displaying an altnerative to the gloopy, greasy stews that curries so often seem to consist of. But the 40-minute wait between starters and mains stuck in the craw. Upon pointing out the wait the staff were apologetic and offered a discount as a welcome gesture.

Two rounds of drinks with starters and mains cost the best part of £60, so this is not an inexpensive meal. There are plenty of suggestions that Mayur can command those prices with an exciting menu and some tasty food. The decor is smart and an updated twist on Indian restaurants but the service was a bit of a shocker on this occasion.

Every restaurant has an off night, so we’re left wondering whether this is one of those things or part of wider issue with serving and waiting staff. Still, we’ll know where to head when we next fancy a lobster curry, if not a flat beer.

Mayur
Duke Street

  • Malcolm Kennedy

    This was pretty much my experience. I was also annoyed by the compulsory service charge.

  • Ronnie de Ramper

    I think you were very unlucky indeed. I’ve been taking people – family, friends, visiting colleagues – to Mayur for four years. I can honestly say nothing, or very little, has disappointed me.

    In fairness, I tend not to visit on Saturday nights. And in fairness too, things may have moved on in ways I’ve not noticed over the past six months.

    But overall, I don’t know a better restaurant in Liverpool for quality Indian/South Asian cuisine. A bit expensive certainly; but worth it. And I have never known the service to be other than fine