There’s something undeniably heartwarming about being served regional Indian cuisine in a thali. What I love about them is that there’s room for everything that the kitchen prepares and each item is served in unfrighteningly consumable portion sizes. Of course, I can barely resist a good Gujarati thali but there’s no love lost when it comes to a thali that serves up yummy coastal seafood either. I’ve experimented enough and through it all, I’ve arrived at this list of recommendations in Mumbai for a taste of local cuisines.
Gujarati thali at Thackers
There’s nothing like good food with a view and in that aspect, Thackers never disappoints. An unobstructed view of the Arabian Sea is matched with an expansive thali. It starts with three farsans (Gujarati snacks), three vegetables, kathol (mixed pulses preparation), salad, kadhi, dal, puris, enviably thin rotis, pulao/rice, papad and a variety of chutneys and pickles. Wash it down with the plain or flavoured chaas. Visiting in the summer will get you dollops of fresh aam ras too!
Kerala thali at Hotel Deluxe
A vegetarian thali on a banana leaf—yes, there it is! This one has unlimited written all over it—the rice, sambhar, coconut cabbage, green beans, roasted chilli with the mix of pickles, rasam and payasam. But what about a non-vegetarian thali for a change? Request nicely and get the addition of their memorable spicy Kerala chicken and fluffy Kerala parathas. This one is a match made in food heaven.
Rajasthani thali at Chetana
Even though they serve Gujarati and Maharashtrian thalis, it’s their Rajasthani thali with authentic dishes that Chetana is best known for. You’re going to get full on the appetizer, three starters, three vegetable dishes, three types of rotis, three types of rice, two sweets and salad/raita. The Dal Bati Churma and Churma Laddoo shouldn’t be missed for anything. To shake off the food coma, browse through some of their tribal jewellery and craftwork or get busy with the mini-library setup Chetana has.
Seafood thali at Gajalee
Chapatis, bhakris, vade pay respects to the star of this seafood thali—the two pieces of Bombay Duck (bombil) fry. There’s also fish masala, a bhaji, sol kadhi. We love the chutney they send across with the bombil fry. You’ve got to have it to believe how good it is! Make a beeline for it in the afternoon, since this is a lunch-only luxury.
Kolhapuri thali at Purepur Kolhapur
This is as spicy as you can get, when it comes to Maharashtrian food. But it’s a spice you need for variety in your life. I know that’s cheesy but take my word for it. Call for a chicken or mutton thali. It comes with a thambda (red and spicy gravy) and pandhara (white gravy with coconut milk) rassa, chicken masala / mutton masala, egg masala / mince mutton. Team it with crisp bhakris and don’t miss a taste of their in-house thecha.
P.S. Carry paper napkins to wipe that spice sweat off.
Thai thali at Social
It’s no secret that Social is the newest hotspot. And when I heard that they, of all places, was serving a thali, I was delighted. They’ve put their own spin on Thai cuisine, serving up a combination of green curry, rice and Goan prawn pickle alongside their ultra-refreshing raw papaya salad and pickles. See you there!
How to Get There:
Where: 1st Floor, Birla Kreeda Kendra, Chowpatty, Mumbai
Contact: 022 23649304 | 022 23649300
Timings: All Days 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 7 PM to 11 PM
Cost: ₹600 for two people
Where: 10-A, Pitha Street, Opposite Lane of Citi Bank
Contact: 022 22042351 | 022 66559914
Timings: 7 AM to 12 Midnight
Cost: ₹400 for two people (Cash Only)
Where: 34, K Dubash Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai
Contact: 022 33716017
Timings: All Days 12:30 PM to 11 PM
Cost: ₹800 for two people
Where: High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel | Vile Parle West | Vile Parle East | Andheri West | Mahakali
Timings: All Days 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM, 7 PM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1,000 for two people
Where: Vile Parle East | Dadar West | Thane West
Timings: All Days 12 Noon to 3:30 PM, 7:30 PM to 11:30 PM
Cost: ₹1,000 for two people
Where: Palladium, Todi Mill Lower Parel | Colaba | Goregoan West | Andheri West | Khar | BKC
Cost: ₹1,200 for two people