Execution Woes Doom Tiffin Bistro


Indian Sloppy Joe sliders were another hit

Craig LaBan has problems with the service and execution at Munish Narula’s Tiffin Bistro in South Philadelphia.

[T]he Bistro has an air of the unattended stepchild, with a menu executed by line cooks whose efforts seem adequate for takeout, but not much more.

There are definitely some worthy highlights, especially with the starters. The chaat of fried baby eggplants drizzled with yogurt and multihued chutneys is a novel twist on the crunchy-creamy-tart chaat salad craze that’s finally taking hold locally. The cauliflower bezule, florets crisped in chickpea batter, then glazed in creamy coconut and mustard seed, are a hearty taste of South India.

One Bell – Hit-or-miss

Dining Review: Tiffin Bistro [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Tiffin Bistro [Facebook]

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  • Jimmy

    I bet LaBan has never set foot in India, much less South India. Pendantry.

  • Sam

    I live in center city and frequently order food from tiffin on girard. It usually takes about an hour for the food to arrive. I ordered food from tiffin bistro, about ten blocks from my house one time. It took almost two hours for the cold food to arrive with a single container of rice for four entrees. The food was bland and poor rendition of fairly mundane Indian dishes.

  • Madhur Jaffrey

    Tiffin is overrated period and Laban is a bit of a tool. When restaurants sells their souls to please laban with gentrified “Indian Food” this is what happens.

  • HD73

    I think you were going for pedantry. That word doesn’t mean what you think it means either, but pendantry (which I guess would be the making of pendants?) definitely is not what you were going for there.

    • Jack Dee

      You are a strong editor, to be sure, but a wordsmith you are not. Craiger is the epitome of pedantic.

      • HD73

        Laban is pedantic (and he certainly is at times) when he unnecessarily harps on his own knowledge of a cuisine and how things are supposed to be done in a review. That is a brand of pedantry.
        There is really none of that in this column, except perhaps for the line about the Dungeness Crab (but I agree with Laban that calling it “local” is ridiculous).

        Jimmy apparently doesn’t like Laban because he thinks Laban is passing judgment on Indian food without ever having been to India. I don’t think that charge really sticks here either, given that the review is about the service and execution being shitty, not about the food being “inauthentic.” Regardless, talking out of your ass about something you know nothing about is not pedantry.

        I am sorry that I must invoke Inigo Montoya one again, Jack Dee, but pedantry does not mean what you think it means.