Small plates are growing increasingly popular within London restaurants, and there is something satisfying about sharing the pleasure of food with your friends. We headed down to Talli Joe, a modern Indian restaurant offering ‘Half Plates’ that pack a punch.
You can sum up Talli Joe in three words – welcoming, innovative and fun. The interior is simple, maybe a little too simple, with black walls and bright pink quotes plastered across the walls. Yet whether you like the interior design or not, the service, quality of food and enthusiasm is exceptional and makes up for it.
The cocktails make Talli Joe an ideal city watering hole, serving cocktails inspired by the North, East, South and West of India. Whilst sipping on my Keri Collins (Vodka, Raw Mango Puree, Lime, Soda Top) I cast my eye down the food menu and was pleasantly surprised to see an even balance between the vegetarian dishes and meats and fish.
Our waiter advised we pick 3-4 dishes per person, which is very welcome as everything sounds incredible. We started with some lighter bites, ordering the Kale Chaat, Stuffed Karela, Devilled Quail Egg and Truffle Ghee Kulcha. The naan was beautifully light, served with a drizzle of truffle oil – offering a unique take on the Indian staple. The Kale Chaat was also beautifully crispy without being oily.
Our favourite dishes however, were the Devilled Quails Egg and Stuffed Kerala. The spices in the devilled eggs coated our mouthes whilst retaining the delicate flavour of the crab meat. The stuffed Karela is in fact a bitter melon stuffed with home- style lentils and a fennel salad which is packed full of flavour and is definitely worth ordering.
For larger dishes we ordered the Tandoori Lamb chop, Junglee-Murgi Phoa, Bohri Chicken and the Kochi Beef Fry. All dishes more substantial in size with very distinctive flavours. Highlights were the lamb chops and the Bohri Chicken. We especially loved the accompanying breads perfect for dipping and sharing.
Our only criticism is that we’d like to see more staple dishes on the menu. Some sharing bowls and larger dishes could also be a good idea.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed our evening at Talli Joe and loved their twist on Southern Indian staples. Clearly a lot of attention has gone into curating the menu formulation and it has certainly paid off.
We’ll be sure to visit again.