I was invited to review an Indian restaurant recently called Thali. Naturally I looked online to do a little research and saw that they had some great reviews over on the Tripadvisor and Opentable sites so being a no brainer I of course gladly agreed to a visit. It’s nice to discover a new restaurant (new to me) as it’s a great way to discover new foods. This is especially true with Indian food as dishes which will vary from place to place depending on where the chef has trained and if the chef is Indian recipes can vary from village to village so their influences from their parents cooking for example will dictate the herbs and spices used in the dishes.
The restaurant was easy to get to as it was just a short walk from the station and when we arrived we were greeted warmly and shown to our table. The lights were dimmed and there were quite a few tables taken when we arrived. The restaurant which serves North Indian cuisine has simple and comfortable surroundings. On one wall there are Bollywood movie posters and on another this brightly coloured rickshaw bicycle.
The menu is varied with a good selection of foods and I noted that they had a selection of vegetarian dishes so anyone vegetarian is good to go. The staff there were eager to please and I am sure that vegetarian versions of dishes can be made if requested. I did watch the staff to measure their level of interaction and quality of service with other diners and they treated all very well. The staff there are genuinely very nice and happy to help which was really good.
The table space was limited but clearly they are aware of this as any bottles are safely kept aside and the second drink levels started to go down these guys were on top of it filling the glass normally before you even noticed it need it.
For our starters we selected:
This is a vegetarian dish made with spinach, coriander, tamarind, sweetened yoghurt and chutneys. Although fried this isn’t exceptionally greasy. The spinach was crispy and the mix of flavours really was was quite something and you could taste all the different flavours non of them were paricularly overpowering. This was delicious and we had ordered it on recommendation from one of the waiters as it was a very popular dish and he also liked it very much.
Another popular dish on the menu this is a type of chicken tikka dish. It’s marinated over night in a range of spices. I was unsure about ordering this initially being used to my chicken tikka but I am glad I did as it was lovely. The chicken was succulent and tender and there was a lot of flavour. It went exceptionally well with the coriander and chilli sauce served with it that was freshly made and packed full of flavour.
These were shallow fried to give them a lovely crispy filo like exterior with a good crunch. Inside they were packed full of vegetables and chicken as you can see and had a nice mix of spices for extra flavour. We ate these with a chilli sauce for a lovely kick of heat. It wasn’t to spicy though if anyone was curious.
All the starters were good and we waited in anticipation, mouths watering for the main course.
The pieces of prawn were nice and chunky and juicy and there were plenty there, you don’t need to dig around and be disappointed at just one or two pieces being there. The dish is spicy and full of flavour and the rice is cooked to perfection. The garnish was fresh – you can see it looked moist and glossy meaning it was all freshly prepared. This went well with the raita which was lovely and fresh.This is a selection of dishes in steel plates allowing dinners a great insight into the flavours of North Indian food. This is a nice way to sample a range of dishes from the menu rather than just one as a main meal. This seemed to be popular as a number of other tables had also ordered one of the Thali options. The Thali we had opted for was the seafood one although you could also choose from a vegetarian and a non vegetarian.
There were 5 items plus rice, these included:
Raita (yoghurt with mint and cucumber) which could be combined with the various dishes and very refreshing.
Prawn Masala which was amazing, there was a good depth of flavour and it was nicely spiced and not too hot.
Amritshari fish which comprises of loving seeds, lemon, tumeric and Kashmiri chilli. The pieces of fish were a good size, it was cooked perfectly and full of flavour. It was quite a mild dish and very tasty.
Prawn Balchao was nice and spicy with big juicy prawns and bursting with flavour.
The Madras Fish Curry had nice big flaky pieces of fish with gorgeous flavours from the coconut and tamarind and added heat from the chillis. A lovely dish that went exceptionally well with the raita.
The rice which was nice and fluffy and soaked up flavours from the various sauces.
The final dish in the Thali was a dessert called Gulab jamun this was a milk dough dumpling that was served hot with syrup. This was very sweet as you would expect and you could taste the gorgeous flavour of the cardamon.
Between courses the table was cleared of any stray food that may have escaped as it was being spooned into plates.
By this stage we were pretty full but we decided to try one of the desserts off the menu as it had to be done. Let’s face it going without dessert is a sin in the foodie world.
We opted for the Gajor Ka Halwa to share.
This consisted of carrot, almonds, milk and sugar and sounded great. Did I forget to mention it was topped with vanilla ice cream. This was heaven and just the mere thought of it excites my taste buds and gets my mouth watering. I was so pleased we got this even though it was to share. Next time i’m getting my own!
I really did enjoy my meal at Thali and was not only impressed at the care taken in presentation and the portion sizes, but also at the level of service given to myself and the other diners that evening (I have eyes like a hawk and watch everything happening around me unless distracted by food). I can’t fault the staff there were all fabulous and the food was all delicious. I would thoroughly recommend a visit if you are in the area as I know you will love it too.
The staff are very attentive and nothing is too much and if you want to order a classic Indian meal not on the menu don’t fret they will accommodate your needs without a fuss.
There are numerous items on the lunch menu such as chicken tikka wraps with salad and chutney which sound great and I hope to return sometime to try these too.
166 Old Brompton Rd,
London, SW5 0BA
Tel: 020 7373 2626