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Food, Restaurants

Thali Cuisine Indianne

Posted by Lucy Lent / April 28, 2009

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Everywhere I go I am always check out storefronts and tiny back streets for a new restaurant, grocery store, or coffee shop so when I spotted the opening of a new Indian Restaurant in the place where an awful Mexican restaurant near where I live, you can only imagine my excitement. Thali is a new eat-in or take-out restaurant that opened last week on St Marc Street right above St. Catherine. The plain exterior and un-pretentious sign hides a hidden jewel in the vast arena of Indian restaurants in Montreal.

Thali's concept is simple: classic Indian food prepared fresh and served hot for a cheap, but delicious Indian gastronomy experience. The restaurant itself is sparsely decorated with a few tables and chairs and a counter to order at, but behind the no-frills appearance is the most delicious Indian food I have ever tasted.

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Customers order at the counter from a stack of paper menus. The menu features a variety of meat dishes such as Chicken Curry and Tandoori specialties, as well vegetable dishes such as Palak Paneer and Aloo Gobi. Sandwiches and the classic Indian dish, Biryani, are also served along with naan, samosas, and other side dishes.

We chose to order the Chicken Curry, Palak Paneer, and vegetable samosa. Each dish is served with a light salad of fresh tomatoes, onion, and cucumber, a yogurt raita sauce, and your choice of naan or rice.

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The palak paneer; a spinach and soft cheese dish was fresh and fragrant with a light spicy after taste. Usually, I order palak panner when I go to Indian restaurants, and this was by far the best I have ever tasted. The spinach was finely cut, and there was no grease, which I sometimes associate with palak paneer. For someone who likes spice as well, the palak panner was perfectly spiced.

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The chicken curry was delicious too, with large pieces of chicken perfectly tender and stewed in the mildly spiced curry sauce. While the main dishes were fantastic, the naan was not to be missed. The traditional naan is made fresh to order, and almost fulfilled my fantasy of eating fresh naan in India. It would be a shame to order the rice instead of the naan or skip the naan entirely when eating at Thali. The samosas were massive and the most colorful I have ever seen. The inside was speckled with the different spices and the seasoned potatoes were delicious.

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While we ate in the sunny restaurant more and more people stopped in to check out the place, and everyone eating seemed impressed with the food. For opening week Thali had everything in check. Our meals, served with naan, salad, yogurt raita, one samosa, and a drink set us each back $8.00. Combo meals are available as well for $7.00 to $8.00.

With affordable prices, lovely staff, and a great location, Thali is not to be missed. Thali's classic Indian music and fragrant fresh Indian food has quickly placed it on the top of my list for Indian food in Montreal. Stop by Thali for take out or dining in.

Located at 1409 St Marc Street (cross Street St Catherine West).
http://www.thalimontreal.com (514) 989 9048.

Discussion

32 Comments

Ila / April 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm
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I ate there this Sunday. The girl at the cash was totally confused and the prices are reasonable, but the food is nothing special. The "spice" is just pepper - it's missing a lot of the traditional Indian flavours. I was only given one measely piece of cheese in my palak paneer and honestly, I've had better store bought paneer. I can say that both the lamb and chicken curries were exceptionally tender, but again, missing the classic flavours I was expecting.
Lucy Lent / April 28, 2009 at 12:21 pm
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I'm very surprised to hear this! my experience was completely different, right down to the paneer in my dish! Maybe it all has to do with opening week jitters, I hope you give the place a try when they have been opened longer!
S. / April 30, 2009 at 10:01 am
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my experience there was also mixed. the food was reasonably price, but as the above poster indicated it lacked certain spices. also, the format of the restaurant is conducive to a quick meal, but it's not pipping hot when it hits your plate. finally, the portions are pretty disappointing. the chicken was good, but i only had two pieces. ditto for the lamb. also, same complaint re: cheese - just not enough of it.

that being said, it's a good deal at $70$8 and a good meal. i guess the owners just need to work out some kinks.

Wick Ed / May 5, 2009 at 01:36 am
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I quite enjoyed the food myself. I visited 3 times already in 2 weeks and had both the veg. and non veg thali. I don't see how anyone can complain really. for the price, quality, quantity of food, how can you go wrong.
Deepak / May 5, 2009 at 07:05 pm
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I agree with the previous comment. The food is delicious and affordable. Where else can you have a great meal for under 8 Dollars, when a meal at a fast food joint can cost almost the same. I love it..
Daria / May 10, 2009 at 07:32 pm
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I ate there 3 times, and so far was impressed with the experience. I agree that the dishes are not as spicy as they could be, but hen again not anyone eats very spicy, my roommate enjoyed the butter chicken with teary eyes as she is not used to the spices. I think this is a great place. The lady at the counter was very nice, while the prices were amazing, especially compared to the overlyhyped and not as good etoile de l'inde, 2 blocks away.
Rob Postuma / May 13, 2009 at 02:51 pm
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From your description - it sounds quite mediocre to tell the truth. Making you choose between rice or naan when you order thali almost sounds obscene to me for indian food.

My advice, try out INDIAN CURRY HOUSE, right in the heart of Park X on Jean-Talon. Huge portions at giveaway prices, amazing staff and the food is so tasty it's almost criminal.
TT / May 13, 2009 at 11:59 pm
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It includes both rice and naan Rob and I found their food quite tasty and authentic actually. So if you want that Parc X taste right in the heart of the city, this is the place.
PK / May 22, 2009 at 04:56 pm
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I was there today to test it out. As someone said the guy was practically counting the chicken pieces as he was pouring it in. One time he probably counted a few more pieces and he dunked it back in to the vessel and put some gravy. Have to say that the taste was not bad but I was almost going to get a burger or something to fill up my stomach. Owners...if you are reading...you have to relook at the portions you serve!!
V / May 27, 2009 at 11:03 pm
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Stopped by today, good food, great price, thank god not another noodle place in the area :P
Katie / August 2, 2009 at 05:47 pm
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Can't compare to Maison Curry House, on Jean Talon. Authentic indian spice and veg thali plates for just $5.

I highly recommend it.
Jean-C / January 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm
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Well one thing's for sure, they got a pretty awesome revue in La Presse

http://www.cyberpresse.ca/vivre/cuisine/restaurants/200912/17/01-932017-thali-tropisme-exotique.php

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