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The Tiffin Menu At Zouk

We try the ultimate lunchtime treat

Published on January 5th 2015.

The Tiffin Menu At Zouk


EVERYONE'S got a favourite spot for a weekday lunch treat. Somewhere you head to on a Monday or Friday with colleagues to start or end your week on a high.

Delicious, nutritious and excellent value, we can see why it's a hit.

Zouk on Oxford Road is one such place. Every lunch time, it attracts groups of university staff, students and office workers for its Tiffin deal – an invigorating, tasty, full-on Indian food fix.

Img_5561Vegetarian Tiffin

Tiffin, for the uninitiated, is a meal made up of several Indian dishes or snacks, usually eaten for lunch by workers. It originated in Mumbai where thousands of people receive a delivery of a tiffin box at lunchtime, either from their home, or from their favourite restaurant.

It is essentially good, sustaining food designed to lift your day, and keep you fuelled up till dinnertime. The only difference at Zouk is that you eat your tiffin in the restaurant, letting you escape your desk and fully relax for a while.

At Zouk the tiffin comes in two ways: the curry-centred Traditional Tiffin and the light, health-conscious Tiffin Grill.

Img_5574Palak Aloo

The Traditional Tiffin

This is a silver tray containing a starter snack, two curries, pilau rice and just-cooked naan bread (the latter responsible for the mouthwatering aroma when you walk in).You can choose from vegetable or meat, both priced at £7.95. The menu changes daily with new dishes prepared every morning. It was created to give diners a lunchtime treat that’s fresh, fast and tastes great.

We started with the Vegetable Tiffin. Its arrival was greeted with glee, swiftly followed by a dilemma about what to eat first as it all smelled fantastic.


The Paneer Tikka won. This is two fulsome squares of springy paneer cheese marinated in red tikka spices, giving them a smoky, coconut flavour that was hard to resist. It was accompanied by two wholesome curries. The Dhal Makhani is a brown lentil dish that might look simple but tastes far from it. Made with green chillis and garlic, it was surprisingly complex and fiery – a real taste explosion.

Img_5575Dhal Makhani

The second curry was the classic Palak Aloo – new potatoes in a soft, creamy spinach with fenugreek and fresh coriander. Even the confirmed meat eaters were charmed by it.


Then it was onto the Meat Tiffin, again comprising of a starter, two dishes, pilau rice and naan bread for £7.95.

The starter was two pieces of chicken tikka – tender and substantial with a citrus zing, they reminded us why Zouk's chefs are known as some of Manchester's best for Indian cooking. Next up was one of our favourite dishes here: the Chicken Handi. A Punjabi slow-cooked curry of tomatoes, onion, garlic and garam masala, we eagerly scooped it up with torn-off naan bread.

The final dish was a succulent Lamb and Channa (chickpea) Curry set off by strips of ginger and fresh coriander. The spice level was medium but you can ask them to turn it up if you're brave enough.

Img_0909The Tiffin Grill

The Tiffin Grill

We went back on another day, once our stomachs had returned to normal size, to try the New Tiffin Grill. This will appeal to those looking for something lighter and simpler than curry at lunch time. If you’re on a health-kick, this is the kind of lunch that’ll brighten up your week without derailing your diet.

Like the Traditional Tiffin, there are options for veggies and carnivores. Both are made up of several small dishes: a de-skewered skewer of meat or vegetables, a bowl of green salad, a bowl of hummous, and a naan bread.

With its substantial salad and easy-eat chunks of spicy char grilled chicken tikka and chilo lamb, the meat option is perfect for low-carbers. You'll be full even without the naan bread, though good  luck resisting it. It comes out warm and golden and asking to be dipped in the smooth, home-blended hummous.

 The vegetable tiffin swaps the meat for the mouthwatering char grilled paneer tikka, and char grilled aubergine, onion and mushrooms and peppers. The smoky, hot coal flavour really comes through beneath the tikka spicing. The Tiffin Grills are £7.95.

Img_0919Vegetarian Tiffin Grill

Delicious, nutritious and excellent value, we can see why both tiffins are a hit with office groups small and large, with parties of 15 or more regularly dropping in.

If you're trying to reach a business around Oxford Road at lunchtime and the phones keep ringing out, they're probably all in here.

Zouk's Tiffin Menu is available Monday to Friday from 12noon till 4pm. Zouk Manchester is on Chester Street, just off Oxford Road.

Learn more at the Zouk website.

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