Thali restaurants are culinary explorations of some of the world’s most refined cooking. The tastes and atmosphere contribute to the enjoyment. The delicately prepared dishes are served in small bowls on a round tray to delight guests.
The recipes are regional and combine South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean dishes to make an outing to a Thali restaurant a must.
The excitement of Thali meals is the sensations of spiciness, zest, and piquancy – a dining style that’s a cultural experience you mustn’t miss out on. And here, you can explore some of the best Thali restaurants.
1. Rajdhani Restaurant
No wonder locals have voted Rajdhani Restaurant in the fashionable Al Karama district tops. This restaurant definitely has a spot on the thali dining map. The thali chefs know how to spoil peoples’ appetites.
And the staff welcomes each patron as a guest. The proprietors say that Rajdhani Restaurant prides itself in not seeing patrons as customers but as Atithi (Hindi for guests).
Rajdhani Restaurant focuses on Rajasthan and Gujarati cuisine, which means you can look forward to an assortment of flavors (and colors) on a single platter.
At Rajdhani Restaurant, ensure you order the Gujarati vegetarian thali or the Marwadi thali meal with four vegetable dishes served with three different dal, rice, and delicious khichdi (a lentil dish).
Here you are spoilt for taste with dishes like Paneer karai, kache tamatar ki sabji, aloo palak, rajma, Rajasthani kadhi, and spicy dal.
The dishes are served with chutneys, salads, puris, chapatis, and roti. It’s recommended, too, that you order the Lassi – sweet or savory yogurt or buttermilk. And don’t miss out on ordering the delicious Anjeer halwa.
- Address: Al Khafajy Building, Ground Floor
- Website: https://rajdhani.co.in/
- Phone Number: +971 4 334 7977
2. Rasoi Ghar Restaurant LLC
In the heart of the fashionable Al Karama shopping district, with artistic shop fronts, many ex-pats fill the Rasoi Ghar Restaurant.
The restaurant’s bold colors influence the atmosphere, and Rasoi Ghar is known for its Indian, Gujarati, and Rajasthani thali.
You can be assured of an enjoyable time out, so head here for the colorful Rajasthani Thali. The thali typically has Dal Baati Churma, Missi Roti with Gatte ki Sabji, Panchmela Dal, Laal Maas, and Bajra Roti.
Each dish is freshly prepared by chefs who decide what they’ll prepare on the day. And you know this is the thali place to be as the City’s fashionable are here too.
You can celebrate and dine on the exotic flavors of Gujarat, Kathiyawad, and Rajasthan thali. Home-cooked Gujarat and Rajasthan Thali are a feast of filled katoris (small bowls).
To complement your dining experience, it’s recommended that you go full-on thali – sitting down on large cushions at a low table (an unusual dining experience for most westerners).
Eating by hand also adds an element of novelty and enjoyment!
- Address: Zainal Mohebi Plaza, Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed St
- Website: https://www.rasoighar.ae/
- Phone Number: +971 4 388 5711
3. Maharaja Bhog Restaurant
At Maharaj Bhog Restaurant, you know you can treat yourself to a limitless vegetarian Thali meal. There’s a daily buffet with different dishes to choose from – and to crown it all, these are different each day.
The buffet is stacked with wholesome organic dishes; many are vegan, gluten- and nut-free.
Maharaja Bhog Restaurant’s home-style thali is inspired by Rajasthani and Gujarati food. You’ll be told that the traditional recipes reflect the restaurant’s name, which means ‘Food fit for Royalty’.
As you sip buttermilk mango lassi and lemon mint, you know the atmosphere is a royal experience with an endless flow of Thali dishes in bronze ramekins.
The choice of bronze is also intentional as, according to Ayurveda, bronze enhances one intellect and immunity. But what stands out is the finesse of preparing a different menu daily. And taste experience you can’t miss.
Maharaja Bhog stands for the values of good thali, wholesome and organic, individually prepared with the delectable tastes of sweet brown tamarind, fresh green cilantro flavors, and often spiced buttermilk too.
- Address: Ground Level, Hamsah Mall, Al Karama
- Phone Number: +971 56 267 4355
4. Raj Mahal Restaurant
The family-managed Raj Mahal Restaurant stands out as a dining experience that’ll be remembered for the food and the atmosphere long after being there.
The restaurant floor is packed with diners at tables – from young children to teens and fashionable adults. The décor is plush to match the individual service given to each table.
You can get the finest Indian thali here, and the personalized service adds an extra dimension. You can choose from a rich blend of spices and fresh ingredients that suits your palate best. The chef will also adjust the spice levels to your taste.
You are welcomed with a goblet of lime juice and traditional snacks. You can watch as a large round platter for each person at the table is filled with eight smaller dishes.
Each is chosen and served with a full explanation of what’s in the dish. And, in Raj Mahal style, hands are washed at the table. The personal touch to dining at Raj Mahal makes people come back again.
- Address: Bank Street Building, West zone Pearl Residence, Al Mankhool
- Phone Number: +971 58 504 7000
5. Yellow Chilli
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The Yellow Chilli is famous through celebrity Chef Sanjeev Kapoor – one of the most recognizable faces on Indian Television.
Undoubtedly, his passion for Indian cuisine stands out, and at The Yellow Chilli, you’re in for a gastronomical experience.
Interestingly, The Yellow Chilli is linked to Chef Kapoor’s mother’s hometown, Meerut, a melting pot of unique chaats (a collective word for street foods).
There, Kapoor saw a heap of yellow chillis (the distinctive taste of street food) that became his restaurant’s name. Kapoor loves what he calls the zing (or bite) in a yellow chili and predominantly uses this in his thali.
Each meal is a treat, from the plantain kebabs (kache kale ke kebab) and tapioca pearl tikkis (sabudana tikkis) to the cashew paneer and tomato gravy (paneer Kaju-tamater).
Kapoor’s savory dishes are served with buckwheat bread. Guests agree the best dish is the creamy beetroot raita – a spiced beetroot yogurt dish.
The dessert is the ultimate treat, a milky foxnut dish called makhane ki kheer. The dessert is heavenly – puffed Lotus seeds, milk, ghee, cardamom, almonds, and pistachios.
- Address: Khalid Bin Al Waleed Rd, Al Mankhool
- Website: http://theyellowchillime.com/
- Phone Number: +971 4 320 0993
6. Veg Thali Restaurant
The word has gone around like wildfire, and now everyone is talking about Veg Thali Restaurant. What put Veg Thali Restaurant on the food map is none other than their thali. Be there in the early evening before the crowds arrive.
Veg Thali Restaurant is friendly and fashionable. You’ll see that the dishes include dabeli, Kati rolls, and kachori chaat as starters. You can order paneer ghattiya, aloo batala, kaaju kanta karela next.
The names are as exotic as the dishes and the tastes that are pure umami. If you want your food to be exciting, this is arguably the most exotic culinary experience.
There’s kathiyawadi dal and kadi served with hot phulka, puri, and methi thepla. The menu is unforgettable.
- Address: 34 6 A St, Al Karama
- Phone Number: +971 50 858 4113
7. Rangoli Restaurant
For a special treat or an evening with friends, your choice must be Rangoli Restaurant. And, as you’re in the mood for thali, there is no better choice or place.
Rangoli Restaurant is described as Indian art mixed with food which means nothing less than vibrant décor, warm hospitality, and tantalizing tastes.
The staff are quick to tell you that the thali recipe is centuries old and comes from Advance, a small village in Gujarat. Also, that Rangoli Restaurant takes pride in using the freshest organic foods. The Gujarati Thali really stands out for its tastes.
The Gujarati Thali comprises a selection of three vegetable dishes, bowls of dal, khadi, and rice. It is served with chapatti and puri to scoop up food. The chefs look for traditional recipes that are reworked and prepared with style.
When you are here, you realize that nothing is spared in preparing the most sumptuous meals – an experience of taste that’s out of this world.
- Address: 10 4 A Street, Al Karama
- Website: http://www.rangolirestaurants.com/
- Phone Number: +971 4 323 6075
8. 800 Thali
You’ll see, you will love dining at 800 Thali. And this is as the chefs say: we love food! Not only do the chefs here love food, but they also love cooking. This is definitely the place if you want to dine the Thali way.
India is known to have a 5000-year-old history of cuisine. Though you’ll only get a slice of this rich history here, it’s worth the stop.
The chefs specialize in North Indian and Mughlai dishes. And they guarantee each dish will get you talking! You get a taste of what’s put India on a map as one of the oldest histories of cuisine.
The Thalis are a specialty, and in 800 Thali-style, these are prepared with fresh ingredients. The chefs pride themselves in not doing ‘restaurant food’ but ‘home-style’ cuisine.
Each dish at 800Thali brings memories of what home means in India.
The restaurant’s popularity is evident, with many patrons on Instagram snapping away at the food. As the thali arrives, the oohs and aahs of enjoyment can be heard from one table setting to another.
- Address: Cluster B, Jumeirah Lake Towers
- Website: https://menupages.ae/dubai/800-thali-jumeirah-lake-towers-jlt
- Phone Number: +971 4 365 9959
9. Kathhiyawadi Thali Restaurant
If you’re keen on vegetarian thali, there’s no better stop than the Kathhiyawadi Thali restaurant. And did you know that a Friday night can mean an open invitation to eat as much thali as you like?
The packed restaurant adds to the atmosphere of sitting down and having multiple small bowls with colorful foods.
Thali meals have a long tradition, and at Kathhiyawadi Thali Restaurant, the sought-after culinary cuisine continues. What stands out is the method of slow-cooked foods, the mingling of different flavors, and all of this on a single plate!
Thali food combines six flavors: sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent, and spicy. There are many dishes in a single Thali.
Kathhiyawadi Thali Restaurant is known for its Gujarati thali, which you must make a point of having for lunch or in the evening.
There are fresh vegetable dishes, dal, kadhi, kathor (savory), mithai, poori, and plenty of rotis to mop up any bits left in dishes.
The thali is not only delicious, but the rituals of serving, carefully wrapping, and eating by hand, are an experience you’ll remember.
- Address: 6A Street, Mabrooka Building, Al Karama
- Website: https://www.zomato.com/dubai/kathhiyawadi-thali-restaurant-al-karama
- Phone Number: +971 4 526 0802
10. My Govinda’s Restaurant
The welcoming atmosphere at My Govinda is as attractive as the scrumptious vegetarian thali, making this restaurant a popular choice for eating out. You’ll be amazed just how many tastes there are in this very alluringly prepared thali.
My Govinda is a popular restaurant for special celebrations. Sitting down to a shared thali is one of those most memorable experiences.
You’ll see, it’s easy to rate this spot 10/10 for its atmosphere that reminds one of the temples of goddesses of compassion and devotion.
The thali is prepared in the Sattvic way, which means that the ingredients are fresh, seasonal, and naturally sourced. According to the Bhagavad Gita, such a diet is good for one’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
The ambiance and lighting add to the enjoyment of dining the thali way, which is a relaxing and friendly experience.
So if you’re looking for a special time to dine and bond with colleagues, friends, or your family, sitting down to enjoy a thali here is what you need.
- Address: Ground Floor, City Tower
- Website: https://www.mygovindas.com/
- Phone Number: +971 4 396 0088
11. Ponnusamy Restaurant
Ponnusamy Restaurant is known for one of the world’s most exciting thali, the famous bahubali thali. Two waiters carry the platter with little dishes to the table.
So if you want to see what’s got people talking, head here with at least two or three friends as this thali is enough for four.
A night out dining on bahubali thali at Ponnusamy Restaurant is an experience you’ll not easily forget. The fifty neatly arranged dishes are dense with flavor.
The tastes have a zing that’ll make your skin tingle and get your mucous membranes working. One thing is sure: patrons agree Ponnusamy Restaurant serves the best bahubali thali.
Did you know that people often have contests to see if less than four people can finish an entire bahubali thali? Off you go and see for yourself how you and your friends fare.
It’s more than a contest, though as each morsel has spicy, zesty, salty, and many other umami tastes. The dish is known as one of Dubai’s biggest Indian meals, so remember to take some pics.
- Address: Sangeetha Building, Damascus Street
- Phone Number: +971 4 261 9750