Fragrant spices, deliciously colorful curries, sitar music playing in the background- you’re thinking of an Indian restaurant, aren’t you? I’ve spent a lot of time and quite a few pounds trying to find an authentic Indian food experience since I’ve moved to Oxford, but was mostly disappointed. This weekend, I had the opportunity to dine at Thali, a fabulous restaurant that had food good enough to quell my home sickness.
Nestled at the end of George street in a sunny corner, Thali stands out from the surrounding restaurant with it’s bright and chirpy colours. The turquoise facade and warm yellow walls are like a cosy welcome on a cold British day. Retro Bollywood music is crooning over the speakers, and the ambience transports me back to India. The servers seat us in a quiet corner, and the walls behind me are covered with a burst of colourful posters and pictures. I’m really liking the vibe, so far.
The menu is simple, but full of cuisine from across India. At the server's recommendation, we order Spicy Masala fried Potatoes for the starters, Lucknowi Lamb thali for the mains, and wash it all down with a mango lassi and a fruity alcoholic drink called Barefoot Doctor. The very first bite of the potatoes with the tangy chutney is amazing. The texture is crunchy, and the batter is delicious, and I’m reminded of the potato ‘pakoris’ I used to eat back home. But the star of the afternoon is definitely the lamb. Bursting with flavour, a perfect amalgamation of spices, and just enough heat to make it interesting, we devour the whole thing in minutes. The lamb is served with a very authentic home-style potato subzi, rice, a red cabbage salad, and some curd. The mango lassi is sweet and tangy, hitting the spot. The cocktail is fruity and crunchy, with lovely bits of passion fruit in it.
Overall, I really loved the food, the atmosphere, and the service (This is big coming from an Indian person, we like to criticise everything. Hehe. Major kudos to them!). When they say ‘A Taste of Everyday India’ they mean it!
Food 5/ 5
Decor 4/ 5