Despite being around for years, I visited the Khalisa (or the Tulisa as I've been calling it) for the first time recently. It's one of those curry houses you'd only go to if you are local and live in walking distance or just get a takeaway from, but as my mate lives around the corner, we decided to check it out in the name of research. She's been going for years and warned me it's nothing to get excited about, no cosy booths like UNI and no cheap and cheerful yet authentic details like Master Chef and certainly no daft photo opportunities for Instagram. (Incidentally, my pic of the meal I had got 83 likes on Instagram so at least the food is photogenic or maybe it's just the filter).
The restaurant is rather cramped inside, the takeaway customers standing awkwardly amongst the tables but needless to say the staff are friendly. The prices are a bit OTT considering the ambience and the location (residential area with no pubs or cafes close by) so maybe its a captive audience thing and they're playing on that fact. We went straight for popadoms with a generous pickle tray, my only quibble is the onion portion of the pickle tray tasted dried out. For the main event, it was a veggie sambar, a potent hot and sour curry combination not dissimilar to pathia. Packed with spuds and only a few frozen veg, this wasn't bad as far as curries go but at over £8 for a veggie curry, I expected something a bit more special. My friend's veggie bhuna was the same- decent portion but nothing midblowing. In the absence of a coffee machine and nothing much on the dessert menu, it was over the road to the co-op for afters.
The Good- a convenient local Indian you can always get a table in
The bad- the bland ambience doesn't justify the prices.