Fabulous Thali for a delightful Indian feast

Eating Covent Garden is back…and we’re eating incredible food in Cape Town. About time, I’ve been very quiet in blogland recently but don’t worry, there’s plenty of delicious food and exciting travel to come. So watch this space. But first come with me to buzzing Kloof Street and the wonderful food of Thali, which is situated just off it.

A favourite since it opened, Thali’s always on my list…even just after I’ve visited I want to go back. It’s part of the Chef’s Warehouse group of restaurants and, as is their style, offers tapas for two – this time Indian style.

What’s on the menu

On a calm balmy evening we settled on the lovely terrace (first time for alfresco here – it was fabulous). We perused the menu for informational rather than decision-making purposes. No choices to be made here, you receive everything split into three courses.

The colourful tray of starters included Kashmir fried cauliflower, aloo dum, khati dal, paratha and their staples of chilli sauce and curry salt. Thalia’s chef is a genius with cauliflower and tonight’s offering was sublime. Crunchy, crisp and spicy. Aloo dum – perfectly cooked new potatoes with a chilli bite and the incredible, creamy lentil dish completed the beautiful culinary picture with a helping of the softest, buttery paratha and a selection of condiments – sweet carrot chutney, yogurt and mustard seeds and pickled cucumber.

Thali: starters
A beautiful tray of food magic to start

So good I had to show you a close up. This is cauliflower, lentil and potato heaven. I’d even consider going vegetarian!

Thali: starters
Up close on the vibrant starter dishes

Also to start with these luscious lamb galouti kebabs. Served piping hot in the cutest of mini tandoor ovens. Always gets me excited when I see this being delivered to my table.

On to course number two

Next up a duo of delights. The duck kathi roll, was a delightful mix of aromatic shredded duck, curry leaf and a chilli and mango dressing street-food style.

Thali: duck kathi roll
Dainty little duck rolls with herby topping

And the legendary (in my life anyway) fried fish tacos – tonight chunks of fresh kingklip (my favourite local fish), topped with crunchy fresh and pickled vegetables and crispy curry leaves.

Thali: fish tacos
Delectable fresh fish tacos

And then for mains

Well, that was nothing short of spectacular and we still had mains to come. Which didn’t disappoint. Garlic seafood curry (line fish, mussels and calamari) and lamb and tomato bredie were accompanied with giant garlic naan, the lightest of buttery rice and a refreshing tomato salsa.

Thali: Main course
Another cornucopia of delights for main course

Lamb bredie is a traditional South African dish, rich with tomato flavours – fabulous here with a few extra spices added. And the lamb was so incredibly tender and tasty. The perfect match with the garlicky naan and zesty tomatoes.

Thali: mains close up
The richness of lamb bredie and Indian tomato salsa

What a wonderful experience visiting Thali is. Unbeatable food and really great, friendly service – our waiter Welcome was a joy. If you’re a Capetonian and haven’t been yet or you’re planning a visit to the Mother City, put it on your restaurant list immediately. You can’t book so make sure to get there early so you’ll get in – we always aim for 6.30pm. The place soon fills up – it doesn’t seem to matter what day of the week it is. No wonder, it’s hard to beat.

Today’s price point

Tapas for two at Thali costs R800 (around £42 at today’s exchange rate). That’s for two people, just to be clear.

We had a lovely bottle of Usana Sauvignon Blanc for R220 (around £11.60 at today’s exchange rate).

Thali is at 3 Park Road, Cape Town, just off Kloof Street.

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