As a vegetarian, I’ve unsurprisingly never been a fan of any kind of turkey based meal and pigs in blankets are my idea of food hell… so I was very excited when I was invited to try out an ‘alternative festive feast’ at the Thali, a three course meal and a deliciously different way to do Christmas dinners this year!
If you’re a regular reader it will come as no surprise that I love India and Indian food, you might have even noticed a Thali or two in my India posts already. A chance to try out the Christmas menu was the perfect thing to make me feel a bit better about the fact that I’m not heading over to actual India for Christmas this year…
‘Thali’ in this restaurant’s title refers to a traditional form of Indian dish where the meal is made up of many small dishes. If you’re not Bristol based and haven’t been to any of their five locations in Bristol with their traditional Indian inspired kitsch interiors then you might recognise them from their origins as a festival food stall. This meal was at the restaurant’s Montpelier location, a handy two minutes from my house!
Looking to book a Christmas Dinner in Bristol?
Look no further! We were joined by head chef husband and wife duo Ramesh & Asha (check us out above!) who talked us through their various inspirations for the varied Christmas menu as we tried it.
A special shout out has to immediately go to the to the pakora starters (sometimes known as pakoda) which were subliiiime, especially the mango and paneer ones which were dangerously moreish… Also the extremely delicious and distinctive Thali tonic which I could have drunk all night (luckily I stuck to two!)
Sucker for cheese that I am, I chose the Punjabi Paneer Curry for my main, but there is also a vegan Jackfruit option and several meat and fish options. Each main hails from a different region in India as Asha and Ramesh explained to us. India is a big old country with a lot of distinctive culinary styles; my paneer dish was from Punjab in the north whilst the seafood curry was from Kerala, India’s most southerly state… there’s 3000 km between the two!
In Thali style, each main came surrounded by six other delicious sides including cabbage and coconut thoran, spinach tarka dhal and Bengali aubergine curry – variety is the spice of life!
And if we weren’t full enough (annoyingly I definitely was – where was that secret space for pudding hiding?!) we were treated to a trio of rich festive puddings – the dark chocolate cheesecake was my fave… and then of course a cup of chai to wash it down!
Thank you to Thali who invited me down to try the new menu for review purposes, as always all dribbling, finger licking, opinions are my own of course!
The Christmas menu starts on Monday so get booking your parties now!
p.s not strictly Christmas menu related but I had serious cravings for more Thali Cafe and deliveroo’d some to eat in bed last Saturday – also glorious hangover fodder and comes in all cardboard containers, hell yeah!