We’re both pretty decent cooks (especially Miz) so it’s not often that we choose to eat somewhere else other than home or an affordable food truck market. It’s a lot of money to spend when often you realise that you could have made something way tastier at home for half the money, so when we do head out there’s high expectations. The main reason to go out? So, no fucker is stuck with either the dishes or the task of both deciding what to make, shopping for the ingredients AND making it. Not that choosing a restaurant is all that speedy either, especially when you add things like Google Reviews and Tripadvisor into the already overwhelming choice that Barcelona has to offer. This time, we opted for comfort, so we went for curry.
The main problem when attempting to eat out in Barcelona is when you’re hungry at 6pm but restaurants don’t open until 8pm and you don’t want to be the first in so as not to look desperate, you also want some atmosphere and if you want atmosphere in a Spanish restaurant in the evening you don’t want to be sitting down until 9.30 -10pm, so naturally, we headed to the restaurant via craft beer pubs, but that’s for another post. So, where are we heading? We decided to travel not very far to Rocafort station and wander up to Thali (164 Carrer de Calàbria).
Thali has a great location, 10 minutes from Rocafort station and 15-20 minutes from Universtat and useful places like Sant Antoin market and our favourite cinema on Carrer Floridablanca. The restaurant also benefits from being slightly too far out of the tourist circuit, so isn’t going to be too packed at peak time. This is also the first Indian restaurant we’ve been too which has chosen to get creative with their decor instead of conforming to the Brick Lane tradition of dark wood and tablecloths and for a girl who loves colour and sparkle, this was particularity pleasing to see. With a culture as colourful as India, it’s awesome to see the bright hot pink and blue decor complimented by displays of sari inspired accessories and sparkly bangles and ribbons. It’s not perfect, but it’s different and that’s important, even the menus are super snazzy looking with their lasercut covers, I’m easily impressed if you have good design.
The food offerings are your standard curry house combos with traditional dishes with small twists, like their Chicken Pinya a curry which features pineapple and an Avocado Lassi, which is a first for us too. We kept it classic and ordered our usual curry order and what we’ve found to be the most cost effective way to feed two. Chicken Korma, Chicken Vindaloo, Peshwari Naan Bread, Basmati Rice, Poppadoms with dips, Miz grabs a Cobra beer and me a water, because I shouldn’t have had that shit craft beer earlier, but that’s another story.
Presentation was good and the portion sizes as you’d expect at most Indian places. To be a bit different the poppadoms came wrapped in a cone, which we’ve not seen before but they were our favourite ones featuring what is either cumin seeds or caraway seeds and super tasty, just two sauce choices at Thali (our usual Indian serves three) but the Mango Chutney is lush and super smooth (someone really likes their blender!). Yummy, would be happy just eating poppadoms and dip really.
The Chicken Korma is one of the best I’ve ever tried, super creamy and smooth (again someone’s been enjoying their blender) and combined with the Peshwari Naan it’s my idea of an Indian food dream. My delicate tummy wasn’t digging the Vindaloo this time, missing the potatoes that are supposed to be inside and my favourite thing about a Vindaloo, but Miz digs in and loves it too. Rice was rice, you can’t fuck that up if you own an Indian place, so that’s good.
Bill came to less than £30 which is our usually go to figure for a meal for two when you’re on a budget. Food was good, location and atmosphere good, the only thing that let them down was that the service was a little slow and unenthusiastic, but nothing terrible to report, I’d probably be slow and unenthusiastic if I had to work evenings too. We would go back if we were in the area, but unluckily for them one of our favourite Indian restaurants is positioned in a slightly more useful location for us.