Everything (apart from pork dish (obviously) is halal), including the Guineafowl and Venison.
Having nearly been opened for around a year or so, ‘Talli Joe’ is yet another addition to Indian restaurants to grace the halal food scene. There’s been a recent rise of a new wave of Indian restaurants that now offer up small plates of tapas style Indian food. Gone are the days of Currys; Where you go to an Indian restaurant – you order a starter, then a curry with rice or naan. The problem with restaurants like that is that it’s a bit limited and you don’t really get to try the menu. I much prefer this new style of Indian restaurants that offer up small plates, where you can try and sample a wider range of the menu.
Talli Joe is on Shaftesbury Avenue – which is usually known for being full of ‘The Tourist Trap’ type restaurants, you know the kind of restaurants where the quality and food isn’t great because you know that the customer is only going to eat there once. Luckily the food at Talli Joe is pretty good and I’d easily go back there again.
It’s actually pretty close to one of my favourite Indian restaurants that do a similar style food like Hankies Cafe. However, a big difference with Talli Joe is that it’s a lot bigger and has a much bigger menu as well.
The restaurant is spacious, I visited on a Thursday night and it was pretty loud and had a lot of people there.
Once we were seated, the waitress explained to us that we should be ordering around two to three different types of plates. Looking at the menu, there were a lot of choices so here’s what I got, and here’s what I thought of every plate full.
Moong Daal Pakori £2.50
Lentil fritters, grated mooli & green chilli chutney.
Okay, so I can’t recall this personally, so I had to ask my friend who said that the daal pakora was a bit spicy and should have kept it a bit more traditional by adding potatoes. 7.5/10
Kale Chaat, £5.50
crispy kale, potato, pomegranate, sweet yoghurt.
Surprisingly, my favourite thing I ate on the night was this kale chaat. I’m a big fan of chaat, but this was something a bit different. The textures worked really well and the flavours of the dish were strong and all worked together to create a simple but well-balanced plate. 9/10
The food kept coming, the moment I started on one dish another arrived, which made taking pictures tricky!
Chicken 21, £8.50
Stir-fried chicken tossed with South Indian spices & curry leaves.
Next came the chicken 21, which got its name from the number of versions the chef went through, before he was happy with the dish. I think there needs to be a chicken 22. I felt that it just needed another level of flavour, or a more intense level of the current spices. The portion size of this dish was good, the chicken cooked well, but just needed some more heat and depth in flavour… Something was missing… 7/10
Lamb Chop, £6.25
Tandoori lamb chop, potato salad with mustard dressing
Next came a single lamb chop, priced at £6.25. It’s probably the most expensive single lamb chop I’ve ever had. Actually no, Trishna holds that record. But this wins the record for the thickest lamb chop I’ve ever had. Similar to a lamb tikka, the texture of this chop was different to anything I’ve ever had before: very succulent and tender, but not as juicy as I was expecting. The flavours of the lamb worked well with the Tandoori masala. It was served with a side of a mash thing. 7.5/10
At this point, we were greeted by the head chef, who was going around most tables from the look of it, he was very interested in getting feedback and really wanted to make sure the food was as good as it could be.
He asked me what I ordered and insisted I try a dish he recommended – so he said he’d go and bring one out. He also decided to take away the butter chicken, which was only sitting there for no more than a few minutes, but he wanted to make a new one fresh. Who am I to say it wasn’t a problem.
Old delhi butter chicken, £10.50
Tandoori chicken thigh cooked with tomato and fenugreek served with buttered naan.
I think I should’ve stuck to my original instincts and gone with small plates, but I really wanted to test drive a curry dish, especially butter chicken. For me, this was a disappointing dish. I think I prefer the Pakistani way of cooking this dish. This lacked the depth of flavour and was bland. There wasn’t that hit of heat you get at the back of your mouth. 5/10
Parsee Venison Keema Ghotala, £8.00
Spicy venison mince served with organic egg yolk, with a side of pao.
When this dish arrived, I thought that the head chef said he was sending the beef dish, it was only until after I came home, that I realised I had eaten the venison. You see, I don’t eat any animals that are mainstream Disney characters, so no Bambi or Donald Duck for me, thank you! I thought I was having beef keema! Regardless, this was a good dish with balanced flavours, the side of pao made a perfect accompaniment. 7.5/10
Kachumber salad, £3.75
Little gem, spring vegetable and chaat dressing.
Tangy and fresh
Blue cheese naan, £3.00
Black Gajar Halwa, £3.75
Heritage black carrots, salted peanut brittle.
On the menu, there’s a little note saying that this dish is voted as Timeout’s ‘best dish of 2016’. I would agree that it’s a very sweet dish and a nice way to end a meal, but it was too sweet and really needs to be served with ice cream to balance out the sweetness, you know, like a standard wedding dessert.
On the menu, there’s a little note saying that this dish is voted as Timeout’s ‘best dish of 2016’. I would agree that it’s a very sweet dish and a nice way to end a meal, but it was too sweet and really needs to be served with ice cream to balance out the sweetness, you know, like a standard wedding dessert. 8/10
Berry Malai, £3.75
Baked yoghurt, seasonal berries
I think Talli Joe is a welcomed addition to the food scene in a great location. The menu offers something for everyone with loads of options. All the items we had were good, the Kale chaat was a surprisingly great item and the rest of the dishes were good. Defiantly worth going and I’m sure I will be back again
Considering the location, the prices were reasonable, apart from the price of the lamb chops. Service was fine, standard you would expect. The head chef visiting us was a nice touch.
I was invited to review, the meal was complimentary
Indian Small plates with Big flavours