Our Story

The forecast looks good, for once.
The forecast looks good, for once.

The Thali started out as a street food truck at Glastonbury Festival in 1999 after we travelled to India and fell in love with the food. The word “thali” refers to the way meals are eaten in India – where a selection of healthy, delicious and nutritious dishes are served together on one plate – and also to the stainless steel dishes they’re served on.

Traditional roadside dhaba, India.

Traditional roadside dhaba, India.

Today we have five Thalis in Bristol and an eco-friendly Tiffin take-away scheme. Waste-free and completely sustainable, we’d love to take the credit for this brilliantly simple concept but we just borrowed it from a tried and trusted system already used across the whole of India. The Tiffin revolution is now in full swing with over 10,000 Thali Tiffins in homes all over Bristol!

Mumbai's trusted tiffinwalahs.

Mumbai’s trusted tiffinwalahs.

We’ve been lucky enough to win some awards along the way, including the winner of the best cheap eats category in the 2010 Observer Food Monthly Awards – and a runner-up five times in the same category. In 2013 we became the first Indian restaurant group to be awarded a Three Star Sustainability Champion Rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (their highest award) and won the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Award for Best Takeaway in 2010.

It’s hard to believe it all started with one simple dish, a few festivals and a van called “Noddy”!

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