Fear the Paneer

We recently went to Thali in New Haven (4 Orange Street, www.thali.com) to celebrate my older brother’s birthday. When we entered we smelled the wafts of Indian spices and dishes emerging from the kitchen. We were seated at a nice table separated from the main tables. Since we were secluded, we had some peace and quiet. We were then greeted by a very friendly waiter who was extremely helpful and even addressed my Mom’s allergy issues by checking every dishes ingredients with the kitchen staff.

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The Lasses would love this Lassi

To kick off our meals my brother and I both ordered Mango Lassi’s (a smooth, creamy yogurt-like drink that tasted like fresh mangos).

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Fried Spinach

For our appetizers we ordered Palak Pakora (crisp rice flour dusted spinach leaves, with a flavorful, spicy cilantro and refreshing mint chutney),

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Garlic makes everything taste good

as well as crunchy on the outside, pillowy on the inside Nan with a pungent garlic purée on top, and soft, charred plain wheat Roti.

In addition, we ordered a chopped Kutchumber salad (fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and giant, mealy chickpeas with a light vinaigrette drizzled over the top).

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Sounds like cucumber- actually Kutchumber

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Ragda Patty- sad excuse for a patty

Finally we ordered Ragda Patties (a humongous mountain of tangy, flavorful spicy chickpeas covering a sad, soggy, unappetizing potato patty).

For our main meals we ordered Bhindi Masala (tender sautéed okra with caramelized, slow cooked onions and tomatoes).  This happened to be one of the only vegan items on the menu.

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Ok Okra

Saag Paneer (a watery purée of garlic and spinach with flaccid, squishy cottage cheese cubes and fenugreek spices),

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Fear the Paneer

and Chicken Tikka Masala (tender chicken with a vibrant orange sauce that filled my nostrils with the smell of something similar to stale urine).

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Hold your nose

The birthday boy got Lamb Vindaloo (tender chunks of Lamb in a silky, spicy brown sauce).  He liked it very much.

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Birthday Vindaloo

The final entrée was Prawns Gassi Curry (large, succulent, juicy shrimp in a rub of roasted coriander and spicy red chiles).

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I hope this Gassi doesn’t make me gassy

The appetizers at Thali were adequate, but the entrees were disappointing. The waiters were very accommodating and good hosts to us. The food was not inexpensive and was not worth the splurge for the subpar food we received. The atmosphere at Thali was peaceful and spacious. Unfortunately, I would not recommend it for a night out. I would rate it ZZ – 2 Z’s. Unsatisfactory.

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3 thoughts on “Fear the Paneer

  1. I find your review to be an unsatisfactory picture of a restaurant with whom I have only had pleasant dealings. Jolly Vindaloo to you too

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