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Mar 24, 2012 10:44 AM

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?

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  1. What part of the burbs? And which Tiffin Daisy?

    4 Replies
    1. re: cwdonald

      Sorry....Chestnut Hill. We had been getting take out from the Mt. Airy Tiffin. It was wonderful when they first opened, but the last couple of times it was very oily.

      1. re: DaisyM

        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.

        1. re: cwdonald

          It's a bit of a drive but we really like Devi in Exton. Just be forewarned that it's vegetarian. I can't say I miss the meat there, though.

          1. re: cook262

            Thanks everyone. We ended up giving Tiffin in Mt. Airy another shot and it was a major improvement. New chef? I asked and they said they are cooking the food at that location. So maybe they "heard" the complaints. But in any case, the food tasted fresher and wasn't oily.

    2. 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.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Bacchus101

        I thought that the Everest Grille had closed, which is a shame. Am I mistaken? I also like Saffron in Ambler a great deal. Some find the seasonings to be too mild, but the restaurant will heighten the spices to the customer's preference. We go there at least twice a month.

        1. re: Kshell

          Sorry for the bad info., I had not noticed it closed, obviously. Thanks for the correction. We only had one experience at Everest and it was not great, which is why I noted other opinions. And yes I like to ask for some additional heat at Saffron also.

          1. re: Bacchus101

            Although the atmosphere at Saffron is nicer, the food is better IMO at Aman's in East Norriton. Just head straight up Germantown from Chestnut Hill...abuot 20 minutes. Delicious!

            1. re: jba1216

              +several on Aman's, it's been really great lately (like the last 4 months), the best Indian in the burbs or the city that I know of.

              1. re: Buckethead

                Great tips, JBA, BH...will give it a try thanks!

                1. re: Bacchus101

                  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.

                  1. re: Buckethead

                    Has anyone tried Amir's sister restaurant Amari's Bistro in Chalfont?

              2. re: jba1216

                a friend and I are trying Amans for the first time tonight. looking forward to it!

                1. re: jujuthomas

                  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.

                  1. re: jba1216

                    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.

        2. 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
          Exton, PA
          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
          Malvern, PA
          Not a bad joint just not as interesting as the others.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Chinon00

            Thanks for the list and your ranking, very helpful. So much Indian so little time!

            1. re: Chinon00

              +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 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!

              1. re: Chinon00

                Good list.

                Jashimalyan and Taste of India belong to the same owners, not sure if the recipes are the same.

                Dosa Hut & Chaat House in Eagleville is quite good.

                Spice Kitchen in East Norriton is also good.

                In Exton try Indian Hut -

                1. re: Chinon00

                  Thanks, Chinon. I'm not terribly good at Indian & wanted something close by, so this list was much appreciated!

                2. 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.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FelafelBoy

                    I've been to Aman's a few times now for dinner and it's always consistently good. Took friends there a couple weeks ago who are picky about their Indian food, and they loved it.

                  2. 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.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: FelafelBoy

                      Its Gajer ka halwa. Gajer = Carrots. The English spelling may vary.