[Manchester, city centre] Indian Tiffin Room

It’s just about 12 months since we last ate here. There’s nothing new to say about the place. It remains a very slick operation. And it remains a place where there’s reliably good food that’s a long way from your “any protein with any sauce” high street curry house.

For one of us, there was a masala dosa to start. One of those dishes that can be a main course if you’re not that peckish but also a good starter if you are hungry. It’s crisp, with a well spiced potato filling. There’s a pleasant sambar and three chutneys – a lovely tomato (?) based quite spicy one and a coconut one stand out. That was followed by lamb dalcha. I think one of us has ordered that on both previous visits. Unsurprisingly, we think it’s really good – tender, tasty lamb with a really well flavoured gravy, thickened by lentils which give it some texture. Have to say, that this is not the most generous restaurant serving you’ll ever come across.

Two new dishes across the table. Pessarattu – I’d never heard of it, let alone tasted it. Made from moong dal, it’s something of across between a dosa and a pancake. Soft, like a thickish pancake, but very savoury like dosa – served folded over with a little finely chopped onion, tomato and potato inside. It comes with the same sambal and chutneys as before. Really good. For a main course, dhaba style chicken. The menu tells you dhabas are roadside eateries and I ordered this partly because I fancied chicken and fancied something new and, perhaps, a bit “desi”. I didn’t know what it was until the waiter volunteered an explanation, perhaps intended to offer me a chance to change my mind. Basically, it’s half a chicken, given a poky spicy rub on the skin and then roasted and served with raita and the same tomato chutney as earlier. In truth, it was pleasant enough and I’ve no real issue with it – except that I think I hoped for a bit more from something that’s pretty much the most expensive thing on the menu. But this is really just roast chicken. So what’s not to like?

We both had roti but also ordered a superfluous portion of rice. Both carbs were good – the roti perfectly cooked with that hint of crispness and charring round the edges that suggest to us, the guy cooking it knows his roti.