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Thali Oxford

Muddy says: A tasty, innovative hipster Indian restaurant, slap-bang in the middle of Oxford. What’s not to like?

George Street in central Oxford has become a small restaurant chain mecca in recent years, perfect for when you’re looking for a cheap(ish), cheerful pitstop while out shopping, carousing or going to the theatre (New Theatre Oxford is on that very road). A welcome addition to the foodie strip is Thali, named after the little stainless steel bowls of spicy Indian goodies that it serves up. The Oxford branch opened in 2017 and marks the first outpost for the Bristol-based mini-chain.

The menu includes thalis such as Keralan nandan chicken and Punjabi paneer, and recipes from food writer Meera Sodha – you might know her New Vegan column in the Saturday Guardian. If you’re looking for something a bit more adventurous than chicken korma, she’s your gal and this is your spot. I’ll take the pea kachoris with pickled onions, mushroom and walnut samosas and pumpkin coconut olan, thank you very much. That said, the kids’ menu won’t scare the horses (or toddlers), with its gently spiced chicken and rice.

In other good news, Thali is one of the only Indian restaurants in Britain to nab the highest award possible from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, thanks to its emphasis on sourcing local, season and high welfare ingredients. And with its pared-back industrial decor (think tiled floors, exposed brickwork and plaster walls), it’ll keep any hipsters in your party happy too. Result!

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