Indian in the Burbs?
The last time we had take out from Tiffin it had gone significantly downhill from when they first opened. Is there anything better in the burbs?
Have you tried Ekta in Bryn Mawr? They are a tiffin spin off, and that is their second location.
(and I do not know if that really is an acceptable distance to drive... ). Also Tiffin has another outpost in Elkins Park as well. There are a lot of good indian places out towards King of Prussia and beyond, but again, I am not sure how far you want to drive.
I keep hearing that Tiffin centrally prepares food, and then delivers it to satellite locations. Can anyone confirm or refute? I wonder if Tiffin's food is only good at their main or original location.
Definitely agree on the decline of Tiffin. We like the Ambler Indian Saffron, also in Broad Ax there is Everest which is Persian and Indian which other have found to be good.
Many great review on other Indian restaurants here previously with comments from a fellow (my guess is Indian) who really seems to know his stuff regarding Indian food and its prep. Sorry I can't come up with his name.
If you go, try ordering off the Specials menu inserted into the regular menu. They seem to have brought in some new staff and that special menu appeared about the same time, I'm guessing the new people brought those dishes with them and they have been the best things I've had. If they have the orange kulfi for dessert, get it.
I'm horrified to report that Aman's has gone SIGNIFICANTLY downhill in the last few months. My husband and I used to almost once a week, but the last two times we were there, the papadams (sp?) were soggy from being left out, the paneer did not taste homemade, and everything was just generally not as good. There is clearly a new chef or new management, or both. I'm sad to say that Aman's has been crossed off our list. Which is a shame, it was our favorite...and Saffron, despite its lovely atmosphere, just isn't the same.
A little slow on the uptake here but last evening we had dinner in a small restaurant with our table conjoined with that of an east Indian couple. I have not been to Aman's thus I would not know the relative quality of the food month to month. However this couple was effusive in their love of Aman's. Perhaps the reason for the diverse opinions is timing of visit, or perhaps you just hit a bad night. As it was your favorite I do hope it was one of the above mentioned. We will give it a try with awareness of your comments and theirs.
I work in Conshohocken and generally go for Indian once a week in the western suburbs. I've eaten recently at the following and rank them accordingly:
1 - Jashimalyan
125 E Swedesford Road
Food has a punch (if you like spice) good variety and just tasty. Buffet price is under $8.
2 - Taste of India
297 East Swedesford Road, Wayne, PA
Close second to Jashimalyan. Little more expensive buffet.
3 - Desi Village
145 South Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA
I've eaten here the most and it's solid. Buffet around $10
4 - Himalayan Exotic Indian Cuisine
81 Lancaster Avenue
Not a bad joint just not as interesting as the others.
+a lot for Desi Village. My girlfriend and I go there at least 2-3 times a month, and it never fails to satisfy. In addition to the very flavorful and diverse menu, the service is always very attentive without feeling rushed or in your face. Two other BIG perks are the availability of Restaurant.com coupons and the fact that it is a BYOB. It's not in the greatest location and most evenings, even weekends, the dining room is generally sparsely filled.
Have yet to do the buffet, but for dinner, it's my go-to Indian spot in the burbs!
Commenting on the E. Norriton, PA Indian restaurant, "Aman's."
Hadn't been to the restaurant in many years.
Had heard good things about the restaurant, so it was worth
the drive to see for myself.
Overall reaction: very good home cooked-tasting main
meal entrees in the lunch buffet - the dishes tasted
freshly made with fresh ingredients with only the minimum
amount of spices used to flavor the dishes.
On the day I was at Aman's, there were MANY vegetarian
dishes to choose from, including saag paneer, a mashed
paneer dish (something similar to what I had at the Great Valley, PA area "Himalayan" years ago which I also liked), a mushroom masala type dish, aloo gobi, aloo manchurian, and tadka dal. Nonvegetarian dishes included about five different chicken dishes and a goat dish.
Appetizers included traditional pakoras (made with real chickpea flour and spices mixed throughout the batter) fried nicely, and a fried potato-looking fritter which I passed on.
There were many chutneys to choose from, bhel puri, and a very plain salad (iceberg lettuce, sliced carrots, and cucumbers). Naan was very dry and almost seemed more cracker than breadlike the longer it sat uneaten on my plate.
The white rice which I assume was basmati (and which I am not sure of due to its bland flavor), was more plain and tasteless, than I have had elsewhere, even at Chinnar, which tends to not spice up or embellish their dishes. Even the kernels were not as separated as one would expect from such a restaurant serving plain rice in this manner.
The soup of the day was tomato which unlike what you get at Taste of India was less creamy (although it still contained cream), flavorful, and sweet (TOI must use alot of sugar to flavor its soup to offset part of the heartier spice flavor in the soup). This soup tasted like plain fresh tomato soup with the flavor of primarily tomatoes and little additional seasoning. I had the experience of consuming healthy tomato soup vs. my experience of consuming a gourmet experience of tomato soup at Taste of India.
All of the main dishes I had were very good, including the mushroom dish (how good can a dish consisting of primarily mushrooms be?). The saag paneer was a great example of the "home cooked" nature of these dishes - it consisted of primarily thickly pureed spinach and generous cubes of paneer throughout with some flavoring - much less than what you get at Minar Palace (has more hot peppers in the mix) or Taste of India (which uses more cream, oil, and peppers), but more flavor than what is offered at Chinnar. The tadka dal was pleasantly flavored and consisted of a thick dal texture.
The aloo gobi surprised me in that it wasn't coated with alot of oil which I normally associate with this dish when I get it at other Indian restaurants. The cauliflower had some remnant of being fried lightly and the potatoes barely so.
All I had in the way of chicken was the tandoori, which had a pleasant marinade and was tender.
The desserts were a surprise, but not in the positive sense. There was a nice variety - galub jamun, rasgulla (that's what it looked like to me), carrot halwa, mango pudding, and freshly cut pieces of watermelon and canteloupe.
The carrot halwa, or at least that's what it looked like, turned out to be, or tasted like, little more than boiled carrots. I tasted no hint of sweetness, butter, or cardomom.
I had never had that dish served in that way. The mango pudding was a syrupy and overly sweet cold soup. Both of these dishes needed an overhaul. Since the rest of the buffet was done on a higher level, the quality of these two desserts stood in contrast.
Unlike other restaurants I have been to, it is hard to put too much food on your plate, bowl, or dish, (and thereby potentially waste food), because these food holders are small!! The soup bowls are really small, and in order to sample much of the food at the buffet table, the diner will have to either use at least two plates or go back several times, which makes eating more labor intensive. The plates are of an unusual shape, and I suppose one might consider them stylish. I viewed them as being more stylish than functional.
Servers and the host were hospitable and music played in the background was nonintrusive and relaxing. The ambience was pleasant.
I would recommend Aman's strongly for its main meal entrees, and at least for the desserts I had at the buffet, to be aware of their potential lesser quality. You want great desserts? Go to Taste of India. You want healthy home-cooked tasting north Indian-style entrees? Aman's will please.
Regarding my most recent post on "Commenting on the E. Norriton, PA Indian restaurant, "Aman's" ... (due to not being able to open up that post on my computer for some reason and not being able to "reply" to it) ....
The carrot dessert I referred to at the lunch buffet I normally associate with the name kajar ka halwa. On the menu the carrot dessert is listed as gajerella, which research revealed to
me is associated with the same name as carrot halwa or pudding.
On the menu it is described as shredded sweet carrots cooked in a special homemade syrup. If this was the dessert at the buffet, the syrup used had a very subtle taste, more undetectable than subtle or sweet. The sweetness as described with the carrots perhaps came from the carrots themselves, not from any additional sweetener. I could not detect any additional sweetness to the dish, either from a honey or sugar cane sweetener. Even liquid agave would have added a nice sweetness to this dish. I could not imagine a patron ordering this dish ala carte and being satisfied with it.
As I mentioned, it tasted like boiled shredded carrots. One spoonful of the Taste of India version and you would be satisfied.
I forgot to mention that the raita which was located by the chutneys and the salad at the buffet table was excellent, among the best I have ever had. It was a perfect blend of creaminess and lightness with a nice exotic flavor from the additional ingredients. My guess is that full fat yogurt was used. The raita at Taste of India is much heavier and richer
due to the inclusion of sour cream. If you want thinner or plainer raita, I'd suggest Himalayan, Chinnar, or Bawarchi.
Opinions, we all have them which actually makes their relative value often difficult to compare. Those opinions which come from a knowledge base of the foods and/or some extensive experience with a type food are always appreciated by me; agree or not with my specific tastes.
Felatel Boy is my resident advisor on Indian Food, always providing insightful commentary which is appreciated by this poster.