WHAT better way to beat the winter blues, and a stinking cold, than with a fiery curry?
After trekking through the snow from West Brompton Tube station, we were certainly given a warm welcome at Thali, a north Indian restaurant in Old Brompton Road.
Normally when I go to restaurants with my boyfriend, he gets fed up when I spend hours choosing what I want to eat and then, once the food arrives, I spend the rest of the evening eyeing up what he ordered until he lets me swap.
But a visit to this restaurant proved a lot simpler and the clue was in the name.
For the main course I ordered the traditional meat thali, a collection of dishes served with both rice and naan, with the option of a non-meat thali for vegetarian customers.
Choosing a starter was a little harder and as we deliberated over the menu, a plate of poppadums and mango chutney was brought out.
This was no ordinary plate of poppadums, as they had been twisted by the chef into delicate cones - showing great attention to detail.
For the starter, we ended up sharing a crispy spinach and tomato salad, baby padron peppers stuffed with chicken, juicy king prawns and dahi puri - a yogurt based dish with crunchy biscuits and sweet chutneys.
My favourite of the dishes was the winning combination of peppers and chicken, while my boyfriend happily devoured the dahi puri.
Moving on to the main, and the speciality of the house, the thali.
I was not disappointed with the selection, which came with the lentil dish dhal, yogurt-based raita, and chicken and lamb curries, each packed full of flavour.
For once, there was no need to swap plates with my boyfriend.
There was a great selection of meat, fish and vegetable dishes, and my boyfriend chose the chicken tikka masala.
I'm assured that it was much better than average, with a rich tomato-based sauce.
And that seemed to sum up our experience at Thali - a much better than average trip to a curry house, and we would certainly make a return visit. * For December, the restaurant has also launched its own traditional Christmas menu with an authentic north Indian twist.
Starters for the festive season include turkey or goose kebab with ginger, garlic and garam masala, or a mixed vegetable chestnut kebab.
Among the mains are lobster cooked in onion, tomato and Indian spices, and a turkey or chicken murg masalam, cooked in a tandoor.
166 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, SW5 OBA
020 7373 2626.