What should we know about Indian Tiffins?
Indian Tiffins call themselves an Indian food joint dedicated to serving culinary gems from South Indian cuisine. There's a definite authentic vibe on Dublin's Parnell Street, with modern Indian Telugu music videos playing on the TV screen, and the room heaving with Indian expats when we wandered in on a random Tuesday evening.
What should we have?
Laminated menus are on every table, and service is efficient. Food here is fast, served on paper plates and foil trays with plastic spoons. As we ordered, we were warned after at least two or three items that they were ‘spicy’ - not an issue for us, but the spice averse might be happy to be steered in a particular direction.
We ordered samosas which came out first, served with three small slightly charred green chili peppers. The little veggie snacks were decent, but would have benefited from a chutney or dipping sauce.
Next, the chicken biryani arrived with yoghurt raita, pickled red onions and a shorba, or biryani gravy, made of tomato, onion, spices and herbs. The rice was fragrant and the full chicken pieces were marinated nicely, but there were only two, a thigh and wing, that while delicious felt a bit mean for €16.99.
The masala and pav bhaji dosas arrived alongside the biryani - two crispy filled pancakes folded and served with a creamy and spicy coconut chutney and a sambar (tomatoey veggie stew). The masala dosa was the winner here - deliciously crispy dosa stuffed with red chili paste and spiced potato. The pav bhaji was good, stuffed with spicy veggies and red onions, however the ingredients weighed it down, resulting in it being quite soggy.
To end the meal, we ordered a masala chai, served in a small paper cup and so hot we couldn’t touch it for a while, watching the milk form an unappetising layer on top. Once we could drink it, it tasted like the ones we've had on our Indian travels, and definitely seemed to be the most popular drink in here. To finish we tried the Gulab Jamoon – a dessert ball made with milk solids, flour and leavening agent, soaked in a warm sugar syrup. This was ultra tasty but don’t be fooled by the picture on the menu showing a generous bowlful - a single serving is one ball.
What is there to drink?
Coffee and tea is served all day, as well as the traditional masala chai. The soft drinks menu has the standards, with the addition of Thumbs Up and Mango Frooti. Having spent time traveling throughout India, the Thumbs Up (the most popular cola soda in India) immediately stirred nostalgic memories, so it was a must-order for that alone.
Why should I go?
If you want to experience authentic South Indian cuisine in the heart of Dublin, Indian Tiffins should be on your list. Although we felt some things were slightly overpriced, and there's a disappointing use of plastic and paper plates, the turnover in here is no joke, and the Indian community in Dublin is frequenting it in droves for a reason - a taste of home.
143 Parnell Street, Dublin 1 indiantiffins.ie