The revitalisation of Greek Street continues apace with Indian Tiffin Room crossing the Pennines to open is first restaurant in Leeds.
With its reputation for dishing up great Indian street food, my friend and I were keen to check it out.
Walking in through the enormous marble doorway, we were greeted by a friendly maitre’d who led us past the smaller bar and into a dining area split over two levels.
The jury is still out on the decor – lots of red and gold, brightly patterned booths, wooden screening and faux plants – which my friend loved but I couldn’t make my mind up about. When combined with what sounded to my uneducated ear like sitar music, it felt a bit like it had tipped over into Bollywood pastiche.
We were here for the food though and the waitress who took our drinks order talked us through the various menu sections and rattled off a number of helpful recommendations.
In the end, we decided to share two starters while I plumped for one of the Tiffin curries and my friend chose a dosa from the selection of South Indian Tiffin dishes.
Two generous Punjabi-style samosas (£) packed just the right amount of heat, the crisp case stuffed with spicy filling.
It was the moreish Paneer pakoda – cottage cheese fried in batter – that came out as the favourite of the two though.
My delicious lamb kashmiri with rice was the highlight of the meal for me thanks to the tender meat and well-balanced flavours. The curry and rice each arrived in pretty bowls on a metal tray that also serves as the plate.
But it was my friend’s masala dosa, served on a rectangular thali tray with compartments for the various tasty sauces, that most reminded me of meals eaten in less touristy spots while on holiday in India.
Just as then, the enormous rice and lentil crepe filled with potato masala spilled over the sides of the tray.
Suffice to say, the first-rate naan she had ordered alongside it was not really needed and we struggled to finish it even between the two of us.
We’d been checked on twice during our meal by one of the half a dozen or so waiting staff who were never far away, and they were swift ask about clearing our plates as we still picked away at the naan.
While this attentive service was great when we wanted water topping up, I found it a bit much and couldn’t shake the feeling of being watched.
As the bill (just over £30) was delivered, we were asked by our eager waiter if it had been as good as we expected.
Although I wasn’t blown away, I’d gone in with high expectations and it would be fair to say that they had been more than met.
INDIAN TIFFIN ROOM
Indian Address: 31-32 Park Row, Leeds