Just up from the corner of Gouger St at 270-276 Morphett street in the city lies British India, home of some of the best Indian food in Adelaide. The dishes in the main restaurant are delicious classics like Butter Chicken and Chana Masala to name but a few. And you can be watched over by royalty while you eat.
However if, like me, you'd rather try a little bit of lots of things rather than a lot of one thing, then I recommend you visit the Thali Room. Pronounced tah-lee and of Hindi origin it literally means plate. What you get is a traditional Indian tasting plate that should fill you up for $22.
As the sign in the photo below says you get: a curry of your choice (choose from Butter Chicken, Beef Vindaloo, Prawn curry (I'd highly recommend), Fish Curry, Lamb Curry, British Thali (a mini spiced shepherd's pie, also very good), and for the veggie lovers out there 2 choices, 3 veg curry or cottage cheese curry. Check out the menu on the website for more detailed info on the curries offered and to have fun hovering your mouse over the little dishes and watching them fill with goodies. Then you also get a chicken tikka salad (or chick-pea salad with a veg curry), delicious daal, vegetable curry, a light, fluffy naan, saffron rice and mango chutney. Just writing it now makes me wish i had it all back in front of me again.
You get a reasonable amount of everything too. However, you do run the risk of getting something incredible tasting, like my partner's prawn curry and then wishing for more. But once you come to terms with the fact that it's gone the other delicious dishes on your plate should be enough to win you back. The daal is very mild and still has the flavour to be interesting till the end, the naan as I said is light and fluffy (although I wish you could get garlic - you probably could if you asked, I'll have to check up on that next time). I got the 3 - Veg curry on my most recent visit and it was slightly spicier than I was expecting but still good, it was more on its way to a medium spice than a mild, so not too hot but just a warning if you're a serious spice wimp.
3 Veg Thali comes with chick-pea salad instead of the Chicken Tikka Salad
Not being a vegetarian just ordering the veg curry I wouldn't have minded getting the chicken tikka salad instead of the chick-peas but they were actually pretty good. My rice was a bit gluggy but it wasn't too much of an issue as I couldn't fit it all in anyway. The other veg curry on the plate was mild and creamier than the 3 Veg I got as my choice. The mango chutney was good, but then I've never had a mango chutney I didn't like.
Prawn Curry was creamy and delicious. A definite winner
The interior of the Thali Room is intimate and dark. You could bring someone here for a first date and it would be nice as long as you bagged yourself the table for two near the window. The lighting creates a lovely mood and the pictures on the wall are cool. Lots of different beers are available to choose from too. The only thing I don't love about the Thali Room is the seating. If you were on a first date and didn't bags that table for two then the other tables are all very close together so you could end up losing your new flame to a chatty and single stranger at a near-by table. However, it's a small complaint really when the food is as good as theirs is.
You get an idea of the atmosphere from this shot. There it is: the coveted table for two
I love the image below too that elaborates on the whole flavour of the Thali Room and British India itself with a strong awareness of the tangled history of the two nations at hand. Whatever the rights or the wrongs of this history, the food on offer at British India is second to none, and the service is lovely too. So why not give it a go? Your belly will thank you like mine did. If you do go though, and we're there on the same night, just don't think you're getting that secluded table for two okay?