Galpal Review: Thali Westport
Monday, May 10, 2010
Thali Westport, the newest incarnation of the venerable Thali Indian cuisine empire, introduces a new concept to their already successful repertoire - tapas. With a menu boasting 30 small plates in addition to a wide array of larger ones, you’ll find yourself wanting to come back again and again to try all of the amazing creations.
The space looks much as it did when TaiPan occupied it, with a very hip, urban feel. Upon seating, we were greeted with amazing naan with just the right amount of crispiness around the edges. Alongside was a cilantro butter as well as a mustard infused oil. We decided to order four small plates and one entrée for the two of us. First came the Thali Westport “signature” dish – jumbo lump blue crab. Tender, succulent, and generously sized chunks of crab were decadently adorned with a sauce of coconut milk and ginger, specked with just the right hint of mustard seeds. Another highlight of the evening was the spicy chicken kabobs, which was like really moist, kicked up chicken tikka. My husband lovingly referred to them as “like the best buffalo wings you ever had” – and that’s a good thing. Small chunks of grilled pineapple adorned the plate, and were a perfectly refreshing antidote to the highly spiced dish. The pepper & ginger skirt steak was served over naan, and was accompanied by a terrific raita, generous with the cucumber. To see how they fared with more traditional dishes, we tried the samosas and shrimp vindaloo – both were superior to those we’ve had elsewhere. I am not normally a rice person, but the basmati that is served at Thali Westport may make me a believer – studded with cinnamon, garlic, clove, cumin, and lots of other elements, it was far from just an accompaniment.
Service was impeccable – they paired the courses masterfully, progressing from mild to spicy. A nice touch was that they provide new plates and utensils after each course as well.
If you’re a fan of Indian food like me, you’ll be delighted with the twists on old favorites offered here; if you’re new to the cuisine, the helpful staff and broad menu will be a great entry into new territory.
Thali Westport has an extensive wine list as well as many cocktails and even several flavors of lassi (an Indian yogurt drink) besides the normal mango version.
I loved Thali Westport so much that I couldn’t even make it a full week before returning, and I’m glad I did – the Sunday brunch buffet is really a find. The choices both plentiful and delicious. While evenings seem more appropriate for date nights, children were right at home in the afternoon.
376 Post Road East
(next to Trader Joe's)