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Indian Tiffin Room Review

Deanna Thomas finally books in and tucks in...

Written by . Published on September 25th 2013.


Indian Tiffin Room Review
 

THOSE who have already visited the Indian Tiffin Room might wonder why it hasn’t been featured on Confidential yet, despite having been open for over three months.

The ‘grazing or starters’ represent the fact a huge proportion of India is vegetarian, although carnivores can chew their way through a marinated chicken lollypop or an Indo-Chinese chilli chicken.

I’ll take responsibility for that because I bagsied it first.

I swan-dived across Gordo’s food map and marked my territory, screeching ‘mineminemine’ like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. However, word has already spread about this place and it turned out to be harder to get into than a damp pair of skinny jeans on Boxing Day.

We were first turned away last bank holiday Sunday. The following week I called them the moment they opened at 5pm for an early table and they were already full. In the end I had to book a midweek evening table, a fortnight in advance.

The Indian Tiffin Room is doing something quite different to your average Anglo-Indian flock wall-papered curry house. They specialise in serving restaurant versions of the typical street food you’ll find all across India.

I decided to mostly order things I’d never heard of before and though the menu isn’t long or complicated, there were a fair few. Our waiter talked us through it with the easy confidence of someone who knows you’re in for a treat whatever you order. The ‘grazing or starters’ represent the fact a huge proportion of India is vegetarian, although carnivores can chew their way through a marinated chicken lollypop or an Indo-Chinese chilli chicken.

We decided to share a plate of Paani Puri (£3.25) because a menu that tells me I need to prepare for ‘a taste explosion’ is throwing down the dining gauntlet.

Paani PuriPaani Puri

Six delicate pastry shells arrived, containing lightly spiced potatoes and chopped salad, like they’d just been hatched and vacated by a vegan chick. The idea is to pour some ‘chilled flavoured mint water’ into it and then pop them quickly into your mouth for said ‘explosion’. The water turned out to be hotter than Satan’s tears and the overall effect was like the vegetarian teetotaller’s equivalent of a tequila slammer.

We also shared a portion of Bhel Puri (£3.25). They’d thrown everything into this harmonious collection of over fifteen different ingredients, defying the modest menu description of ‘crushed crispy pastry, seasoned potatoes and puffed rice coated with date chutney’.

Bhel PuriBhel Puri

Each dig of the fork revealed a new combination of vegan buried treasure topped with shining pomegranate rubies. I could happily walk around wearing a nosebag full of this stuff for days.

The menu highlights a selection of giant pancake dosas, uttapam and passarattu which illustrate that what they don’t know about the more interesting combinations of rice and lentils isn’t worth knowing. Our waiter mentioned that Idly’s don’t always appeal to western palates and recommended we first timers try the mini idly (£3.50) – which they’ve missed a trick not calling tiddly idly’s.

They’re essentially a spicy version of the same cheap and nutritious ‘dumplings and gravy’ dish peasants across the world have been eating for centuries.

Tiddly IdlyTiddly Idly

There are less than a dozen main course curries, and all are served with rice, chapatti or naan bread. The gently spiced, coconut Kerala fish curry (£8 - main image) was made using tilapia so was on the slimy side and a little too tomatoey but my friend said she enjoyed it.

I definitely won the main course round by choosing ‘ITR Lamb’ (£9), which I had to choose as they’d marked it with their signature. It was no different from your average lamb curry to look at but a quick peep under its skirt revealed slow cooked tender pieces of lamb in a multi-layered, glorious sauce made from a combination of freshly ground spices. No generic base sauces here. The warm, accompanying roti served the dual purpose of picking up the lamb and making me very happy.

We were kindly reminded that Indian puddings are typically much sweeter than western ones (like that would put me off) so we shared carrot halva (£3) and rasmalai (£3.50); two gently pressed tabs of homemade milk curd flavoured with saffron, cardamom and pistachio. If you don’t like any of the above ingredients then Indian desserts are not for you.

Carrot HalwaCarrot Halwa

The menu makes a passing reference to the fact that they are licensed and our enquiry regarding white wine was met with a simple ‘sauvignon blanc’ or ‘pinot grigio’ which served well enough to wash the food down and lubricate the chatter. The focus here is on the food.

Coincidentally, as I was writing this, I got this email from my uncle who lives in London:

‘Thought I should let you know (if you don't already) Indian Tiffin in Cheadle.  As you know we have reasonably high standards re food and are notoriously difficult to please - Tiffin is simply the best Indian food I have ever eaten. We have been to Trishna and Tamarind in London - both Michelin starred Indian restaurants and neither compares to Tiffin and at half the price. Give it a go.’

RasmalaiRasmalai

So word is out and spreading. If you want to visit this place sometime before Christmas, book now and hopefully they’ll push forward their intentions to extend their opening hours.

You can follow Deanna Thomas on Twitter @deannathomas

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE.  

Indian Tiffin Room, Chapel St, Cheadle, Cheshire SK8 1BR. 0161 491 2020

Rating: 15/20

Food: 8/10 (bhel puri 8.5, paani puri 8.5, mini idly 7.5, ITR lamb 9, Fish curry 7, rasmalai 7, carrot halwa 7)
Service: 4/5 
Ambience: 3/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away

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35 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

MhcSeptember 26th 2013.

Good review. Bang on. Best Indian food I've ever had. In fact I've been twice in a week. Not a precedent or anecdote perhaps worthy of revealing over coffee at a dinner party. My ambition (limited aspirations) is to visit so often that a photo of me adorns their walls in recognition of my patronage or something. Black and White. I might be wearing a hat. I'm not sure. I'm also not sure that I've thought this through or that it is necessarily a good idea, it may need rethinking. Anyhow, I wrote my own review after a couple of liveners the other night if anyone would care to take a look... www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g1237511-d4317290-r177878060-Indian_Tiffin_Room-Cheadle_Greater_Manchester_England.html…

1 Response: Reply To This...
SimonOctober 22nd 2013.

Loved your review on TA. Sign this geezer up, Jonathan. He'll keep Gordo on his toes and no mistake.

Alaka ProdhanSeptember 26th 2013.

This place is amazing. Glad to see ManCon finally made it round! The dahi puris are to die for. Total taste explosion.

FoodLover1September 27th 2013.

Hear hear! A review at long last :) Well deserved for what they are doing, which is what no one else is doing at this standard in the North... I will remain a loyal & grateful customer of this restaurant until they open another & then I will become a loyal customer to that one too! :) If you haven't been yet, you need too!

NorthernGeezerSeptember 27th 2013.

What chance u got if u cant get in?

1 Response: Reply To This...
FoodLover1September 27th 2013.

I've been loads of times and all I did was call and book... Not that hard if you try.. Some weirdo on Tripadvisor reviewed it even though they hadn't even eaten there as they didn't get in because they hadn't booked.. Plain sad.. Some people ey?

John SmithSeptember 28th 2013.

Cheadle isnt in Cheshire: hasnt been since 1974. Its in Greater Manchester along with the rest of Stockport

23 Responses: Reply To This...
Deanna ThomasSeptember 28th 2013.

This is a cut and paste from the contact page on the website. Take it up with them John indiantiffinroom.com/contact_us.html…

AnonymousNovember 26th 2013.

I live in Cheadle and it is in Cheshire!

Mick ProctorAugust 23rd 2014.

Stocky is officially in Cheshire , in reality it is a suburb of Manchester

GimboidAugust 23rd 2014.

Stockport is not in Cheshire, officially or unofficially. It's in Greater Manchester.

Ghostly TomAugust 23rd 2014.

Stockport isn't in Cheshire and hasn't been for 40 years. It's in Greater Manchester and, while the centre has it's own distinct personality, the suburbs are suburbs of Manchester in reality.

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2014.

Ask any teenager from Cheadle where it is and they will tell you it's in Manchester. The older generation may think differently but that's all changing.

Mark FullerAugust 23rd 2014.

Even though all the metropolitan counties, including Greater Manchester were abolished by the evil Thatcher government, Stockport is definitely part of Manchester, because I say so . Those who cling to their erroneous historic Cheshire identity should be slapped down at every opportunity.

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2014.

Was it not the evil Tories who created Greater Manchester?

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2014.

Manchester is and was in Lancashire.Which is why the cricket ground of Lancashire remains in Manchester. Just because you change the name of something,does not mean you can change people sense of identity.if you do not believe me,hold a referendum and offer people the choice between Lancashire and Greater Manchester.Only in Manchester itself would you stand a pray of getting a majority of people to vote for Greater Manchester.Those who think people should just have to accept their choice of identity,are thoroughly un democratic.

Ghostly TomAugust 23rd 2014.

Manchester hasn't been in Lancashire for 40 years. Lancashire is governed by a county council from Preston. When did anything decided in Preston affect anything in Manchester? Greater Manchester is a city region getting on for 3,000,000 people. All the constituent parts benefit from their connections to Manchester which is the internationally recognised name for the area. A business person in Shanghai, Mumbai, Dubai isn't likely to invest in Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale as they really won't have heard of them. Mention they are part of the Manchester city region and the chance of investment increases incrementally. Manchester was once in Lancashire but even then it was its own entity, something apart from the rest of the county. Now it has no political or geographical connection. But if Lancashire wants to prosper, emphasising its close connection with the city will help. Won't be popular with some but there it is.

AnonymousAugust 23rd 2014.

Or perhaps the cricket ground of Lancashire remains in Manchester because they decided it was in the best place for it and moving it elsewhere wasn't feasible. The same reason Middlesex play in London and Warwickshire play in Birmingham.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Wirral = Cheshire.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

People who think foreigners are more aware of Manchester are sadly deluded.Its only London most foreigners have heard of or want to visit. Secondly if people in Rochdale,Wigan,Bury or Bolton consider themselves Lancastrians why should they be forced to be part of a Greater Manchester?.Instead we get this nonsense about how they will all benefit from being part of the Manchester city region.All that happens is an increasing concentration of employment opportunities in the city of Manchester,and a decline in employment opportunities in towns like Bolton.There is no trickle down.

Ghostly TomAugust 24th 2014.

100s of millions of Chinese investment at the airport, 100s of millions of investment around The Etihad Stadium, foreign banks with offices across the city centre.... Anonymous needs to look at the reality of the situation. People travel form Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale, Bury into the city centre to work. They then go home and spend their wages in the part of the city they live in benefitting those communities. That is trickle down in action. Greater Manchester is a political, geographical city region that works as an entity which different parts providing different purposes. The peripheral areas do benefit from a strong Manchester city centre. Without that there, they would be a lot poorer. Like some of the declining towns in Lancashire proper. That's the county run from Preston, not the part that hasn't been part of Lancashire since 1974.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Is The Wirral run from Chester? No it isn't. Therefore it isn't part of Cheshire. End of argument.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

There is no trickle down.Most of these once proud Lancashire towns are full of scores of boarded up shops. Just as London creams far more than its fair share of transport spending,the same thing happens with Manchester.There is no attempt to develop transport links between Lancashire towns like Bolton and Bury,just ever more spending on ones that funnel people into Manchester.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

There is only one city in the North West that has a truly global name,especially in North America,and it's not Manchester.If Mancs were really concerned to promote the region to the maximum globally,they would accept being subsumed into Liverpool.But of course while they are quite prepared to force Others to give up their identity,they won't accept it for themselves.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Ain't fooling anybody with that Liverpool nonsense anon.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Wirral = Cheshire

Ghostly TomAugust 24th 2014.

Of course there is trickle down. People who live in Bury, Bolton etc. earn money in Manchester then spend it in the place where they live supporting local businesses. It doesn't all get spent in Central Manchester. If these towns want to prosper they need to forge closer and faster links with Manchester which is the second biggest economy in the country and drives the economy of a large part of the northern economy. We are no longer living in Victorian times. The old cotton towns have long lost their original reason for being. If they are to survive they have to find a new purpose.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Funny that Manchester has more tourist visitors than Liverpool then, despite Liverpool apparently having the only 'truly global name'.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

Every store in Australia that sells being and cotton goods has a department called Manchester. That alone places Manchester in the minds of Australians. Makes Manchester global as far as I am concerned.

AnonymousAugust 24th 2014.

That should be bedding and cotton goods

AnonymousOctober 8th 2013.

Cheers for that John Smith glad you've cleared that essential point up. I moved to Cheadle from Salford a few years ago and because my address actually has the word Cheshire in it I presently have to face a lot of 'banter' from some seriously snide heads for being a Cheshire Tw@t. I'll point my tormentors to your insightful comment in future and laugh in their faces as they eat their own words after being mutilated by the scalpel like precision of a Truth Telling Internet Hero ! Bravo What A Legend.

NorthernGeezerOctober 28th 2013.

No trouble getting in..........................that is i booked for 5.30 on a Sunday and by 6.00 the place was packed! Having said that, i'd put it as one of the top 5 indian meals i've ever eaten, and that's with a line of over 40 years of curry behind me. I couldnt fault it, food was superb, service was great, waiters very knowledgable. They need to offer more choice drink wise but as a Cobra lover, i managed. Will i be going back again...............YOU BETCHA!!!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 27th 2013.

Passed the restaurant last Tuesday not knowing it existed and I was surprised to see it busy. Didn't know it existed. Was looking for somewhere to celebrate my 50th and my choice of Chinese restaurant was empty, so settled for Turkish. If I knew what food was served there then I would of definitely gone in, assuming they had availability. Used to work in London and just off the Euston Rd there were several veggy Indian restaurants With amazing food, just like on the menu in Tiffin Room. Can't wait to try it!!!!!

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2014.

I've passed the Indian Tiffin Room many times during the day on my way from the car park to shop in Cheadle. After reading the fantastic reviews from previous patrons I now can't wait to sample your delicious food! Mrs W, Cheadle

Emma AthertonFebruary 18th 2014.

We went last week - the food was really nice although I was a bit disappointed with the size of the mains - the curry was really teeny with loads of bread on the side. Maybe I'm just greedy though......

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