Zaika in Midland has been around for three or four years. Located in a shopfront in Spring Park Road in the heart of “old” Midland, it has one largish room with tables and comfortable chairs throughout – and a couple of tables on the footpath outside. A few prints on the wall and some Indian music playing in the background and that is it really, except of course for the food.
Lady FWO and I have been along a few times, the last a year or so ago when the food didn’t overly impress, but we went along again this week and came away with a very different opinion. The food we had on this occasion ticked all the boxes.
The menu at Zaika is the usual when it comes to most Indian places around town – samosa, onion bhaji, pakora among the starters; a range of tandoor dishes – chicken tikka, lamb seekh kabab, salmon tikka; and an extensive list of curries, chicken, lamb, beef, seafood and vegetarian including butter chicken, lamb korma, lamb rojan josh, beef vindaloo, prawn madras, palak paneer and malai kofta. The list also contains a number of breads, rice dishes (biryani and pulao) and accompaniments such as chutney and pickle.
It is BYO and supplies good sized and shaped wines glasses.
We started with a serve of pappadums and mint chutney – they were nicely cooked, crisp and firm, not at all greasy, and the mint chutney was creamy and mild.
For our mains we chose two from the seafood menu – Malabar fish curry and kadai prawns, along with steamed basmati rice, garlic naan and raita.
The fish curry was very good indeed. The fish was wonderfully soft and tender, without being at all mushy; the flavours of the fragrant, mild sauce were redolent with coconut milk, were buttery and tangy, and the spices were well integrated. It was very enjoyable.
Our other main, the kedai prawn, was much spicier. The dark sauce made from tomato, onion and peppers had a nice chilli zing to it. The prawns were well cooked – retaining a crunch to the bite and again all of the spices were beautifully integrated – no rawness or sharpness evident. It was another successful dish.
Our naan was fresh, hot and doughy to better allow mopping up of the sauces; the raita a cooling accompaniment. The rice was well cooked the grains firm and separate.
Service is friendly and welcoming; the kitchen exhibiting very good cooking skills; the whole experience high quality. We enjoyed all of the generously sized portions and we will definitely be back sooner than later. Zaika is among the better Indian restaurants we have visited in recent times. We recommend it.