Talli Joe, Shaftesbury Avenue

Many consider Benares to be the best Indian restaurant in London so when chef Sameer Taneja left the two-star kitchen to start up his own eatery, everyone was watching. Talli Joe (Talli is the Hindi translation of tipsy) offers ‘half plates and full drinks’. Located in the heart of theatreland on Shaftesbury Lane the vibrant restaurant offers tasty authentic dishes and exotic cocktails.

Lack of natural light means the venue feels more like a bar with food than a restaurant with drinks, but Sameer’s culinary creations are definitely the star of the show here. In fact I found the cocktails too saccarine sweet, but they were helpful when the spice from the food got too much for my delicate tastebuds!

Talli Joe

There are around 20 plates on the menu, all designed for sharing and priced reasonably between £3 and £10. I recommend visiting with a group of friends and ordering one of each, as you won’t want to miss out on anything.

The ‘Truffle Ghee Kulcha’ is fast becoming the menu favourite, an addictively good freshly baked naan stuffed with cottage cheese and brushed fragrant truffle ghee. I loved the Southern Indian style ‘Chicken 21’, tender pieces of chicken in a crunchy coated with crispy curry leaves and a lovely mix of spices. Like in India, Talli Joe’s make a range of great vegetarian dishes too, ‘Kale Chaat’ is a version of the popular Delhi street food, crispy kale, potato and pomegranate with sweet yoghurt.

Desserts were a hit at our table, unusual ‘Black Gajar Halwa’ (heritage black carrots with salted peanut brittle) was a comforting and sweet pudding, while ‘Berry Malai’ (Baked yoghurt with seasonal berries) was a light and palate cleansing option.

Big flavours and lots of fun, Talli Joe’s is an example of great quality Indian food conveniently located in the very centre of town.

More information and book a table at Talli Joe here.