A short stroll around Clifton lead us to Thali Cafe. I admit I secretly hoped we would end up there as I have been wanting to try it out for a while. Kids would usually vote for Pizza Express across the road but since my son has been lately discovering spicier food, his deciding vote went to the Indian cuisine. Yes, a result!

From my experience the more extensive the menu the poorer the restaurant, there is nothing worse than going through pages and pages of dishes and finding it all tastes the same. This seem to be the case of many Indian restaurants. Thali Cafe’s menu is very concise (yet interesting). I found it very easy to decide. You can choose from light lunches or Thalis. The word Thali means "plate" in Hindi and describes a selection of different dishes, which makes it perfect way to eat if you are an adventurous diner and like to experience different tastes.

We started with poppadoms with chutneys. The poppadoms were not oily at all and I wanted to leave with a bucket full of tomato and tamarind chutney, sooo delicious. Definitely one to recreate at home.

Veggie Dairy-free Thali

Our mains went this way:
My daughter: Kids Tiny Thali (rice,dal, pakoras, salad and seasonal fruit)
My son and husband: Veggie Northern Thali (paneer curry, rice, veggie subji, dal, rice and cucumber raita)
My Dad (the lone meat eater): Lamb Kofta Thali (paneer from the above replaced with lamb meatball curry)
And last but not least, me: Dairy-Free (YES!!!) Thali (veggies, veggie subji, tasty salad, dal, rice and a spiced tomato sauce and a lot of YUMMINESS)

First the bad news, my daughter found the dahl spicy and refused to eat it, the good news - more for me :) Everybody was happy with their food. I was a bit worried that my son may find his curry spicy, but he loved it and said this was the best Indian he'd ever had. Success all around!

Kids Tiny Thali

Usually, after eating restaurant or take away Indian curry I feel a bit heavy and my stomach doesn’t feel happy with all that oil that it is not used to having. Thali Cafe’s food did no such thing, their curries lack the usual thick layer of oil. I left feeling happy and satisfied with no heavy kind of feeling.

This may just become my favourite curry joint in the city. I am already planning to try the Masala Dosa and the Pakora Chappati Wrap next time we go. Luckily there are 4 Thali Cafe locations in Bristol. You can also purchase a Tiffin and use it for takeaways. Great idea!!!

The service was fantastic too, very friendly and efficient. There is only one complaint (nobody is perfect), whoever made my pot of green tea went too heavy on the leaves. I do like my green tea delicate and this was rather bitter. Only a minor fault in otherwise perfect dining experience.

Go and check them out: