Red Elephant Group   03 November 2018

WorldRemit Maya da Dhaba

At WorldRemit we love to celebrate the people and enterprises around the world who make a real difference to their communities. And Maya da Dhaba and its owner are no exception.

Arguably one of the best and oldest Indian restaurants in Sydney, Maya da Dhaba is a favourite among locals and tourists alike. It brings people of all backgrounds together with delicious food.

Restaurants such as Maya da Dhaba help create a home away from home for members of the Indian diaspora. We appreciate this because as a global money transfer service we’re also working to help the same community stay connected to loved ones abroad.


Making the move from across the world

The owner of Maya da Dhaba, Mr Ajay Raj first arrived in Australia from New Delhi in 1992. Although his brother was already living in Sydney, the move was far from easy.

“I had never been to Australia before coming to study, and when I first arrived, I just wanted to go back to India,” he said. “But, once you are used to the quality of life here, you can’t go back.”

Mr Raj bought the Maya da Dhaba in 2003 and ever since has been treating his visitors to authentic North Indian dishes - bringing a taste of home to the busy culinary precinct on Crown St, Surry Hills.

“Indian food is very delicious because it’s spicy, it’s rich and has medicinal value,” Mr Raj explained. “Maya da Dhaba was first opened in December 1999, and to be able to stay open for this long, you need to be doing something right, so we’ve done well for 20 years to maintain that.”

”You need to be doing something right to be able to stay open since 1999.


Keeping the Indian connection strong

Many of Mr Raj’s staff left behind some of their closest family and friends when moving to Australia. Event Manager Minuti said Mr Raj ensures his staff always feel part of a family, particularly during special occasions such as birthdays or Diwali.

“A lot of my family is back in India, and I phone them often and I try to go back twice a year, which is so important because I don’t want to forget them, and I don’t want them to forget me,” she said. “Ajay, especially, takes a lot of initiative in buying cake, drinks and food, and we cook ourselves and we always try to do something different for everyone.”

Following restaurant renovations last year, Maya da Dhaba also updated its menu, keeping famed dishes such as Chicken Tikka Masala or the Goan Fish Curry, while adding popular street food options such as Papdi Chaat.

Sending money home

Mr Raj makes an effort to visit India once every two or three years, but also maintains an important connection with family and friends in between those trips.

"I send money because it’s important to help people. I help my family and it’s worth it, and they are obviously very thankful for that,” Mr Raj said. “We do donate to some charities as well, but we mainly help people we know.”

According to the 2016 national census, there were over 700,000 people of Indian ancestry living across Australia. Of this, there are over 238,000 based in New South Wales alone, an approximate 41% increase since the 2011 census. As a result of this growth, there has also been a rise in money transfers from the global community, and according to the World Bank, around US$69 billion was sent to India last year.

United Bank of India Axis Bank ICICI Bank HDFC Bank State Bank of India

With same day transfers to all banks accounts in India, we help the diaspora feel closer to loved ones by providing a low-cost, secure and hassle-free alternative to traditional money transfer services.

So stay close to your family and friends living in India, send money home with us today.
Click here to check out the rates.

Get a taste of the Maya da Dhaba

With another restaurant in Fiji and a function centre in Dural, Mr Raj and Maya da Dhaba will continue to bring people together with unforgettable Indian flavours. Check out the Maya da Dhaba website and follow their Facebook page for more information.

With another restaurant in Fiji and a function centre in Dural, Mr Raj and Maya da Dhaba will continue to bring people together with unforgettable Indian flavours.