40 and Famished: Restaurant Thali Montreal is Student Cheap

vegetarian. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben. vegetarian thali. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

A few Saturdays ago, I spent a nostalgic afternoon in the Concordia ghetto. I picked up a nearly new loft bed for my daughter from some graduating students who lived on St. Marc  (advertised on Kijiji no less). After disassembling, and carting said furniture to my car, my husband and I decided to pick up some take-away. I felt like a student, having just dropped about $10 , leaving me with $10 cash in my pocket. We were turned away from two dumpling restaurants that took cash only, until we decided to try Thali Montreal on St. Marc, at the corner of Ste. Catherine. One of my Indian friends recommended this place to me at the beginning of the 40 and Famished project.

Thali Montreal. Photo Esther Szeben.

Thali Montreal. Photo Esther Szeben.

It was really nice to see a poster that these restaurateurs display at the cash, simply beseeching customers to consider cash over credit or debit, but ultimately leaving the customer with the decision than outright banning plastic. With that kind of appeal, I gladly paid with my remaining $10 and paid the balance of my $30 purchase with debit. After all, you just have to ask. That being said, the service really was exemplary and they were super polite and friendly, asking me if this was my first time at Thali Montreal.

Thali offerings. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

Thali offerings. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

To feed the four of us, three thalis ended up providing approximately 2.1 meals each. By ordering two Non-Veg Thalis  (two different meat dishes, one vegetable, Basmati rice, naan, salad & papadam – $9.50) and one Vegetarian Thali (three different vegetarian dishes, Basmati rice, naan bread, salad & papadam – $8.50) we pretty much sampled all their entire ready-to-go menu. One meal for a late Saturday lunch for four, repeat on Sunday with one single remaining meal to take to work Monday!

lamb and beef dishes. Restaurant Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

lamb and beef dishes. Restaurant Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

 

The butter chicken was by far everyone’s favourite, and my only criticism is that there wasn’t much. The chicken curry was tasty, as was the beef, but the lamb curry came in a close second. The spicing is palatable for North American standards, unless you like your Indian food with a little fire. I found the dishes just-right in the spiciness.

Chicken. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

Chicken. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

We also ordered two meat samosas ($1.50) which we immediately gobbled (note the missing  photograph) because we knew the aromas of the thalis infused in our car would make for a very long 15 minute drive home. They are stuffed with lamb which is one of my favourite carnivorous meals as I don’t have it nearly as often as I like. It was a nice change from vegetarian samosas with potatoes as a filling. This snack was more to my level of spiciness  (hot!) and if I may make a peculiar simplification, it was a cross between the Szechuan dim sum cracking beef triangle and Jamaican patty, but in a crispier pocket of dough.

Papadam and Naan. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

Papadam and Naan. Thali. Photo Esther Szeben.

So pleased to find a reasonably priced Indian restaurant that serves meat. I still frequent Pushap on Mountain Sights and Paré for vegetarian thali, but the butter chicken and lamb is worth going into the heart of downtown.

 

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