The Grand Thali is served at the Tip Top Plaza Hotel, Thane. The Tip Top Plaza Hotel is one of the landmarks in Thane. The reason being, they have 11 sweet shops in Thane itself and is one of the prime locations for organizing marriages and other meetings.
The Grand Thali is one of their specialty restaurants famous for its Fusion Thali which attracts not only individuals but also people of all age groups. The fusion Thali served offers a variety of traditional Gujarati and Rajasthani dishes along with a fusion of Indo-Chinese and Italian specialties.
The Fusion Thali served to us was indeed one of its kinds, especially the only one I’ve ever seen, offering a wide array of 30 dishes.
The first thing on the menu was the Farsan which had 4 dishes to offer.
It was a delicious rice cake preparation with a sweet and spicy flavor. It had a really light and fluffy texture which is always expected out of a khaman.
Cheese Corn Balls
Having a crispy outside and a soft mouth melting cheese stuffing inside made this loved by everyone on the table.
Served with fresh cold curd, the vada is an urad dal (black gram) preparation. It was very aerated and soft , giving a slight acidic taste towards the end.
A very unusual dish listed on the menu, it was something I was looking forward to. A very crusty mendu wada like layer on the outside with a spicy potato filling, with a mild coconut and garlic taste was a complete winner. The Chef asked us to have it with the mint and dates chutney.
The Indian section of the vegetables offered the following dishes
Alu Palak Rajwadi
This was a mild spicy vegetable preparation with pieces of potatoes and spinach. The spinach did not overpower the taste at all. I would still prefer a drier version of alu palak.
I have never liked Aubergines and I decided not to try it. Although the chef really insisted me on trying it, indeed I did and was really blown away with the amazing taste. A very gentle taste of the aubergine in a spicy tomato gravy was really appetizing.
It was a sweet preparation with the broad beans cooked really well. It had a rich and creamy gravy, sweet in taste with really balanced flavors, providing a variety to the other two mildy spiced gravies.
Surprisingly it was a big let down. Although the paneer was really soft, it lacked the spices what one usually expects in a kadhai paneer.
3 Indian breads were served with the mains namely
They were really hot and soft,glazed with desi ghee.
A deep fried poori always adds richness to a traditional meal; these were really soft and had a crispy outside.
The methi paratha was the best of the three, having the texture and layers like laccha paratha. Methi usually having a very dominating taste was really prominent and tasted very well.
DALS AND RICE
It was as expected sweet but had a tingling spicy taste which really went well with the saffron rice served along.
It was sweet and velvety with a sweet tempered taste. The chef suggested us to eat the masala khichdi with it. The taste was extremely divine and homely. The pure desi ghee which topped the Kadhi-khichdi combination, although added a few calories to our meal, enhanced the taste to another level.
This was really well cooked and the tadka added a very nice garlic flavor. It was paired with steam rice and plain khichdi and was indeed a perfect way to end the Indian section of the meal.
What followed next was the Fusion side of the Thali.
The first dish served was a veg pizza which did not look appetizing at all but tasted really delicious. A lot of toppings like jalapeno, olives and bell peppers with a lot of cheese definitely tempted me to order for another slice.
Veggies in green pepper sauce
The Vegetables in green pepper sauce was not something I liked at all, the fortune rice served along with it was nothing but the typical fried rice without beans and carrots. It although didn’t taste bland.
The schezwan noodles totally made up for the not so enjoyable dishes. The noodles were really well cooked and not soggy or broken.
The best dish in the Fusion section was without a doubt the two pastas served,
Alfredo and Arrabiata. The Alfredo pasta was really creamy and cheesy with the perfect amount of seasoning. The two words I can think of when i hear Arrabiata are tangy and spicy…… The red sauce pasta was definitely much more than expected. Even after eating all the dishes, the pasta was something which everyone on the table took a second helping of.
By far, It is one of the best Indian sweets I’ve ever tasted. Loaded with ghee and roasted walnuts, with perfectly balanced sweetness, was the star of the evening
This has been one of my all time favorite sweet, it was so creamy and rich with the perfect amount of sugar.
It went so well when I mixed it with the Gulabjamun, which was really soft.
A Thali meal is usually ended by serving fresh fruits or something involving fruits.
After a show around of the place, we were served a portion of Fruit punch which I did not like, not only because we were stuffed after eating so much but even because it was too sweet to finish the whole thing.
The hospitality of the staff and the chefs was really something which every food handler should have, let it be their respect for the food or their desire to serve us, it was exceptional.
The chefs were constantly standing and personally serving us and suggesting us how to pair up the food dishes.
Last but not the least a very big thank you to The Guiltless Foodies who organized the bloggers table and to The Tip Top Plaza team for hosting the evening and also for the goody bag given to us which had some sweets and snacks.
The long drive to Thane was totally worth the food we ate and we look forward to exploring more places in the developing parts of Mumbai.
PUBLISHED BY AADITYA GUPTA
Passionate Foodie|Explorer|Music Lover