I find Indian food fascinating, as I’m fairly new to it. I still find it a cuisine so exciting to explore and have only tried a fair amount of Indian restaurants in town (some popular ones I find overrated whilst some authentic ones need more credit). When Talli Joe opened, I thought it was going to be one of those overhyped new trendy places… but since one of my trusted London foodies recommended it, it had been on my list for quite a while.
Luckily, CAKE invited me to try their app at my restaurant of choice and I chose Talli Joe.
You’ll find Talli Joe just off Shaftesbury Avenue (the other side leading to Seven Dials). At first glance, the place is quite cool and festive, seemingly geared for groups. Which is awesome, because Indian food is something I associate with group or family-style dining. You can share your dishes however much you want.
I started my CAKE tab as soon as we were sat. CAKE essentially is an app that makes going out in groups easier because 1) it makes the dreaded task of splitting bills easier (especially if you have peeps who prefer paying for their orders instead of doing equal shares); 2) you can pay easily on your phone; and 3) you actually can earn money back!
We perused the menu and opted to go for a few half plates.
I loved Talli Joe’s kale chaat. Crispy kale topped a bowl of yoghurt, potato and pomegranate and it was a hearty, refreshing starter.
We had the Old Delhi Butter Chicken Samosa. The samosa dough, I thought was slightly thicker than what I’m used to but the chicken filling was great. Star of the plate had to be the tomato and fenugreek sauce, which we devoured and dipped other things in.
The blue cheese, garlic and green onion naan is not for the fainthearted. It’s a generous portion and is rather moreish!
The Konkani Fish Curry was not what I expected. I had imagined a thick, creamy sauce with huge chunks of fish, but I got the opposite. And it actually excited me, because I’d never had anything like it before.
The sauce was good, but I was slightly let down by the chunks of fish, which was quite meagre. But it went well with the coconut rice and the pickled chutney it came with.
Talli Joe’s Bohri Chicken came next with some fenugreek flatbread. Apparently it’s made with a “secret combination of masalas of the Bohri community in Gujarat”. I liked the smokiness of the sauce and the ubertenderness of the chicken itself.
Last to arrive was the Kochi Beef Fry. I thought the flavour profile was slightly similar to the Bohri chicken except this had a bit of a spicy kick. We had it with some yoghurt as we were advised that it was the hottest thing on the menu. Frankly, I thought if was quite mild (but then again I do have a high tolerance for heat). The beef rump was nicely cooked and I loved the chunks of coconut in the dish.
Bellies full to the brim and Indian food craving satisfied, we were ready to pay. Once “connected” to the tab or till, our items magically appeared on the app.
You need to connect a card to the app in order to pay, but don’t worry - it’s all safe and easy. The interface is seriously easy to use and there’s also an option to split the bill by however much you like with your friends. Once you’ve paid, you can exit the tab et voila! Done deal.
Plus, as mentioned earlier, you can earn money back which you can use for the next time you’re paying with CAKE. =)
Verdict for Talli Joe
I see the appeal of Talli Joe, it’s an exciting menu and I think the food was actually better than some other more popular Indian Tapas places (you guys know which one I’m talking about, right?). I’d like to explore more of the food, but from what I’ve had, I reckon it’s a place good for bringing the gang over. It’s casual and easy and there’s something to please everyone.
52-156 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2H
My meal was part-comped by CAKE but average spend pp is £35
Verdict for CAKE
Personally, when it comes to dining with groups, I’d rather split the bill equally. However, I understand that some people prefer to pay for their own orders which I think is fair enough (especially if they don’t partake in libations and you end up drinking bottles and bottles of fine wine and champs). CAKE’s made it all easy to do all this and it comes handy because all you need is your phone and clear instructions and that’s it! Plus the fact that you’d earn money back is quite cool, don’t you think?
Get CAKE here.
Have you guys used these types of apps before?
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Talli Joe is on my list of places to try!