Is this the biggest Thali in Dubai or even the UAE?? – we honestly believe it could be, unless you know of something bigger?
Yesterday, Editor Debbie, enjoyed the biggest Thali she’s ever eaten, a whopping 13kg of it! And the good news is that you can dine on it too as it’s available here in Dubai. As an aside, we’ve become quite intrigued with some of the ‘monster thali’ pictures we’ve seen recently on Instagram and we are avid fans of TheFoodranger (Trevor James) and Migrationology (Mark Wiens) both of whom have been tempting us with their monster thali pics over the years!. Instead of having to hop on a plane, Debbie was invited to try the Shahenshahi Thali which is on the menu at Amala, the signature Indian restaurant at Jumerah Zabeel Saray, on Palm Jumeirah. Shahenshahi means ‘King of Kings’ and we can fully understand why as this is a whopper of a Thali.
Debbie says : “It takes us a few minutes to read the menu, it’s super long and reads like the full menu of any other restaurant. In fact there are about thirty seven dishes to read through but actually, only one decision to be made, which type of Biryani we want to order. We choose the Indian mutton since this is recommended by Chef as being their signature Biryani dish. After a short wait, two waiters are needed to carry the platter to our table and it takes a good two minutes for Chef to explain what’s on the platter and to point out some of the dishes that we are about to try.
As the Chef leaves, our minds are boggled, our tastebuds excited and the only decision we have to make now is which pot to dip into first, which kebab to spear onto our fork and devour and which sauce to pair it with.
Thankfully Chef pointed out the four dessert dishes which came on our platter, so we don’t make any beginner faux pas by eating dessert with our mains! We do, however tuck in with gusto and probably mix starters with kebabs and gravies with bread in the order that our eyes are asking, rather than any ordered manner.
Favorites are too many to list, but the Chicken Jalfrezi was spicy and rich, the galouti kebab silky smooth and melted in our mouth as a good galouti kebab should do! The tandoori chicken was charred in all the right places, delicately spiced yet still soft and tender. The prawns were delicious with subtle flavours and some unusual textures which worked well together. Finally, the Indian mutton, in at least two different dishes, was tender and served in a rich unctuous gravy. There were plenty of other dishes too, but these are some of the ones that stuck in our memories and spring to mind without reference to the menu.
Finally, we should mention dessert, which we managed to save space for. Four small pots of dessert delivered on taste and texture, and unlike most Indian desserts we’ve had before, were not too sweet and sickly, so a big thumbs up for these.
Did we love it yes! We were treated to a culinary trip from the dining room of Mughals and Avadh nawabs with dishes researched avidly by Chef Dirkham and the team with some of the dishes dating back to the 18th Century.
Did we finish? No, we should have taken along a few extra mouths to help us with our quest, as the Thali is absolutely made for sharing! but we left with assurances that the excess food would be distributed amongst the staff and would not be thrown away.
Many thanks to Chef Dirkham who invited us.
Shahenshahi Thali is available by request, by prior reservation at a price of AED 150 per person (minimum 4 persons).
Reservations: Tel : 04 4530444 Email : [email protected]