Sunday, June 16, 2024

Eating off the Hill: Thali in Ottawa

 Meeting a friend in Ottawa for dinner back in February some Hill-adjacent Indian food seemed just the thing to warm the insides on a cool winter's day. And just a short block away at O'Connor and Laurier is Thali, the downtown restaurant of the same folks behind the famed Coconut Lagoon.

It's not a huge restaurant -- especially without the added space of the seasonal patio -- but we were seated quickly and I was able to order quickly thanks to my usual pre-scout of the menu. I had my eyes on one dish in particular -- the Lobster Masala. 

The menu describes it as "Lobster cooked in a mild Ginger Coconut sauce spiked with Cardamom" and the only thing giving me pause was the cardamom. I had bought some recently when making kebab from the Gaza Kitchen cookbook I brought back from my trip to Palestine and I was decidedly not a fan of this particular spice.

After assurance from our waiter that they could make me the Lobster Masala without the "cardamom spike" I was confident and placed my order.

The portion was generous (also fair, given the price) with a generous portion of lobster meat. But more than that, the sauce was so rich and flavourful and layered and delicious. Truly the best of Indian cuisine.

I was asked if I wanted rice or naan with my meal and gave the obvious response: could I have both? I could, and along with a not quite pictured mango lassi it was an excellent and hearty meal to help me brace for a cold Ottawa winter's night. Delish.

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