Food : Trivandrum Rating : 1/5 Stars

Madras Tiffin Center – First Visit

I have been hearing quite a bit about the vegetarian restaurant named Madras Tiffin Center and even have been to their ice cream shop named Scoop Station quite a few times… However, it is now that I finally got the chance to try out the restaurant…

From the pics below, it can be clearly seen that this restaurant has a bit of a modern look when compared to the usual tamil style vegetarian places like the Aryas chains and its differently spelled variants 🙂

The menu is vegetarian muli-cuisine just like every other vegetarian restaurant in the city… Like I mentioned before, they have an ice cream shop too and so, they serve the options from there as well… What I hoped for when I saw the menu is that that atleast they’ll be unique in terms of taste… So, among the extravagant set of choices in the menu, I went for the classic Cream of Tomato Soup to start with followed by a portion of their Veg Spring Roll and then for mains, I went for their Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biriyani as they call it in the menu… Each item arrived one by one and the wait time I would rate to be fair… No complaints there…

Now, coming to the food… The first to arrive was the Cream of Tomato Soup… This is a classic thick, slightly sweet and creamy soup made of tomatoes for the most part and onions along with tomato juice, cream, butter and garlic and ofcourse some seasonings, basic being just salt and pepper while some go about infusing some Thyme or Rosemary or Basil, etc… Croutons are commonly used as a topping and in this version, they seem to have done the same and also used some cream as a topping…

Unfortunately I didn’t like the soup one bit and its primarily because I couldn’t taste much of the tomatoes in it… But rather it seemed to have been dominated by Vinegar and Sugar… ie, too much sweetness from the sugar and too much sourness from the vinegar… I almost wondered if they ended up using a really bad ketchup and diluted it with Vinegar and then tried to compensate for the sourness with the sugar and then since it became too loose, they put in corn starch and thickened it… End result was unpleasant for me as I couldn’t taste anything other than the sugar and the vinegar and so I couldn’t have more than a couple of spoons and had to discard it…

To be frank at this point, I was beginning to question my decision of coming here and then the Spring Rolls arrived… The Spring roll is a very common delicacy in Asia with its humble origins in Vietnam… Ofcourse the way they do it is completely different from how we get it here because, here we get the Indo-Chinese adaptations of the Chinese adaption of the Spring Roll, which ends up being a wheat/corn flour/starch pancake rolled with a filling of seasoned and stirfried vegetables and then deep fried… This is a very popular street food and when done right, is the favourite vegetarian snack of mine… There are non-vegetarian options to this, but I personally prefer the vegetarian one… This is usually served with some hot garlic sauce or a combination of hot garlic and soy sauce… In this version, they seem to have served it with just tomato ketchup…

Mixed feelings here and so first let me say what I liked about this… What I liked about this is that clearly it was freshly made… The outer cover was incredibly crisp and everything was seasoned really well… The Vegetables used also felt fresh and crispy… Now what I didn’t like are two things with this… For some reason, I could taste vinegar in the vegetables… I guess these days its a common practice to use vinegar to clean vegetables and so it seems they didn’t rinse it all out… The other problem I had was with the ketchup that they served with the Spring roll… I have definitely had much much better ketchups…

Now that I was really questioning my decision to come here, the main course of their Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biriyani came out and it was indeed a pleasant sight to see… Everybody knows what a Biriyani is and especially what the Hyderabadi Biriyani is and so I am not attempting to explain it here… As seen in the pics below, it came as a very large scoop along with some Onion Raita and some Tomato Curry… Usually we see the Hyderabadi biriyani being served with a Brinjal curry, but here they went for the Tomato based curry…

Once again, mixed feelings but its not as bad as the other items I have had… What I liked about this Biriyani is that the flavours were simply spot on… The Rice and the Vegetables (Potatoes, Carrots, Beans and Cauliflower) were cooked absolutely perfectly and the level of spices were as one would expect from the Hyderabadi Biriyani… It worked really well with the Onion Raita that was provided… The flavour profile was indeed perfectly balanced… I didn’t care for that Tomato curry though, but, long story short, this is a Biriyani I would love to have again if there wasn’t this one problem with it… Its the presence of Dalda, which for those who are unaware is a form of Hydrogenated vegetable oil which is one of the worst things for your health… Inspite of it being a health hazard, there are a lot of people who still have it for the taste… Personally, I dislike its taste and this Biriyani appeared to have quite a lot of it and thats the only reason that I probably won’t be having it again… If I come to know that they have stopped using the Dalda, I’ll definitely be back there to try this again…

So, altogether not a pleasant first experience at the Madras Tiffin Center… I guess I’ll stick with just their Ice cream shop for now 🙂

P.S. UPDATE – 6th Aug 2018: The Madras TIffin Center restaurant is now Closed and now the space is occupied by another restaurant…

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