Thali Restaurant Montpelier
A fresh bid has been launched to keep the long-running chain alive, as former head chef Ramesh Prasad reopened the Montpelier site under the company name AR Junoon LTD
“Probably the best Indian cuisine I’ve ever had. Absolutely yum. A tad expensive but you really do get a super unique food experience. Works great for either a chill meal with friends or equally for a special date.”
Ramesh Prasad at the Thali restaurant in Montpelier (Image: Michael Lloyd Photography)
“Menu will remain unchanged and things will be taken ‘back to basics’, how Thali was when it first started out.”
The words female Indian head chef are rarely seen in the same sentence as UK kitchens are male dominated places and in India female participation in the workforce is very low. Household chores including cooking, constitute a women’s work and the role of chef is not always a welcome one.
In the transition from family hearth to Thali production kitchen, Asha brought her family recipes with her, passed down through the generations from mother to daughter. Asha’s recipes clearly differentiate the Thali’s menu from the average high street curry house who prioritise profit over provenance. The legacy of family cooking is evident in Asha’s consideration for feeding Thali customers the very best food possible; carefully choosing seasonal, local, free-range and organic produce.
Asha fell in love with the Thali straight away as it reminded her of her father’s thali restaurant in her hometown, a rural part of India north of Derrida. It was here that Asha learnt the restaurant trade from her father (Thali’s ‘Masala Fried-Potatoes’ are inspired by Asha’s father’s recipe) and the family recipe book from her mother.
Asha’s husband Ramesh Prasad also works in the Thali kitchen. When we claim that the food is cooked with love, we do mean that.