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An array of delectable dishes on a single platter is what a thali in India comprises. The sheer variety is mind-boggling and, of course, the roller-coaster ride of flavours and textures is what every gourmand enjoys. Mumbai offers a plethora of thali options across Indian cuisine from different regions. One can expect to relish a Gujarati thali or perhaps a Rajasthani one if that is what you fancy. There are restaurants which offer a South Indian Thali too. Carnivores can dig into a Fish, Chicken or a Mutton thali as well, as part of Malvani, Mangalorean or Goan cuisines. There is truly one for every palate and pocket in Mumbai. Here are my top 5 picks.
Gajalee, the mecca of seafood in Mumbai serves a delectable fish thali for lunch, which is hugely popular. One can enjoy, a Fish Curry, Rice, Neer Dosa or Bhakri, Fried Fish, Sol Kadi as part of this thali. The fish is fresh and cooked to perfection in a delicious curry form. The Fried Fish too – a Surmai or Pomfret is Rawa Fried and well-spiced. This meal is satiating and value-for-money all the way.
One cannot hope to get a better taste of the true flavours of Rajasthan and Gujarat under one roof. This squeaky clean place serves fresh home-style food throughout the day and the unlimited thali here is a treat you cannot miss. Small katoris or bowls with an array of dishes ranging from Dal Baati Churma and Gujarati Kadhi to Vegetable Pulao and Aloo Vatana are served here. The selection of Indian breads, snacks or farsan and the desserts, are equally something to look forward to. The warmth with which the staff serves the food, adds to the experience.
At Kebab Korner, the lavish thali experience is redolent of memories of a royal era. The offerings include dishes that were served by the erstwhile royal families to their special guests. The meal starts with an amuse-bouche, followed by a few delicious starters and then a palate cleanser. The final meal has 5-main course dishes, a dal and a traditional Indian salad, all served with a variety of rice and Indian breads. The luxury dining journey ends with a delectable pre-plated dessert, followed by a paan.
This newly opened restaurant gives you the taste of Goa right here in Mumbai. While there is an extensive a la carte menu, the Goan Fish Thali here is a must-try for lunch. The spicy but flavourful, Goan Fish Curry, paired with Rice, Fried Black Pomfret, Crab Xacuti, Kismoor, Amsol Kadi and of course the sweet, bebinca is what you will enjoy. The food is rustic and reminiscent of home flavours.
Expect to savour the real, fiery and flavoursome, Andhra food as part of a simple but satiating thali here. Dal, Rice, Vegetables, a Traditional Curry, Flavoured Rice, Sambhar, Rasam, Chutney, Pickle and Papad are among the dishes included in this mouth-watering thali.
Food critic, features writer and columnist, Mini Ribeiro is a qualified Journalist, from IIMC New Delhi. She specialises in the Food & Beverage and Hospitality space. As an established food & beverage writer, Mini currently contributes to several leading English publications across the country – Asian Age, Hindustan Times, Sunday Financial Express, Hotelier India, Go Getter and Vistara inflight magazines and Rediff.com. She also has her own You Tube channel called Mini’s Food Fundas. Fond of cooking, Mini enjoys experimenting in the kitchen with various cuisines, with Indian regional food, being her favourite. She has recently started, a platform for home talent, called 'Flavours from Home', an initiative which aims to make women who are passionate about cooking, entrepreneurs.