Restaurant Review: Thali Ho - The Indian Kitchen, London

03:17 Blogs by FA 14 Comments


thali ho halal indian restaurant london

Thali Ho: The Indian Kitchen - As the name suggests, this Halal restaurant in London is popular for home cooked food served in thalis. Not sure if you've heard of thali before or if you've experienced it yourself, but thali is an Indian name for a round platter in which food is served. The Indian-style meal includes a selection of dishes and can include both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food, depending on personal choice. I've previously tried several restaurants in Dubai that serve food in thalis, so this wasn't my first time trying a thali. Moreover, most of the restaurants serving thalis offer to refill the bowls for anyone who would like another serving of any dish and the dessert is also included in the thali but these restaurants charge a per head cost like it's charged at buffet restaurants (the difference being at thali restaurants is that they come and serve you on your table). 

Thali Ho, a venture of two brothers sharing the passion for food aims to serve dishes that have been created from their family recipes to ensure an authentic taste by using the best quality ingredients. I'd say that can definitely be their secret for winning the 'Best Casual Dining Restaurant in the London Suburbs’ at the Asian Curry Awards 2017, just within 3 weeks of their opening. 



Thali Ho has a great, one page menu with variety and not a booklet type menu with hundreds of dishes that gives a hard time in deciding what to order, and therefore, it didn't take long for us to choose what we wanted to try. Thali Ho does serve alcohol on their premises and offers some non-alcoholic drinks as well that includes fizzy drinks and juices. Moreover, they also offer a variety of lassis (yoghurt drink) on the menu but they were listed at the bottom of the menu card, so I almost missed it. I really wanted to try the Mango Lassi as I’m really fond of it and the best lassis I’ve had in the past was also at a Halal Indian restaurant in London. However, I still didn’t manage to order one as BabyN’ wasn’t feeling very well and we ended up wrapping the meal as quickly as we could.

Thali ho Halal Indian London

From the menu, I was delighted to choose some of my favourite dishes. Their small plates that we ordered as starters included Lamb samosa (2 for £3.7), that was served sprinkled with some fresh coriander and a yogurt dip. The freshly fried decent sized triangular shaped pastry of the samosa was filled with lamb mince, peas and potatoes. It was appealing to the eye and even to the tummy, but I just think the pastry was a tiny bit oily. 

Thali ho Halal Indian London

The second starter was King Prawn Butterfly (£4.75) which were served in a bowl with a yogurt dip and were totally on point. They had been fried perfectly and had the right amount of batter coating on them. Generally, some restaurants tend to overdo the coating on fried items, but this was perfect! I don't exactly remember how many prawns the serving included, but roughly speaking there were around 4-6 prawns in the serving.  

Thali ho Halal Indian London

I was also fascinated by the Thali Ho Lamb Chops (£9) and since they’re my husband’s favourite, I had to order them! The plate was served with three lamb chops along with a sweet and sour chutney. The lamb chops had been marinated with nutmeg and cardamon and were then flame grilled. I had quite high expectations for this one, the tangy chutney/dip served with it helped in enhancing the flavour but on their own, some of you might find them a bit bland. 

Thali ho Halal Indian London

For the main, it definitely had to be a thali and we opted for a Dubbawala Lamb Thali (£14.95). I was extremely delighted as this was definitely my best choice. The thali was served with a naan bread, potato curry, tarka daal (lentil), pilao rice, achaar (mixed pikle), raita/yogurt dip and the Dubbawala lamb curry. The lentils and potato curry gave a very homely feeling as it's a very popular everyday dish cooked at South Asian households. The lamb was tender and had been cooked really well in Madras sauce. It was flavoursome, and my taste buds were in joy after tasting the curry. I generally can't eat extremely spicy or oily food as I don't feel too good and this was supposed to be a very spicy dish, but was good for me. The naan bread served in the thali was soft complimented the dishes in the thali well. 

Thali ho Halal Indian London

Thali ho Halal Indian London

Besides ordering another thali for myself, I just ordered a Kofta Curry (£6.95) to try. The kofta is a spicy mince dumpling which is served in a sauce. It's one of my favourite dishes, and I myself cook kofta curry at home using my own family recipe. Although it involves a  bit of handwork in preparing the masalas (spices and condiments), the taste of homemade freshly grinded spices is definitely worth the time and effort. Thali Ho's Kofta curry was  served in a shiny metal pan, was mildly spiced and tasted good. 

Thali ho Halal Indian London

Thali ho Halal Indian London

I was really looking forward to the Lucknowi Lamb Biryani (£8.95) because my grand parents were from Lucknow so I’ve literally grown eating that biryani since childhood. It has a very subtle flavour with lots of aroma and is not really spicy but the wonderful flavours of the spices used to prepare it, make it tasty. The one I tried at the restaurant, was quite good. The lamb was done well, and the rice were cooked to perfection. I don't think it was served with a raita (yogurt dip), but generally I do like it with my pilao and biryani. We already had the yogurt dips on the table, and it was a generous amount so it didn't finish with the starters.

Thali ho Halal Indian London

We ended the meal with the desserts, although they don’t have a very extensive dessert menu, but they’ve got a few of my favourites that includes Gulab jamun (£3.95), pistachio & mango kulfi (£3.50) and ice cream. 

Gulab jamun, a popular dessert in the subcontinent is a delicious treat that literally melts in the mouth if done well. These are actually fried dumplings made with milk powder (the major ingredient) and are then soaked in a sugar syrup. These are served warm, and that actually enhances the taste even more. Sometimes people also pair it up with vanilla ice cream. I’ve tried making these once at home, and just on my first attempt they turned out pretty reasonable. We’re great fans of kulfi and Thali Ho has both mango and pistachio kulfi on the menu so we opted for the former. After the main meal, I felt the portion size of the desserts was perfect to satisfy the sweet tooth. The gulab jamun were served warm, they tasted great and the kulfi was good as well, but I can't say if it's prepared exclusively at the restaurant as I've had exactly the same tasting kulfi at another Halal restaurant in London too. 

Thali ho Halal Indian London

Thali ho Halal Indian London

Overall, we had a great time at this contemporary Indian restaurant. They’ve got a decent sized sitting area for the diners with both chairs and tables and long benches. The interior and decor was welcoming, not overly done but neat and chic with Indian songs playing in the background. I can only remember the one sung by Adnan Sami as later onward, the restaurant got quite busy and BabyN' was also feeling poorly. It would be best to book your table at the restaurant prior to the visit, just to avoid queuing especially on weekends. 

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Rating: 7.5/10 
Pricing: Mid-Range 
Halal Meat: Yes 
Child-Friendly: Yes
Alcohol Available: Yes

Contact Thali Ho: 
Telephone: 020 8399 0094 / 020 8399 4434
Location: 31-33 Brighton Rd, Surbiton, KT6 5LR
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14 comments:

  1. I love Indian food and the food here looks great. Will definitely be looking at eating here

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  2. Wow that's a lot of choice, but those prawns look so yummy. I'd definitely order those if I was going x

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  3. The food looks so good, some of my favourites right there. Prices are reasonable too

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  4. I am hungry just reading it but the Dubbawala Lamb Thali does sound amazing x

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  5. I love Indian food, and the range is massif. I havent heard of Thali before but looks like a nice tasty idea. one question, why only 7.5 out of 10? the small desert menu.

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  6. Thalis are one of my favourite ways to eat Indian style food. A little bit of a few things is perfect for me. The food sounds so good, well cooked and flavoursome and very reasonably priced too!

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  7. This all looks so good. Like I would happily eat any of those dishes. I do find the small choice of desserts a shame though. I have a massive sweet tooth and love to finish every meal out with a dessert!

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  8. Thali is a new type of Indian food for me but definitely something I would love to try one day as it looks amazing.

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  9. The food looks amazing but I'm not too sure about the Halal aspect.

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  10. Ooh this all looks amazing! I love Indian food but always feel a little disappointed with Indian desserts. They never seem to have a lot on the menu at all!

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  11. I am not a huge fan of Indian food, but it looks amazing! Especially the Gulab jamun, it sounds delicious!

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  12. The food looks absolutely delicious and there is so much choice! Sounds like a lovely place to go out to eat at

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  13. Their food looks delish! I love the choices. I actually made Samosas at home last week!

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  14. Looks super yummy. I love different types of foods and all the flavors!

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