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The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Sam Waller •

It’s been a while, but like a phoenix rising from the flames of a Ford Sierra torched by joy-riders on a miscellaneous wasteland, Eatery of the Month has returned.

And where shall we be dining this month? We’re taking a trip to Thaali in the South Manchester borough of Burnage.

From what I can gather, ‘Thali’ is a South Indian dish that’s basically a big platter filled with various delights. In the last few years a fair few places have cropped up selling this sort of stuff, but please be aware that there’s a fair amount of impostors around trying to ‘quirk-it-up’ for the masses. It goes without saying that the best restaurants don’t need a marketing team.

Luckily, Burnage is exempt from gimmicks and this place is the real deal. Aromatic flavours… funny little rice crispy things… sneaky spice that creeps up on your taste-pads… very nice indeed.

The curries are good too, and are generally a bit ‘lighter’ than the ones found at the more glitzy, Footballer’s Wives curry houses. 

And not only is the food tasty, but the music they blast over the speakers is a real trip to flavour country. I’m not too sure what category this stuff sits in, but it’s like nothing my ears have encountered before. Hour-long, single-string bass assaults might not be everyone’s cup of ghee, but it certainly beats any wistful live-lounge nonsense.

Now… look at this.

I know that some people like to claim they enjoy quaffing ‘session ales’ that taste uncannily like ear-wax, but I’m pretty sure that they’d much rather drink that unbelievably refreshing frosty pint above. Lager is king and people are kidding themselves when they say otherwise.

On an un-related note, for most of last year there was a sheep living on the small patch of grass over the road like an extra in Babe 2: Pig in the City, which begs the question… why aren’t more farm animals living in built-up areas? A few pigs trotting around the car park of Topps Tiles would do wonders for the collective morale of mankind.

Going back to the Thaali, service is grade-A wonderful and, due to the fact that it’s usually pretty empty (at least until this article goes out), meals usually turn up pretty quickly.

RATING: Flavoursome flavours, ice-cold lager, zero gimmickry – Thaali gets a solid five red napkins out of five.

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