Friday, Nov 21, 2014

Eating Out of the Box

Written by Meenakshi Iyer | Posted: May 5, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: May 4, 2014 11:44 pm

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With the explosion of European and Asian fare, restaurants serving good quality Indian food in a decent setting are few and far between. So when a restaurant claims to offer meals from many different parts of the country with a quirky atmosphere, it warrants a visit.

Located in the business district of Bandra-Kurla Complex, Tiffinbox Etc. is the latest offering by Ka Hospitality, which also owns Yauatcha, Otto Infinito — that is a stone’s throw away — and Hakkasan. Styled on noisy cafeterias, the casual dining restaurant scores high on interiors with benches and tables for seating, milk cans and tiffin boxes turned into lamps and low-grade graffiti on the walls. The no-frills menu includes popular snacks such as dhokla, pani puri, pav bhaji, idli-wada-sambar, but it also lists unusual items such as Koki with dahi papad — a Sindhi favourite and Dal pakwan. Apart from these, the all-day menu features dishes from Rajasthan, Bengal, Punjab, Chettinad and an odd inclusion of Birmingham’s Balti cuisine — a curry-based fare popular in the UK.

For starters, their Kasturi Chicken Tikka (Rs 260) and Prawns Koliwada (Rs 380) evoked a lukewarm response. While the tikka fared better with its succulent chicken marinated and grilled to perfection, the prawns were a tad too oily for our liking. The Kokum Kadhi, also known as Solkadhi (Rs 50) had no hint of coconut milk that often makes the base for it, but its mild spices helped beat the heat.

Tiffinbox Etc.’s menu also features predesigned meals from four metros —  Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore —  that come in packed stainless steel tiffin boxes. We ordered a Kolkata tiffin box (Rs 420), which came with a serving of Kosha mangsho (chicken), home-style dal, rice, three rotis and Gulab jamun.

The velvety and spicy chicken gravy worked well with the subtly tempered dal, which reminded us of a home-cooked meal. Also, the presentation helped. Led by curiosity, we also ordered the Birmingham Balti (Rs 250), which is essentially a sweet and sour chicken curry served in small stainless steel buckets. Pair the balti with a serving of Kulcha masala (Rs 40) and you won’t complain.

Tiffinbox Etc. is the perfect place for mid-work meals as it promises quick service and post work evenings for a quick grub over chai and conversations. Though reasonably priced compared to its neighbours, it would be interesting to see if the restaurant can replace the
regular dabbawala that most
corporates opt for.

Meal for two: Rs 500

meenakshi.iyer@expressindia.com

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