To turn up the heat head to Thali, tucked away in a side street in Cape Town. Here Liam Tomlin, with head chef JP van der Haar, has yet again worked his magic to produce a unique take on modern Indian tapas. Tapas for two comes in waves, and the portions are abundant in flavour and in quantity. The garden setting is beautiful – love the twinkling lights and lanterns by night, and the speed of service for a business lunch. Choose from seating in the main area or position yourself with a good view of chefs at work, and you will be transfixed. The epic voyage to the taste of India moves from subtle to robust but rest assured that even timid palates can cope.
JP’s favourite dish is the paneer with spiced spinach sauce, and his ingredient of choice is the mango. He gathers inspiration from reading, and from Liam. He loves eating street food – highly flavoured dishes that are easy to eat. “I definitely love the process of smoking meat and fish. Luckily for me, the Chinese play a big role in certain regions of Indian cuisine. So I’m able to play around with that kind of combination. The heritage and culture of India forms the basis of our menus, ingredients and respect towards cooking techniques.”
In spite of dishing up Indian fare, the chefs here believe that local is best. “We do our best to support local suppliers who offer good quality produce, from fruit and vegetables to farmed-sustainable fish,” says JP. Returning guests are proof of how much love and attention goes into the food.
“We do experiment with different methods but maintain that respect for classic Indian methods.” Chef JP van der Haar
Address: 3 Park Road, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001
Telephone: 021 286 2110