It wasn’t too long ago that the thali was considered too middle class and was served at only humble establishments. When the mall boom happened, it slowly made its way into food courts as well. The brand behind it was Rajdhani Thali, which has now given it another first — a fine-dine thali restaurant.
Named Rajdhani Rasovara – The Royale Kitchen, the outlet has just opened at Lower Parel’s swanky Palladium mall. New features include meals spread over three courses, a designated captain at each table, a new a la carte menu and staff that documents customer feedback on an electronic tablet. “We make some or the other conceptual change every two-three years, be it the uniforms, menu or ambience. We need to evolve,” says Aji Nair, VP, F&B Division, Mirah Hospitality. “People from the elite classes have been asking us for a more luxurious ambience. We’ve been very traditional so far. We want to go international now.”
Global propositions include Singapore and UAE outlets, one of which Nair claims will open this year. “We also want to have at least one luxury outlet in each of the metros,” he says.
At the more elaborate outpost, prices are set at Rs459 and Rs559 for lunch and dinner respectively, slightly steeper than the regular outlets where thalis don’t cost more than Rs 375. “This is mostly because of our investment and maintenance. Also, we’re using more premium ingredients,” says Nair. “There’s also a royal ambience, golden thalis and a paced out meal with even more items.”
The gold thalis are heavy, but having a different plate for starters is definitely a welcome change. There’s incredible variety in the menu — as good as any buffet in the city — but there’s no way you can enjoy every item in one meal. The staff is welcoming, but insists on shoving food onto your thali even when you’ve politely declined more than once. Overall, we enjoyed the meal, but we aren’t sure about how much we prefer it to a regular Rajdhani Thali outlet.