Thalis is a large, yet humble restaurant down Park Road that's always crowded and bustling with loyal customers. I find myself here on the reg and gorge on their excellently prepared North and South Indian dishes.
While they're a bit pricier than the average Indian food restaurant, they aim for a more refined dining experience. That's not to say they're an overpriced, gourmet-dining sort of space. It's just a more grown-up version of traditional Indian food joints, i.e: Saraswathie Lodge. You can take your extended family here and have a good experience is what I'm trying to imply.
They've got so many options, so we didn't quite know what to get. Therefore, we stuck with a few dishes from both the North and South Indian sections.
The Mini Ghee Idly (Rs. 400) is a party on a plate. It's essentially a bunch of tiny idlis batter fried to a crisp, golden brown and garnished with onions. Taste-wise it's sharp, lime-y for some reason and in contrast with the soft idli, absolutely divine. Pictured here are the Palak Paneer (Rs. 750) and the Garlic Naan (Rs. 250).
You might want to skip on the side dishes if you're on a budget because they're small and a bit on the pricey side. The Palak Paneer consisted of about 8 cubes of paneer soaking in a thick, well-prepared gravy. My only qualm is that they could have added in a bit more salt. The spinach gives it an earthy sort of taste and I recommend you pair this with garlic naan.
The Naan was fresh, hot, crispy on the edges and comes embedded with tons of garlic bits. We loved it.
Their magnificent Thalis Special Meal (Rs. 750), is the biggest out of all the sets you'll find on the menu. It combines traditional South Indian Thali elements with a few North Indian knick-knacks like the small dish of biriyani, vada, chapathi, rava kesari and paneer curry.
It's a huge portion. They explicitly state 'No Sharing' on the menu which I found a bit awkward, but I'm assuming that's because people mistake this as a sharing platter in spite of its size. Whatever though, we shared the thing anyway, because we'd already gone ahead and ordered a lot of food and this one was far too plentiful for its teary-eyed customer to finish.
The curries were fresh and the basmati was soft and fluffy. The biriyani was incredibly rich, so the small dish is more than enough. The vada was crispy, and pillowy within, and the chapathi was light enough to not fill you up.
Their Masala Chai is top notch. In exchange for Rs. 150, you get a steaming cup of masala chai presented in a traditional tumbler set. The chai is milky but doesn't overshadow the spice. It's also of a thick consistency, which makes it great to sip on throughout your meal. The Sweet Lassy (Rs. 400) is fantastic. It's the right combination of curd/yoghurt, water, and sugar. While it wasn't too sweet, the sugar level managed to perfectly complement the acidity from the yoghurt. A refreshing drink overall, and a good choice if you're having a heavy meal and want to wash it all down.
The service here is efficient and polite. The staff is friendly, and well versed in the menu, so don't be afraid to ask if you're not familiar with a dish you're interested in. Our food arrived within like 5 minutes. Also, if you'd like some extra curry or rice to keep going at your Thali, don't be shy- they're very accommodating.
This photograph of the ambience was taken about 3 years ago, and not a single thing has changed since. I'm sure they regularly maintain the insides, as everything is neat and in pristine condition. It's a very homely establishment, without any garish decor- which is something I really like.
Thalis is on my list of most recommended places to go to, so hop in if you're around the Park Road area. If you're not interested in lunch, they've got some delicious sweets you can get to go.
Thalis is a popular haunt for some excellent North and South Indian food fare.
Serving both north and south Indian thalis in addition to a la carte dishes, this all-vegetarian eatery is authentic and affordable — two adjectives we love a little more than others.