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Dec 3, 2006 02:56 AM

New Indian - Tiffin - Philadelphia

Location 710 W Girard Ave. We ordered take out tonight and feel that the quality of the food was as good as Karma at about half the price.
Veggie samosas were the plump doughy style pretty good at $1.95 for two. Onion Bhaji a little floury but still good. Excellent Chicken Tikka salad. Entrees - Chicken Tikka Masala was excellent for $9.95. Lamb Saag also good for the same price. Naan bread just a dollar. What was particularly interesting was that things such as raita come with the meal as standard and that veggie dishes eg Aloo Gobi and an unusually deliberately smoky eggplant bhaji (Baigan Bharta)are just 6.95, which allows plenty of variety at an affordable price, something other Indian restaurants should take note of. This place is a perfect replacement for the sadly missed Darbar Grill on Market Street. Currently just doing take out and delivery and I believe to be expanding into other neighborhoods.

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  1. der- thanks for the heads up. I tried the weblink and got a response of the page being "under construction."

    What part of the city is 710 W. Girard?

    The food is priced attractively. It is appreciated for places to charge a more reasonable amount for food, such as naan. $1 for takeout for it, to me, is fair. Most restaurants charge $2 and up for it, which I think is unjustifiable. Since the place is takeout, are the dishes packed separately, such as if you get saag paneer, will the saag be placed in a separate container from the rice? This is the way Minar Palace did it. Their expansion to other neighborhoods will be a good thing.

    You mentioned the now closed Darbar Grill, formerly on Market Street. I had heard mixed reports about the place.

    1 Reply
    1. re: FelafelBoy

      Location is on the edge of Northern Liberties, a couple of blocks away from Las cazuelas i guess. Food is packaged seperately. My traditional favorite take out indian was Karma, but recently i felt they were cutting corners, eg the chicken in Tikka Masala was little bitty pieces, whereas here you get the chunks with the skewer holes through. My other point on the vegetable dishes, is that if you want a vegetable as a side (and here portion size is the same) at restaurants such as Karma, you are paying around $12 - $13, whereas here you are paying around half. I am not deliberately hitting on Karma, I still believe their chicken saag to be excellent and the only place where i would buy the okra (not at all slimy, I feel this place worth the support from my initial take-out meal. Website was up and running yesterday at, but their second address was not working.

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      1. I ordered from Tiffin this weekend and it was really good, especially for the price. DiningIn is so expensive, so slow, and 80% of the time they screw something up. The Lamb Saag was really good and so was the Aloo Gobi. It was super fast and they guy on the phone was really nice. They are only open for delivery right now, but the restaurant should be functioning fairly soon. I thought it was better than Karma.

        1 Reply
        1. re: stakarag

          I ordered food from Tiffin on Sunday evening. Let's just say, it was the best Indian I have had in a long time. The food was delicious and the prices made it yummier. To a question raised in an earlier post, the food not only came packaged separately but was also was individually labeled. Since we had ordered for 7 people that really helped by taking the guesswork out. Food comes with free dal, raita and pickles; items you would have to pay extra for at most other places. Looking forward to eating there when they open the dining room.

        2. Ordered from Tiffin last night. Quite pleased. The food has a homemade feeling to it, like there's less oil used maybe or the ingredients are very fresh or they didn't burn the onions. Absolutely charming. It's not heartrendingly delicious, it's just real good and a fantastic value. I'll be ordering a package of 23 meals and making one night a week Tiffin night. Ordered the Saag Paneer / Zucchini Masala, and the Gobhi Mussalam / Kadai Vegetables. Saag Paneer was perfect... my wife ate most of it so I can't describe it tho. Zucchini pieces were soft not mushy, with a slight overuse of cumin seed. But that means they used cumin seed, which is more than I can say for most places! Altho maybe that was the kadai veggies that were overcumin-ed, can't remember. Anyway that was kind of a homey touch that I really appreciated, like it's the kind of thing I'd mess up. The cauliflower was melting. Loved the dal (I think it was urad dal) it was kind of stewy - I almost prefered it to their entrees. Heat level btwn mild and medium. The pickle was edible... and I usually find pickles inedible. Usually I reserve pickles for when my wife decides to boil some frozen chicken breasts.

          I wonder if they change their menu week to week.
          Anyway, Minar What?

          1. I stopped in at Tiffin tonight to pick up a couple of items for a potluck tonight, and several items to both eat in the next couple of days and put in the freezer. I was just getting in a nice habbit of buying ten or so items at a time at Minar to eat for a few days and freeze, and I've just gotten to the bottom of my Minar pile.

            Tiffin is efficient looking, clean, the folks are pleasant, the variety and quality of the dishes is great, and the prices are reasonable - if not at the $5.50 Minar level. More like 6.95 to 9.95, with a couple of dishes topping out at 10-12.95, and well worth it.

            I ordered Lamb Seekh Kabab - spicey Minced lamb, similar to Kabaobeesh - listed as an appetizer, but quite generous, Malai Tikka - a Tandoor dish containing 5 large chunks of chicken, Saag Paneer, Aloo Gobhi - with cauliflower and potato, Baingna Bharta - does this dish usually have peas?, and Dhaba Chicken, chunks of chicken in a generous red sauce. Seven dishes with tax came to $56. including separate containers of rice, delicious chutneys, pickles, raita, and dal. Much tastier than what I ate earlier this week at one of the highest rated places in D.C.

            I do have one nit to pick, however - with the freebees, or extras, as they have been called - actually neither since they are listed on the menu, and I paid the price.

            With the dishes I ordered, I should have received a total of 4 dal, 6 raita, 1 mint chutney, 3 mix pickle, and 1 mango chutney, plus 5 servings of rice. I asked, and was told that these items were packaged separately, since a number of the items would be frozen for individual meals.

            I received two quart containers of rice, one generous container of dal, only two of the six raita, only 1 mix pickle, 1 container of orangy looking stuff with a chunk of what may be mango? 2 containers of the common green paste, and two containers of brown stuff that looks to be the consistency of duck sauce. As you can tell, I'm not really up on my Indian condiments.

            I do feel as though they skimped, especially giving me only 2 raita, when 6 dishes should have come with. Have others had a similar experience? To anyone going in the future, I suggest you double check the number of items if it is important to you.

            I feel funny even mentioning this, as they are generous in providing the condiments, and the meals are generally generous and quite reasonable. But I do like the raita, and feel that we should get what is promised on the menu.

            Nonetheless, I believe this place is a tremendous addition to our culinary choices, and I will certainly return, probably often.