March 14, 2013

The Vegetable Thali at Ceylonta is one of those rare things in this world that somehow manages to be both the best and the cheapest. For those of you who don't know what a "thali" is; I didn't until about a year ago when I first went to Ceylonta; it literally means "plate" in Hindi and is a meal that consists of several different dishes served on a number of small plates.

Ceylonta's Vegetable Thali changes with the season. The one I ordered had dal, a chickpea curry, an eggplant curry, a string bean curry, a squash curry, an onion curry, and that green curry in the picture which at the moment escapes me. Every order comes with a bowl of rice and a pappadam. I've probably had it a half dozen times in the past year and it's always been delicious!

Now, at this point you might be saying to yourself, "Yeah, I hear ya, but there are a lot of good Indian restaurants in Ottawa, what makes this one so special?" There are two things that in my opinion vault Ceylonta to the top of Ottawas's Indian Resto List. The first is that although there are many places in Ottawa that serve a good curry (Light of India, Little India Cafe, etc...) there aren't too many that serve a thali, and thali's are fun! What I do is put a little bit of each dish on my plate with some rice and then just let the magic happen. They all start to mix together and the flavors start to meld; it's pretty delicious and more interesting than the standard one flavor curry. The second thing that makes Ceylonta #1 in my heart is the price. The Vegetable Thali only costs $15.95 and it serves two people. When my wife and I go we order the Vegetable Thali, plus an extra bowl of rice for $3.75. The total with tax and tip is under $25. That's pretty good for a sit down meal at an Indian restaurant. At most of the other ones we've been to it cost us close to double that for roughly the same meal.

It's the thali that makes the difference. What kills you at most Indian restaurants is that you both have to order a separate curry. That jacks the price big time! The Vegetable Thali at Ceylonta allows you both to have a nice meal without having to order that wallet walloping second curry.

So, there you go. That's my two cents. If you like Indian food and want to have a reasonably priced night out, try the Vegetable Thali at Ceylonta. It's always worked for me, and I bet you'll like it, too!

Ceylonta Restaurant
403 Somerset Street West
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 237-7812
2920 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
(613) 828-7812

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