What better way to acknowledge the Indian festivities of Diwali than by visiting the reknowned Maya Sweets?
There are two displays filled with sweets, decorated with pistachio nuts, silver foil and dessicated coconut.
Burfi, so much burfi. I forget that burfi is one of the essentials in Indian celebrations.
A quick scan of ingredients starts to reveal patterns - milk, sugar, pistachio and cardamon.
Maya Sweets is known as the go-to shop for handmade Indian sweets. At any given time you can find a candy shop full of exotic sweets. It also caters as a vegetarian restaurant. The decor is nothing to shout about, but the service is friendly and efficient, the food is tasty and the prices are as low as you get.
After a eat-till-you-drop dinner, we struggled to pick a selection out of the window. This is what we came up with:
Rasmalai (Home made cheese, reduced milk, pistachio sugar, green cardamon)
Badam Katli (Reduced Milk, Almonds, Sugar, Green Cardamon)
Peda (Reduced Milk, Ghee, Almonds, Pistachios, Cardamon Seeds, Sugar)
Chocolate Burfi (Cocoa, Reduced Milk, Sugar, Green Cardamon)
Malai Champ (Reduced Milk, Sugar, Milk)
The Ras Malai was the least attractive and the most tasty of all the desserts. The cheese was firm and soft, and although it didn't have its own distinct taste, its sponge-like texture absorbed the fragrance and spices in the reduced milk syrup very well.
The Badam Katli's diamond shape with silver leaf appealed to me, and the actual dessert is perfect as a nutty dry doughy sweet.
The Peda instantly tasted familiar with its sweet and buttery taste and raw flavours - I reckon if you ate cookie dough which had just been put in a hot oven for a minute, that's what a good Peda tastes like.
The Chocolate Burfi is a dense sugar lump, there is not enough of any flavour and unfortunately the subtlety of the cardamon is lost among the chocolate and the sugar.
Malai Champ looks so beautiful, like a rose-coloured macaron but it was very moist, and incredibly toothache-inducingly sweet. The three layers all taste the same and the dessert is so moist the pistachios in the white centre have softened. I can see this would be an easy dessert to love (like eating icing made with condensed milk) but it was not for me, certainly not after an Indian sweet fest.
468 Cleveland St, Surry Hills
02 9699 8663
10:30am to 10:30pm
Above, Maya also has a Tandoori restaurant.
Note: There is a second Maya Indian restaurant across the road at 431 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills. Despite the identical font in the logo and shared Maya name, they told me that it is not affiliated with Maya Sweets.
Props to me for finishing! And thanks to anyone out there reading.