It is very rare that I go out to eat and feel satiated specially in the UK. Most of the times , most of the food is stale, even though the boards outside claim freshly made - what it means is freshly baked or cooked from frozen, exceptions of some pizzerias .
Eating out Indian Food is a disaster as most of the dishes that you know -- not because of my mother's culinary skills but because one has traveled and eaten at different places and know what the authentic Indian food is. Most Indian restaurants are run by Bangladeshis and their food is not Indian or Asian because having many friends from that part of the subcontinent, I know what they cook and eat at home. As I respond to the waiters in these restaurant , I always ask do you also eat this food and equivocally they say ,' No'.
So with this history and having searched for 1/2 hour a place to eat in Brighton today after our venture in Sight Seeing of this town, with hungry husband relying on my recommendation to choose we enter this acclaimed place that all my office colleague highly speak of. The grotesque interior, decorated with variety of objects that have no geographical or cultural uniformity was not unique to this place and laughing at the ,' created Indian ness' we settled and looked at the menu.
There was a Railway thali on offer with an option of Kingsize Thali . After some deliberation and as our phones reminded several times that we have crossed the daily limit of 10000 steps, we thought, it will be a good choice to eat a wholesome thali. So we order, and it comes true to what I was told by my colleagues -- variety of dishes put together without any spice and less salt - It was authentic Indian looking food quintessentially prepared for British Taste, portioned for the postmodern men and women who think about their weight at each morsel and priced for the international tourists who flock the famous lanes of Brighton!
Disappointed is an understatement when it came to the portions . The waitress tried to explain the sabjis included in the thali. I ordered hot ricecakes aka stale idllis that were steamed from frozen and served with Shorba --- No it is not a spelling mistake, that is what menu card said, - it was beatroot Shorba with some sambhar masala added to it with some dry podi as a chatney ... AND NO GINGERLY OIL - what an insult to any south Indian !
Thali had choice of Aasetu himachal versions of Curries - Nepali Curry, Kerla Curry and Aubergene sabji -- this covers the pan India ... no argument about it!
The achar was eatable and so was the Popadam - perhaps only two things that you could call were true to their taste !
As we sat there in a famous Jubilee Square looking and contemplating what colonialism and globalization has done to our Thali - outside the audience was coming and filing in their wishes on this wall - Before I die ......
I did not write there, but Before I Die -- I am going to eat authentic Thali -- of course not in the Great Britain !