Mai’ Da

World Fusion Cuisine

Admit it. Whenever you travel out of the country, the first thing you want when you come home is some good old Tex-Mex, or maybe an Americanized version of “Italian” pepperoni pizza or “Chinese” chop suey. We all know these types of cuisine don’t really represent Mexico, Italy or China in the traditional sense, but they’re the versions we all know and love. What you may not have considered, however, is that this is not just an American phenomenon. Every country has its own versions of foreign foods that can only be found there, and India is no exception.

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Beef Short Ribs, marinated with spices and grilled // photos by Jennifer Shertzer

And that’s exactly what Plano resident and owner Prem Damodaran is trying to create with his world fusion menu at Mai’ Da: dishes from all over the world with an Indian flair, just like he grew up eating in India. The Plano restaurant will feature dishes from Indo-China, Nepal, Mexico, Korea and even some Cajun – all with an Indian twist.

Mai’ Da recently opened off of 75 and Park, tucked behind Fuzzy’s Taco Shop. Formerly an Indian restaurant, Prem and his team have acquired and completely renovated the spot from floor to ceiling. Temporary signage hangs out front as the exterior of the building is also being remodeled. Sporting a dark, contemporary design, the inside features a number of wood-topped, handcrafted tables built by the owners themselves. They will soon add long communal tables, a full bar serving cocktails from all over the globe and a small hookah lounge area to enjoy in the evening.

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Masala Deviled Eggs topped with fried onions, paprika and green onions

Their most popular starter so far is the Fish Fritter dish, dipped in Indian spices, fried and served with a spicy Masala Ranch; all of their sauces are made in-house. Other tempting options include Masala Deviled Eggs, Indian Street Tacos, Spicy Lamb Meatballs and Volcano Chicken.

Moving along through the vast menu, one will spot grilled favorites like kabobs, fajitas, and Chicken Tandoor, as well as rice- and noodle-based dishes like Burmese Tangy Cold Noodles, Indo Risotto, and Pad Kee Mao.

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Chicken Tikka Masala served with rice and naan (Paneer version available for vegetarians)

Prem told us we must try some of the signature Mai’ dishes, so we sampled a light, clay-oven baked whole Pomfret fish, Cajun Skillet Flounder served in a delicious sauce Prem created himself and the Thai Red Curry made with Masala spice. If you love a warm, comforting bowl of soup in the Fall, you’ll also enjoy the Hot and Sour Soup or Curry Pho.

Even the desserts are uber-unique at Mai’ Da. For example, a refreshing dessert they’re calling Chestnut Rubies: water chestnuts soaked with rose petals and rosewater until they soften, then topped with coconut milk and ice – delicious.

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Chestnut Rubies are water chestnuts, soaked overnight in rose water, then coated with tapioca, mixed with rose petals and topped with cardamom flavored coconut milk

Where else but India can you eat international cuisine like an Indian native? Right here in Plano.

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