Identity Crisis on Walnut Street

Photo via Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Photo via Philadelphia Real Estate Blog

Samosa’s Indian Vegetarian had a good long run at 1214 Walnut Street. But after it closed, things have gotten weird. Early this fall, Dream Island Grill opened in its place. The new concept specialized in Caribbean food. Oddly, the lunch menu was Mexican. But then on December 13th, a reader told us that Dream Island was gone and it has been replace by Buena Vida, a pricier Mexican restaurant. Then by Monday, a banner noted that “We Are Back, Indian Cuisine.” And today, The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog spots a Saffron Indian Cuisine sign. A sign which looks similar to the Saffron Indian Cuisine on North Broad. Of course that Saffron has at least two web sites.

So to recap, that restaurant at Camac and Walnut is back selling Indian food. But what will tomorrow bring?

Walnut Street eatery continues search for identity [Philadelphia Real Estate Blog]

Where We’re Eating: Tiffin Bistro

tiffin-bistro-sloppy-joe

If Munish Narula’s Indian food empire has left you feeling like Goldilocks in the popular fairy tale, Tiffin Bistro might be just right. A step down in glitz from Tashan and more than a step up in style from the less formal Tiffin, Tiffin Bistro provides approachable Indian food in a white-tablecloth space. Highlights include the pepper crab, a promising rendition of chicken tikka Masala, the kitschy Indian Sloppy Joe (which is much better than the gimmick it suggests) and the chicken tellicherry pepper—chunks of boneless chicken with a sauce that heats up with each bite. Overall, Tiffin Bistro will satisfy your Indian craving, especially for South Philadelphians who remain just outside the original Tiffin’s delivery range.

Tiffin Bistro
1100 Federal Street
215-468-0104

First appeared in the September, 2013 issue of Philadelphia magazine.

Unorthodox Indian at Indeblue

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Trey Popp visits Indeblue’s Midtown Village location and finds that chef Rakesh Ramola is willing to go far afield in order to appeal to Philadelphia diners.

His cooking is most interesting, though, when it features just enough of a twist to cast something familiar in a fresh light. Exquisitely tender lamb chops, thrumming with mace and nutmeg, come with a white wine/rice wine vinegar “mojito” sauce that provides a pleasantly harmonious top note. Long hots stuffed with house-made paneer and a touch of mozzarella, spiked with extra chili powder and sauced with tomatoes, seemed both credibly Indian and classically Philadelphian at the same time. Squash stuffed with paneer, cashews, pistachios and raisins was also a winner.

Two and a half stars – Good to Excellent

Philadelphia Restaurant Review: Unorthodox Indian Food at Indeblue [Philadelphia Magazine]
Indeblue [Official Site]

Photo by Jason Varney

Tiffin Bistro Sets Opening Date

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Tiffin Bistro is set to open on Sunday, June 2 for dinner (ribbon cutting is set for Friday, May 31) at 11th and Federal. The newest restaurant in Munish Narula‘s growing Indian food empire that already boasts the upscale Tashan and half a dozen delivery-focussed Tiffin shps, Tiffin Bistro will have a more upscale feel than Tiffin without  the big night out feel of Tashan. We’re betting Tiffin Bistro becomes a neighborhood hotspot for in no time.

Check out a Foobooz post from early April with more details on the soon-to-be-opened restaurant. 

IndeBlue on 13th Street Sets an Opening Date

The long anticipated Midtown Village outpost of IndeBlue, the popular Indian BYOB in Collingswood now has an opening date. A sign in the window promises a June 1st opening.

unlike the New Jersey location in dry Collingswood, the Center City location of IndeBlue will have a full bar, It’s also a sizeably larger operation, as IndeBlue’s L-shaped building wraps around neighboring Bridals by Danielle.

indeBlue [Official Site]

Spice End, Kati Roll Spot Coming to 20th and Chestnut

Indian Chestnut

Spice End is about a week away from opening at 2004 Chestnut Street. The successor of Jojo Place will serve Indian food, specializing in kati rolls. As you can see from the photo above, they will also  offer delivery (and a clean restaurant).

Munish Narula Opening an Indian Bistro in South Philadelphia

HarrisonFordTashan

Munish Narula (left) is back on the expansion path | HughE Dillon for the Philly Post

After a series of profitable quarters for Tashan, Munish Narula is getting back to opening restaurants. His next restaurant will not be a Tiffin or a Tashan, but rather a Tiffin Bistro, slated for 11th and Federal at the former Kris. Narula declined to reveal the exact location until the lease was signed but did fill us in on several other details.

The Indian bistro will have a liquor license and a more upscale feel from a regular Tiffin, but not as high-end as Tashan. Narula stressed this would be a whole new concept as he doesn’t want to cannibalize Tiffin’s delivery business or the experience at Tashan. Expect a more traditional Indian menu but not the dishes you see on most Indian restaurant menus around town. Narula is bringing in a chef from Junoon in New York who has also worked at Amber India in San Francisco as well as London’s Cinnamon Club. Tashan’s Sylva Senat will be involved as well in fine tuning the menu and plating.

Narula hopes to sign the lease before the end of the week and open six weeks after that. As Kris, the restaurant had room for fifty people, plus ten at the bar.

Vets Eat Free at Tashan and Tiffin

In honor of Veterans DayTiffin and Tashan are offering US military veterans free dinner. Valid for dine-in only, vets must present ID to enjoy the offer.  The deal is good  for one appetizer and one entree at all Tiffins locations and at Tashan. The maximum value is $25 at Tiffin and $40 at Tashan.

All Vets Eat Free [Tiffin & Tashan]

Bye Estelle, Mood Cafe Quietly Moves In

Photo of the original Mood Cafe

Filed under things we missed: Mood Cafe has quietly replaced Cafe Estelle at 444 North 4th St. The beloved brunch spot has been taken over by the Indian restaurant that has three locations in West Philly, Desi Village, Desi Chaat House and the original Mood Cafe. This new Mood is open seven days a week, has a menu sprawling with Indian delights and also delivers.

The menu served at the new Mood Cafe is the same as that at Desi Village and includes classic favorites like Chicken Tikka Masala and Palak Paneer. So next time you’re in the mood for Indian be sure to check it out.

215-925-5080

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