Tiffin Wallah NYC Indian Restaurant
Tiffin Wallah, NYC127 East 28th St
(At Lexington Ave)
New York, NY 10016
Tiffin Wallah NYC Review: Cheap, Cheap, CheapCheap Prices. Cheap Quality. Cheap Service.
That in essence sums up Tiffin Wallah, the latest South Indian restaurant in Manhattan's Curry Hill (the area between E.31 St and E.26 St on Lexington Ave).
When a lunch buffet is offered for a piffling $6 in Manhattan, it's hard to be picky unless you really love Indian food. And since we so love Indian food, we are ever so picky.
During our recent visit to Tiffin Wallah, we tried the Lunch Buffet plus a bunch of other items on the menu.
Our lunch experience at Tiffin Wallah was like driving on Bangalore roads during the monsoons. We hit one pot hole after another.
Awful Masala DosaMasala Dosa at Tiffin Wallah was big, bigger than at most South Indian restaurants. But that's all that can be said in its favor.
With little flavor and far too little onion/potato filling inside, the partially-burnt Dosa was bad enough to put off a first-timer from every trying this fine South Indian delicacy a second time.
The Sambar that accompanied the Masala Dosa was a pathetic impostor, tasteless and far too watery than even Rasam.
Soft Idli, Bland ChutneyWe wanted to try the Dal Vada listed on the menu but were told by Tiffin Wallah's owner Pradeep it'd be available only over the weekends. Don't ask for the Tomato Omelette on weekdays. For that too, you must wait for the weekend.
In the absence of Dal Vada, we opted for the Idli and Vada. Idli was soft and the Vada crisp but the accompanying Chutney was so bland and plain awful that we wondered whether it 'd been prepared in a Chinese restaurant. The Sambar was pitiful again.
Bad Lunch Buffet ItemsAs for the Lunch Buffet (served from 11:30AM-3.00PM) at Tiffin Wallah, the less said about this atrocity the better.
Uttappam was smaller than a Tea Coaster and burnt all over. The thin Chapati broke like cookies in our hand.
And the Cabbage Curry (with Channa Dal and coconut) was a monstrosity, the likes of which have not been seen in New York City since King Kong. It had such a raw flavor and smell that we wondered if it'd even been cooked.
Service is non-existent at this impostor of an Indian restaurant. As we walked in, we noticed an Amigo waiter eating something from a bowl right near the buffet table. Upon seeing us, he casually sauntered to a corner and a few seconds later wiping his hands on the back of his trousers, he poured water into our glasses. Mortified, we quickly ordered a bottle of Perrier water.
This cheap restaurant does not even have proper menus relying instead on soiled paper menus that impatient waiters snatch from the table when you turn your head for a moment.
Baffled by the overall pitiful quality of the food at Tiffin Wallah, we concluded that this South Indian restaurant must have dredged the low end of the human gene pool to find a chef so horrible.
Tiffin Wallah faces stiff competition in the area. Besides the numerous North Indian restaurants like Curry in a Hurry and Copper Chimney, it also has to contend with a bunch of Indian Chinese places and entrenched South Indian restaurants like Pongal, Saravanaas, Madras Mahal and Chennai Garden.
Our hopes for relief at least in dessert were also dashed.
Lousy DessertsTiffin Wallah's Badam Halwa ($3.00) was lousy to behold and lousier to ingest. Overheated in the microwave, it lacked adequate sweetness and the satisfying flavor of Badam (almond). When we asked whether Badam Halwa was prepared daily, our waiter/owner Pradeep sneered at us. Is Badam Halwa prepared everday anywhere, he barked at us.
The Kesari Bath on the Buffet table was a zillion times better than the abomination of a Badam Halwa.
Masala Chai ($2.00) lacked the flavor of Indian spices while Tiffin Wallah's Coffee ($2.00) tasted like instant coffee.
Although Tiffin Wallah touts itself as specialists in South Indian cuisine, the restaurant serves a lot of North Indian food items too.
But Tiffin Wallah is an equal opportunity offender. Its North Indian fare is as bad as the South Indian impostors. The Palak Paneer and Channa Masala from the buffet table were bereft of any saving graces - they were neither flavorful nor spicy. They didn't taste fresh too.
Tiffin Wallah RatingIf price is your only criteria, Tiffin Wallah's lunch buffet seems like a good deal. Well, at least until the first bite.
But if you are looking for a genuine Indian meal, surely there are lots of choices in Manhattan.
Tiffin Wallah is a remorseless Indian restaurant serving dollops of cheap food hoping that diners will be too awed by the cheap prices to notice the cheap quality. - © NYIndia.us