I have fond memories of carrying a blue coloured basket with two tiffin boxes in it that my mother used to hand me every morning when I went to school. I used to be very eager every single day to find out they enclosed and even before the first break I could not resist peaking into them to find out. Those were days when food was a simpler thing than today and happy days were when my mother packed Pav Bhaji for me without telling me about it. Unless you have had a troubled childhood, you know what I mean.
The first encounter to the name of Tiffinbox Etc. brought back some old school day memories and I was eager to visit them. Now that we don’t go to school anymore and being burdened with a busy lifestyle that Mumbai has given us, we managed to visit them for a weekday dinner after a long time from when we heard about them. Now like we always say, here is the tale!
FROM THE DESIGNERS PERSPECTIVE!
The interiors are casual done with benches giving the feel of a canteen but a more sophisticated one. The walls have wacky doodle art that adds amusement and colour. They have used light coloured laminates over tables and benches. Rustic tiled flooring gives the interiors a more earthen look. Overall the interiors are pleasing with use of light colours and bright lighting.
DRINK IT BABY!
The guests are welcomed with Patti Mogam, an ayurvedic drink which is a speciality from Kerala. This drink is like herbed green tea which is low on taste and fragrance but is very high on health benefits as mentioned by the servers. It is also called blood tonic due to its deep red colour gained from the herbs used to make it.
They have very few options in drinks. All of their drinks we had were served in standard tall glasses. We ordered for Jaljeera, Chaas and Lassi.
Jaljeera at Tiffinbox etc. is for the ones who like their drinks to be mild unlike us who like it the other way round. The boondi added to the drink was not very fresh killing the taste of the drink even further.
Chaas was very flavourful with the presence of ginger, mint leaves and chillies. We really liked this one and give them full marks for it.
The Lassi was thick and sweet but a little grainy. Smoother the curd, better is the taste of Lassi.
FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD!
We went head over heels for the Achari Mushroom With Crispy Potatoes And Achar Fondue served here. It had an awesome achari flavour marination which pleased our taste buds. The mushrooms were tender and juicy. Mushrooms are served with slender potato chips which play the role of adding crispness to the dish. The fondue served alongside was flavourful too but it was not really required given the already amazing mushrooms.
Mirchiwale Aloo, Papad Tacos, Microgreens was a beautifully presented dish bottomed with microgreens. Conical papads are placed in shot glasses over which the marinated and tandoor cooked potatoes are placed. Though the presentation impressed us, the taste of the dish was just about average. The papads need to be well roasted as all of them were under roasted towards the ends. The potatoes were stuffed with paneer. We liked the marination of the potatoes and also loved the tandoor cooked flavour. A little more seasoning could have made the dish taste better.
Ricotta Cheese Vada Pav Slider is a westernised version of Mumbai street food favourite, wada pav. These are small sliders holding between them, batter fried potato dumpling served with fried green chillies and dry garlic chutney. We liked the boiled potato filling which was flavoured with curry leaves and garlic. The twist is given to the dish with ricotta cheese. We loved the dry garlic spice and the fried green chillies. PS. The fried green chillies are only for brave hearted as it is naturally super spicy.
Medu Wada With Chutney Spheres are served on a wooden platter with a banana leaf at base to give it a south Indian feel. The crisp Medu Vadas are served with two kinds of cold sauces (chutneys) and hot Sambar. The coconut chutney is delicious while the red chutney is average. The sambar is a tad bit sweet which doesn’t suit our taste buds. The crispy and fluffy Medu wadas are utterly delicious.
Sev Puri, Curd Spheres taste like the ones served on a roadside thela (vendor) and that is how we like it. The only addition is the curd sphere made using molecular gastronomy and placed atop each nibble.
Coming to the main course we ordered for a few dishes, squeezing to a few was tough choice as the menu offers many options which one will be tempted to try.
We first ordered Sindhi Kadhi And Aloo Tuk for the Sindhi food fans we are. However the dish disappointed us as it was not an authentic preparation. Limited and odd veggies were blanched and cooked with dal (yellow lentil) whereas ideally veggies are to be deep fried in Sindhi Kadhi. Chana dal was used as a base instead of gram flour. The accompanied aloo tuk was absolutely bland with no seasoning and the authentic chatpata flavour was also missing. This dish you can avoid.
Mirch Ka Salan With Panko Crusted Bharwan Mirch has a peanut flavoured gravy which is mildly spiced. Batter fried chillies stuffed with cheese are crisp but lack salt and are bland. We enjoyed the salan (gravy) as we liked the peanut flavour to it.
Kadhai Paneer With Khakra Roomali has small diced onions and capsicum in yellow gravy. It again has less seasoning and prominently tastes of red chilli powder. The khakra roomali was a good accompaniment and we also ordered for rotis. The tandoori breads are perfectly baked crisp maintaining basic softness.
The Yellow Dal was flavourful and was our best pick of the main course. It complimented very well with the breads and steamed rice.
Angoori Ras Malai With Rose Caviar is presented in a black deep dish bringing out the creamish colour of the rabdi prominently. The contrast looks sophisticated. It is garnished with chopped dry fruits and yellow caviars. The rabdi is thick but was not very fresh as we could feel the sourness in both the rabdi and rasmalai. In our opinion roasted dry fruits would have given a better flavour than the moist ones.
Gulab Jamun set cheese cake is their best desert attraction for all those Gulab Jamun lovers. The cheese cake has layers of gulab jamun enclosed and is a fantastic combination. The cake is placed on a sour biscuit, garnished with apple slices and decorated with sliced gulab jamun along with yellow caviars. We enjoyed this one. Delicious!
HOW MAY I HELP YOU!
The servers are very positive towards feedback and asked for it after every dish. They were on their feet to make our experience splendid. The chef came over to our table for a conversation and was also receptive to feedback. The service delivery was flawless.
HAWK EYE VIEW!
The name of the place instantly connects its visitors to home food. They provide food from various cuisines across India. They have authentic as well as food with a modern twist. We liked the interiors which are very casual like that of a canteen. Few hits and few misses in food give them an area of improvement. The service was good enough to make your experience comfortable.
Chaas, Achari Mushrooms With Crispy Potato And Achaar Fondue, Yellow Dal And Gulab Jamun Set Cheese Cake.
PS: We will surely return to them for the Mushrooms!