Just had the most amazing vegetarian meal I’ve had in years! This sumptuous hotel I’m in this week has two excellent restaurants- today I tried the South Indian specialty restaurant and ordered the “thali” meal. Typically this is a round metal, lipped plate with rice and 5-6 vegetarian sides that include various lentils, spices, veggies and yogurt. The meal might include a chapatti (wheat flat bread) and is finished with yogurt rice and pickles.
Well… this meal went beyond the call of duty. Phase I was the appetizers: crunchy snacks with four different kinds of chutney, with fried onions and a corn patty on the side.
Next came the main part of the meal with the most amazing array of dishes: curried new potatoes, a coconut and veggie dish, mango sambar (never had that before), potato and chickpeas, a dish with black eyed peas, rasam (sour, hot soup), and a couple others. The rice was not plain rice, it was vegetarian biryani, a delectable concoction of rice and spices. With that came two wheat breads: chapatti and parotha. I ate about 70% of this and was stuffed.
But wait, there’s more! I was then served an “appam”, a steamed rice thin bowl with sweetened coconut milk dip. All I could manage was a few nibbles.
I told the server I could not possibly eat the final onslaught and they didn’t bring it: this was a dosai and an “oopatham”. How could anyone eat this much? But I did agree to eat the dessert, which was rich and sweet as Indian desserts usually are: a lentil-based sweet pudding and a coconut bar.
Finally, I was brought the after-dinner spice and sugar box to aid digestion, and then a warm water and lime bowl to wash my fingers.
What did all this cost? $17. A bit high for an Indian meal, but it was worth it. I would have happily shared this with someone, but the menu said NO SHARING! The customer was very satisified.