Sociable Saturday – ShivalliPosted: September 14, 2013
I’m lucky enough to live in Leicester, which has a hugely diverse population, including many whose religion strongly suggests they should be vegetarian. This results in an enormous choice of places I can pick up something to eat, with many restaurants, cafés and sweetmarts offering vegetarian food with vegan options or happy to substitute menu items so a meal can become vegan (I had a most interesting mixture of Punjabi and English breakfast a few weeks ago!).
So far, I haven’t found a match for my favourite restaurant, which is handily situated just across the road from my main workplace. Can’t do better than to point you to the Happy Cow reviews for this place (especially since mine is in there, from early 2011) – http://www.happycow.net/reviews/shivalli-leicester-20481
I was therefore very happy when my boyfriend suggested we toddle along to this place, and that he would treat me. With this on offer, what else could I do but get a thali?
The lighting and my phone-cam really don’t do this justice. When it came out, I actually said “holy moly!” – and this wasn’t even the whole thing! Previously we’d been bought poppadoms and other deep fried snacks, with chutney which I had to assure the new-ish waiter was one of my favourite things when he tried to warn me about the heat level.
This wasn’t the starter though! This was the pre-starter. For starters I had a dosa (thin delicious pancake made out of fermented rice and lentil batter, filled with spicy potato and onion mix), and a samosa, and more chutney.
No wonder I had to regretfully decline when they offered me dessert!
Maybe this doesn’t exactly look sociable. I haven’t even shown you what my boyfriend was eating, but to be honest his was a bit boring in comparison. He helped with eating the fried things to begin with, then he had some potato balls with chutney, and then beans palaya, which is pleasant enough but visually unassuming, and some kind of cashew and vegetable thing. He also had to help me quite a bit with the main thali plate, which even so I didn’t quite manage to clear. Close enough though!