Walked for an hour to find Thali, after reading good reviews prior to my trip to Montreal. Got there and found it was not a great experience, and not worth my time and effort to get there. The fact that it is a cafe in appearance was surprising, but not too significant as I still wanted to try the food. But just don't be fooled into thinking you'll get any sort of table service or a great restaurant experience - the place is a tiny, undecorated cafe on a side street. The service was non-existent. There is no welcome or greeting, not even hello or a smile. The guy at the till was incredibly rude to me - I said hi and asked do I order here or sit down? He abruptly told me to order there. He did not look at me. So I asked if there was salty lassi as I'd seen it on the online menu and he didn't answer just pointed at the fridge behind him to the ready made lassis, which looked like strawberry and mango. Ok I thought, and ordered a strawberry lassi. I then ordered a vegetarian thali, substituting the naan for roti and I paid the amount due. He gave me two pieces and paper and I went and sat down, with difficulty - the cafe seats probably only about 25 people, and it's very cramped. A few minutes later I got up to ask something and he then tells me to take one of the slips to the lady who was standing behind the glass window of food. Wondering why he didn't tell me that when I paid, I took the slip to an equally unfriendly, non-smiling lady behind the counter. She just stood there and when I didn't say anything, she eventually says in a very unfriendly tone 'choose your curries'. I asked her which are the meat and which are the vegetarian curries and she pointed to them without saying anything. I then had to ask again to ask what the vegetable curries were as I couldn't tell from looking at them what was in them. Apparently I had to choose three curries. She rolled her eyes, told me what was in each curry and I then told her which three I wanted. How am I supposed to know if they are not labelled and if they all look the same? Also, why not tell me the system an not just expect me to know, I am not a mindreader! She then put them into my thali dish, put the roti in a different plate and dumped them onto the counter rudely. I took the thali dish and went back for the roti dish, and went to my table. It was an awful experience to be treated like that. As it was 12pm, it was not very busy at that time. Once I sat down, more people started coming into the shop. I could tell they were local regulars as they knew the system. I noticed these customers were greeted, smiled at and spoken to normally. As a traveller I was apalled at the way I was treated. There were people of all ethnic origins lining up to buy takeaway or eat in. It is clearly popular food. In my opinion, the food was a basic north Indian thali, not the best I've ever had but pretty good, if not a tad oily. If I had an option I would have asked them not to put butter on my roti but since they were behaving in a hostile manner, it was difficult to ask them anything. It is good value for money in comparison to other Montreal eateries. The experience for me was completely ruined by the hostile attiude of the staff. They need some training in customer service skills. I will never return to this place.
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