Food, that’s one thing I miss about Leicester, there’s such a variety of vegetarian/vegan restaurants dotted around the place. Not that I’m a veggie but I don’t really eat meat very often and it was nice to have veggie places to take parents, relatives and friends to when they visited Leicester. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve moved to Manchester now and I needed to find some cool and quirky places to eat. I had a bit of a browse around the old Internet and found this quirky and cool looking place called Indian Tiffin Room serving authentic Indian street food. The restaurant, based int the city centre, was voted one of the Top 20 Hidden Gems of Manchester’s Local Restaurant Scene and voted of the the Top 10 Best Indian restaurants in Greater Manchester by Manchester Evening News. I had a look a the menu and imagined how it would feel in my belly, as you do, and yes, it sounded good so I booked it.
We arrived at around 6pm and the restaurant quickly filled up. It was bigger than I expected and quirky with little canopies above some of the tables, beautifully painting mural on the wall all set and cute little Indian touches. We were seated by the kitchen and it immediately brought back memories of being in India with chefs shouting orders and the sound of chopping and sizzling dishes. We were given the drinks menu and oh god, where to start…cocktails obviously! I ordered All Spice In A Jar, a spice and pineapple mix with 2 types of rum, and when it came out in the jay and 2 smalls straws on top, I couldn’t help feel intrigued. As I opened the lid, a smooth, spice scented cloud of smoke burst out like ‘puff’. It smelt like a hot Indian summer day in a good way and tasted nice too. Towards the end of the evening, I was a little naughty and ordered another cocktail, this time an Imli Margarita which is made from tamarind and their version of the classic margarita and had sugar and chilli around the rim.
All I can remember is feeling totally stuffed after. Thinking that we’ll be sharing and we’re pretty hungry, I ordered quite a few dishes – we always order too much – everything still gets eaten! From the Street Food (grazing and starters) section we picked samosa (obviously!), paani puri (small pastry hollow balls with spicy potato filled with special mint water) and Tulsi Panner Tikka (Indian cheese marinated in spices and cooked in charcoal tandoor), the paneer was really soft and juicy. We also ordered paneer pakoda (batter fried Indian cheese served with chutney). They were all tasty, I would have liked it a little spicier and should have requested it when ordering but nevertheless, everything came out quickly, hot and tasted good.
I always wanted to try crispy, fried bhindi (okra fries) so I ordered that as a side, I was surprised they were crunchy as I expected them to be a little soggy but I’d definitely order them again. By the time we finished the starters, we were feeling full but I was looking forward to the main of Channa Bhatura (puffed Punjabi bread with chickpea masala). This was not to disappoint and my favourite dish of the evening. The bread warm and soft and the chickpeas just spicy enough went well with the finely diced onion. For dessert, we ordered Rasmalai (homemade milk curd served with saffron flavoured sauce) with 2 spoons! After all the dishes, we were full and the dessert being creamy and filling was just enough for 2 as a little sweetener.
Overall, I really enjoyed the evening, the service was great and quick with a lovely relaxed atmosphere. It is easy to over-order on the starters so maybe I’ll head for one of the ‘tiffin’ dishes first and stick to one starter. It would be an ideal place to go with a few friends after work or for a catch up. I will definitely be dining with Indian Tiffin Room again trying their Cheadle branch.
If you like the sound of this, check out the website and see what their menu has to offer for yourself at www.indiantiffiinroom.com